Porsche Panamera 4S E-hybrid

Our 552bhp saloon’s strengths may not lie where you expect

- Stuart Gallagher (@stuartg917)

THERE ARE TWO VERY DIFFERENT routes I can take to evo Towers v2.0: the direct route using the shortest amount of B-road but the maximum number of miles on featureles­s A-roads and motorways. Or the evo route, which is the polar opposite. For the last six years the latter has been the route of choice unless I’m in a car that requires a little more room on the road or doesn’t enjoy being thrown around, such as Range Rovers, Rollsroyce­s and anything from Volvo. The Panamera serves up a large dilemma when it comes to which route to take.

Take the evo route and, while describing it as a hoot would be a stretch, the Panamera does deliver a challenge by requiring a heightened awareness of your surroundin­gs and a more precise approach to plotting a path. It’s not a small car, therefore every nip, tuck, twist and turn requires more thought as to where and how you position it on the road to prevent the thump of shame as you run over every catseye on your right and avoid a Michelin-popping razor edge on your left (circa £280 fitted since you ask).

So the easy option is to head for the Volvo route. The straight lines, the smooth tarmac and miles of monotony. Settle back, wind up the Burmester and coast on a hybrid mix of petrol and kilowatts, allowing the cruise control to do the work. It makes long days feel very short indeed, but many will argue, quite legitimate­ly, that it should considerin­g its price and the badge on its nose.

Yet it’s what the Panamera doesn’t do that makes it so good at what it does do. Perception is that it’s a Porsche supersaloo­n, one to vaporise tyres at every opportunit­y and rack up social media likes with smokey drift shots. Unless you have an airfield to hand, don’t bother trying. Reality is that this flavour of Panamera Sport Turismo is perfectly in tune for when being relaxed and primed is more important than being a tenth quicker from turn-in to apex.

More trips further afield with no charging access has meant some experiment­ing with drive modes to determine which delivers the quickest battery recharge (there’s no point lugging them around depleted) without the V6 getting a V-power hangover in the process. To this end, Sport mode provides the best blend of charge rate versus a marginal fuel consumptio­n increase.

The only negative I’ve picked up lately is a slightly soft brake pedal. Our car has now clipped beyond 11,000 miles, but Porsche prides itself on its cars’ braking performanc­e, so a little more investigat­ion is required.

Date acquired June 2022 Total mileage 11,544 Mileage this month 1010 Costs this month £280 (tyre) mpg this month 39.8

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