Make us your home page
The Daily Drivers | By Peter Couture and Lyra Solochek, Times Staff Writers

The Daily Drivers car review: 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS

Porsche keeps refining its sedan since unveiling it in 2009 to some grumblings from aficionados. There's now a Panamera for all tastes — from 6-cylinder to hybrid to 550-horsepower turbo. We drove the middle-of-the-lineup GTS, which features a naturally aspirated V-8 and some performance features from the upper-level turbo models.

Appearance: There's no getting around it — this car still looks awkward, with a big, round rear end that gives it a bulbous silhouette. Deal-breaker for some potential buyers? Perhaps. The front end, though, shows off the Porsche DNA: It's sleek, with a long, creased hood, elliptical headlights and black air-intake grille. Our tester featured black 20-inch sport wheels with bright-red brake calipers, which makes for a stunning contrast. (The red-on-black scheme continues inside.) The stainless steel-alloy twin sport exhaust has a matte-black finish.

Performance: The naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V-8 puts out 430 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. That makes for great acceleration and a 4.3-second 0-to-60 time. (If that's not enough power for you, there are two turbocharged versions.) If you want a more aggressive response, you can switch to the sports or sports-plus modes at the push of a button. There's also a button to choose your exhaust note; we prefer the throaty rumble. The 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission is one of our favorite sport automatics, making seamless and precise shifts. Porsche has refined its gas-saving auto start/stop system, which is now almost as seamless as the PDK's shifts. You can disable it with the push of a button — nice. The GTS, which has active all-wheel drive, is engineered for performance, and it doesn't handle like a 2-ton-plus car, carving out corners — big butt and all — almost like a smaller Porsche. Fun to drive? That's an enthusiastic yes.

Interior: The GTS is more about sport than comfort. Its adaptive sports seats, though comfortable and offering great lateral support, are on the firm side. There are bright-red embroidered GTS logos on each seat, which also have red stitching. The seat belts are also bright red. We get it, Porsche: This is a sports model. One thing all Panameras share is a technology-laden instrument panel that recalls an aircraft. The center console extends through the cabin to the rear. Lyra counted 48 buttons and dials up front for the alphabet soup of car-control systems and other features; it can be a bit overwhelming. We both were wowed by the Burmester surround-sound system, which we thought was one of the best we've heard. Some things we didn't like: The steering-wheel adjuster is under the column, so if you need to pull it down, you have to contort your arm. Lyra didn't like the Alcantara-lined steering wheel, which she felt lacked grip, and the rear window is small.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Power hatchback: It closes with the push of a button and there's room for suitcases.

Key fob: This is more a source of amusement: It's in the shape of the car and can come in the same color as your car for $335.

Cockpit: The button-heavy console has a visual impact.

Lyra Solochek

Sporty look: Black wheels, red seat belts and stitching.

Just right: Great balance between comfort and performance.

PDK: One of the best transmissions I've driven.

The bottom line: Performance. Comfort. Love-it-or-hate-it styling. The pricey Panamera is many things, but boring isn't one of them. It's definitely for a confident personality.

2013 Porsche Panamera GTS

Price: $111,000 start, $145,510 as tested


4.8-liter naturally aspirated V-8,

7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission, active all-wheel drive

Horsepower: 430 at 6,700 rpm

Torque: 384 pound-feet at 3,500 rpm

Curb weight: 4,232 pounds


in inches:

Wheelbase, 114.9

Length, 195.67

Width, 76.02

Height, 55.43

Seats: 4

Fuel economy:

16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway

Safety features: Airbags, ABS, high-strength steel body with deformation zones, stability management, traction management, parking assist, reverse camera, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot detection, lane-change alert



The Daily Drivers car review: 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS 10/19/12 [Last modified: Friday, October 19, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  2. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  3. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  4. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.