The Goodwood Test: Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

16th January 2018
erin_baker_headshot.jpg Erin Baker

Each week our team of experienced senior road testers pick out a new model from the world of innovative, premium and performance badges, and put it through its paces.



Gloriously, none. Obviously, Porsche has plenty, and even the Panamera, the brand’s four-seat grand tourer, has been knocking around with us since 2010, with diesel and hybrid versions arriving soon after. But this is Porsche’s first handshake with an estate model, reaching out towards the Mercedes E-Class AMG-badged estate, CLS shooting brake, or perhaps an Audi RS6 Avant… essentially, it’s the Panamera, sitting on the same wheelbase, but with a higher, straighter roofline, sleeker profile and a practical edge that the Panamera saloon lacks. If it echoes anything, it’s the current trend towards luxury lifestyle models – those that cost towards £100,000 with cabins that reflect that value, but room for the family and friends at weekends.



Practicality aside, this is simply a better-looking version of the Panamera, so we’d buy it on looks alone. The straighter roof line and adapted rear end make it less of an oddity and more of a meaningful five-seat Porsche, preferable, perhaps, to a Cayenne SUV from the brand. If you’re worried that an estate means less fun, look no further than this: it’s an estate with an adaptive spoiler on the roof. We think that clears up the matter of “fun”.

Inside, it shares the Panamera’s dashboard and funky flat glass panel that strays down the centre console towards the seats, housing functions that you move your thumb over to illuminate. You can keep the electronic displays simple, or turn the panel into a science lab, with all manner of “data insight” as the wonks have it, available, from the weather to the powertrain information.

The big differentiator over a normal Panamera is that this is a five-seater, or, as Porsche has it, “four plus one”, with the centre seat fit really only for a child. 

Our car was kitted out with every conceivable extra – reversing camera (yes), air outlet grilles painted black (very nice), Porsche dynamic light system (hmm), ceramic composite brakes (£6k), sports exhaust system (yes), 18-way adaptive sports seats (no), four-zone auto climate control (yes).



You can have the E-hybrid, if you must; we went for the Turbo with eight growling cylinders, 550 horses and 770Nm (568lb ft) of torque laid down via all four wheels. Porsche’s eight-speed PDK gearbox is still sublime and, if you can stomach the 22mpg I got, you have yourself an extremely fine family car. Porsche’s inherent quality shines through the ride, no matter which model you buy these days – there’s something heavy, unyielding yet supple, like a bulked-up yoga teacher, about Porsches, and this estate is no exception. The wheels still have that extraordinary planted feel, which suggests they’ll be hard to shift, and yet, twiddle the steering wheel a jot and you get exacting, razor-sharp movement and feedback. This might sound horribly contentious, but one wonders why, as a family, you would buy a 911 and SUV… why not scrap the 911 and get the Sport Turismo? I swear most drivers would get the same amount of satisfaction from both.



If it’s been a while since you drove a Porsche of any description, and are scratching your head about how to unburden yourself of £80k or so, try this car for size. It may be the best compromise Porsche has yet come up with for a proper performance car that fits an active family lifestyle; it should certainly offer more comfort to passionate drivers than an SUV.

Price as tested: £142,584 (from £117,247)

  • Porsche

  • Panamera Sport Turismo

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