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don't buy/ lease a Panamera until you read this!!

 
Old 01-08-2012, 06:05 AM
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toejam357
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Default don't buy/ lease a Panamera until you read this!!

This thread is designed to highlight shortcomings with the car that no publication is mentioning. I suspect its because most of them need to avoid negative comments, especially on a new product that costs many millions to develop, so that they can continue to get access to the latest Porsches. However, if I knew this in advance I might have bought something else…

After a year with my Panamera S, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Panamera must have been rushed to market without proper testing. Since this is the first time Porsche has positioned a car model in the luxury space, their lack of experience really shows. They should have hired a consultant, or perhaps bought an S-class (the benchmark of luxury cars) and studied it.

Also, I have commented several times in Porsche surveys about these issues, but I haven’t been contacted about them. My local dealership says I am the only customer that complains about the car, but I find it hard to believe that my peers are so dismissive of the functionality of the car.

I. Issues I find UNACCEPTABLE for a car of this caliber:

a. The trunk opener button only opens the hatchback, but it will not close it. The button must be held down until the hatchback is fully raised because if you let go, it will stop where it is. Also, the button only works when the car is full ON. NOTE: if you use the remote’s button, it will open fully on one touch…dumb.

b. The car burns oil continuously. Every 1300 miles or so, I get a “low oil” warning and I have to top up. I currently have 8,000 miles and it still goes on.

c. The sunroof suffers from severe wind buffeting.

d. The rear sunshade device is extremely cumbersome to remove. you will need to open both rear doors and the trunk lid in order to remove it.

e. Auto door lock – when the doors are locked and one of the doors are unlocked, the system does not then unlock all the other doors. Example: the doors are locked and exit to get something from the back seat. After exiting, the rear door is not automatically unlocked so I have to craw back into the front, press the “unlock” button and go back the rear again. I believe the car should have just unlocked all doors when I got out the first time…

f. The PCM is poorly designed.

i. In the radio there are 3 sets of 6 presets. To toggle these it requires pressing “presets” and select “1,2 or 3”. With so much screen space, they could have put more buttons on the screen or the “tuner” hard button could have done the toggling.

ii. I set the PCM radio stations and customize the dash display. I then save the settings with memory#2. When I return to the car the next day, all the settings are reset to default.

g. Entry Drive feature -- The memory settings are separate from the key dongle. This means when you use your dongle to unlock the car, it does not engage either memory#1 or #2, but rather has a mysterious default. It doesn’t even keep the last used settings(??)


II. Issues I find dumb but don’t really bother me too much:

a. Normal/ Sport/ Sport Plus modes – the car defaults in Normal mode every time you start the motor. You cannot set to Sport and have it remain in that setting.
Since the car is billed as a 4-door sports car with luxury touches (but its an epic fail at being anything close to a luxury car) it should default in Sport mode and let drivers change it to Normal or Sport Plus as desired.

b. the PDK transmission has an annoying lag and is not smooth. This cause the car to be unpredictable and jerky, in all modes.

c. You have to move the front seats to lower the rear seats.

d. All the control buttons are not sensitive enough so you have make deliberate presses. Again, this makes the car feel cheap and poorly executed.

e. The car does not automatically lower the ride height at high speeds. You have manually press the Sport Plus button. The should lower itself whenever the spoiler deploys, I think.

f. The cruise control stalk is on the lower left of the steering column. On my Boxster its on the lower right, which is a better location because it is easily confused for the turn signal. They should keep it consistent and leave it on the right side.

g. The controls on the steering wheel should do more.

The list may seem long, but overall I still like my Pan S very much. When you drive it hard, it performs well. I only wish it was better executed, especially for the price. When people ask me how I like my car, I tell them its like a bimbo: pretty to look at, fun to be with, but no brains at all.

Good luck with your informed purchase!


*My background: this is my 2nd Porsche. My 987 boxter S made me a big fan of Porsche and it is a really good car. The Panamera dampens my respect for Porsche quite a bit and I may not buy another “non Stuttgart” Porsche.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:54 AM
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Some of your issues are due to improper programming or misunderstanding of the functions (such as the memory and entry drive features). For more information on the operation of your car, beyond the owners manual, order the After Sales Training Manual #PNA PNM 001. There may be a newer version available. I obtained this manual before my car was delivered and have been able to avoid some of the issues you note.

Also, the memory functions have been discussed many times on this and other forums. If your settings are reverting to default each time, you have not saved them properly to the seat settings, then to the key. The publication mentioned has great detail on this and many other systems.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:28 AM
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Ok, I read it. I'm still getting one.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:29 PM
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Most of OP's complaints are minor ergonomic issues. Most of them are too minor or are non-issues to me. Porsche are well known to not be a leader in these areas. If you have own enough Porsches, you will understand what you are looking for.

My opinion is if someone is looking for performance and handling in a sedan, and do not mind only 4 seats, a small trunk, and the above minor issues from OP, then Panamera is the one to buy. Although I really like the new M5 as well.

For someone who want details of interior, comfort features, easy to use, in a sedan, then buy a Lexus LS.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:33 PM
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I had some of these issues with my 2011 Cayenne. Some notes below . . .

Originally Posted by toejam357 View Post
T

a. The trunk opener button only opens the hatchback, but it will not close it. The button must be held down until the hatchback is fully raised because if you let go, it will stop where it is. Also, the button only works when the car is full ON. NOTE: if you use the remote’s button, it will open fully on one touch…dumb.

>>> I find this very irritating too especially on a rainy day. If you accidentally open the trunk, then out in the rain you go.

c. The sunroof suffers from severe wind buffeting.

>>> Is this only with the sunroof open? If so, is the sunroof completely open? The sunroof will automatically stop with about 1/8 left to go. No issues when it's left like this. If I open all the way then I get bad wind buffeting. If a rear window is open with the sunroof open, than you get severe wind buffeting just like any car.

e. Auto door lock – when the doors are locked and one of the doors are unlocked, the system does not then unlock all the other doors. Example: the doors are locked and exit to get something from the back seat. After exiting, the rear door is not automatically unlocked so I have to craw back into the front, press the “unlock” button and go back the rear again. I believe the car should have just unlocked all doors when I got out the first time…

>>> You can change this in the PCM.

f. The PCM is poorly designed.

>>> Agreed.

ii. I set the PCM radio stations and customize the dash display. I then save the settings with memory#2. When I return to the car the next day, all the settings are reset to default.

>>> Another goofy PCM design. Each time you save a seating position or radio station, than you must save to seat memory! You have to do this for each seat memory if you want to save the radio station while moving the mirror and seat positions back each time.

The list may seem long, but overall I still like my Pan S very much. When you drive it hard, it performs well. I only wish it was better executed, especially for the price. When people ask me how I like my car, I tell them its like a bimbo: pretty to look at, fun to be with, but no brains at all.

Good luck with your informed purchase!


*My background: this is my 2nd Porsche. My 987 boxter S made me a big fan of Porsche and it is a really good car. The Panamera dampens my respect for Porsche quite a bit and I may not buy another “non Stuttgart” Porsche.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:51 PM
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Thanks all for your feedback, especially Dan993. i'll look into this ASTM....my contention is, these things should be taken for granted to work "intuitively" like so many other cars. it isn't that difficult, esp for a car at this price point.

i totally get it now that they just want to sell a 4-door Boxter; no lux just sport. in that case, why can't the car default or stay in Sport mode? the Normal mode is very lethargic...in fact, no should forego the Sport Chorono pkg for this reason.

Porsche is sadly mistaken if they think people like me, who've owned Benzs and Bimmers aren't going to transition into it. there are many of us and so it only tarnishes the brand when you can't get ergonomics right.
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:06 PM
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I usually read the posts and don't reply but since I think you are wrong with many things you wrote, I try to shed some light into this:

1. The trunk opener button works the way it works for safety reasons. It isn't poorly designed, this is the way it is supposed to work. Just imagine you open the trunk while the garage door of your garage is closing. Just imagine the trunk closes and your kid has stilll his head or only a hand inside the trunk. Safety first.

2. Oil consumption varies on driving style and running in style. If you didn't respect the running in guidelines, it is very likely that your engine burns more oil. I agree that the oil consumption could be better but it isn't really that bad. I had to fill up one liter of oil in my Cayenne Turbo...every 1000 km.

3. The sunroof can be "adjusted", maybe the sealing isn't OK either. Check with your dealership. It is also possible that the sunroof isn't completely closed (dirt, technical malfunction, etc.).

4. Why would you want to remove the rear sunshade device ?

5. Auto door lock: It is normal that when you unlock one door, the others remain closed. Safety feature...again. I'm not sure but I think this can be programmed (if not through the PCM, PiWiS could do the trick, talk to your dealer).

6. PCM is poorly designed? I'm a tekkie and have tons of devices at my home and in my pocket and I find the PCM to be quite good. I wish the display would be larger but otherwise, it is actually a pretty solid piece of technology. Maybe the radio functions (I don't listen to radio) are poorly designed because nobody actually listens to radio ? Just saying...the last time I listened to radio was months ago.

7. Settings are usually saved to the entry key too. So if you use your wife's key or the second key, the memory setting is gone. Just saying...

8. Sport/Sport Plus mode always returns to normal for safety and liability issues. Just imagine what happens if your wife starts in winter time in Sport Plus mode...on an icy road. Safety...again. I actually don't know any car with a sport mode which does act differently.

9. The controls on the steering wheel are limited because...just say it...right...safety. This has been determined during development by experts who know a lot about psychology and ergonomics.

It is interesting that you actually complaint mostly about...safety features.

I don't know how old you are, I am 46 and the Panamera Turbo S will be my 8th Porsche and probably my 30th car or so but you are wrong, sorry to say that. The Panamera has been designed exactly the way it is and considering how much money (over a billion Euro) and effort Porsche put into this car, it is an excellent product.

I actually have only two complaints about the Panamera: It is too expensive and the design, especially in the rear, is debatable. Everything else is close to perfection, like it or not.
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan993 View Post
Some of your issues are due to improper programming or misunderstanding of the functions (such as the memory and entry drive features). For more information on the operation of your car, beyond the owners manual, order the After Sales Training Manual #PNA PNM 001. There may be a newer version available. I obtained this manual before my car was delivered and have been able to avoid some of the issues you note.

Also, the memory functions have been discussed many times on this and other forums. If your settings are reverting to default each time, you have not saved them properly to the seat settings, then to the key. The publication mentioned has great detail on this and many other systems.
Unfortunately you are 100% right. Many owners don't read the manual (my wife doesn't even know that there is a manual ) but they start complaining about this and that without actually knowing how to properly operate the car.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:33 PM
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I concur 100% with Rennteam.

The only major complaint about the Panamera is the cost!!
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:51 PM
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My only complaint was that I needed a engine replacement on my P4S before I made my first payment. THe dealer was great and provided a P turbo for the 3 weeks it took to get the work completed. I put 1,250 miles on the car. Sure was fun.
The only other PITA was the trunk hatch thing. Still love the ugly thing.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:27 PM
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I've owned 5 different Porsche versions and found each to be satisfactory. Reading the manual would help with many of your "issues" and a little thought about the designer's logic in doing things a certain way would help understanding design features. As for oil consumption, that may be an individual issue because I run about 3500 miles per qrt having followed the breakin procedure to the letter. I habitually have my used oil analyzed and find no evidence of unusual wear characteristics. I find the PDK works very well and have not discovered any bad habits, perhaps your footwork between the brake and gas pedals is upsetting the computer.

As for the "intuitive" part, since people tend to be different, just how would you define a"universal" intuitive device?
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:37 PM
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thanks for your insight, i appreciate your time. here are my additions...

Originally Posted by Rennteam View Post
I usually read the posts and don't reply but since I think you are wrong with many things you wrote, I try to shed some light into this:

1. The trunk opener button works the way it works for safety reasons. It isn't poorly designed, this is the way it is supposed to work. Just imagine you open the trunk while the garage door of your garage is closing. Just imagine the trunk closes and your kid has stilll his head or only a hand inside the trunk. Safety first.

TJ--perhaps you misunderstand me, i only mean the button in the car should work with the motor off and work like the button on the remote. the safety sensors are great.


2. Oil consumption varies on driving style and running in style. If you didn't respect the running in guidelines, it is very likely that your engine burns more oil. I agree that the oil consumption could be better but it isn't really that bad. I had to fill up one liter of oil in my Cayenne Turbo...every 1000 km.

very well could be. thanks.


3. The sunroof can be "adjusted", maybe the sealing isn't OK either. Check with your dealership. It is also possible that the sunroof isn't completely closed (dirt, technical malfunction, etc.).

TJ--the buffeting is when its open o the last 1/8th and when fully open once the car is doing about 30 mph. none of my other cars have this problem except at high speed.

4. Why would you want to remove the rear sunshade device ?

TJ--i need to remove the rear sunshade device to expand the trunk when moving large items, like suitcases.


5. Auto door lock: It is normal that when you unlock one door, the others remain closed. Safety feature...again. I'm not sure but I think this can be programmed (if not through the PCM, PiWiS could do the trick, talk to your dealer).

TJ--thanks.

6. PCM is poorly designed? I'm a tekkie and have tons of devices at my home and in my pocket and I find the PCM to be quite good. I wish the display would be larger but otherwise, it is actually a pretty solid piece of technology. Maybe the radio functions (I don't listen to radio) are poorly designed because nobody actually listens to radio ? Just saying...the last time I listened to radio was months ago.

TJ--the PCM works well, it just requires me to pay too attention to it to use it. it should be more intuitive, like the Command system in the MB. Their system doesnt even require me to look down after just a few uses. if you haven't tried, you should...esp if you're a gadget guy.

7. Settings are usually saved to the entry key too. So if you use your wife's key or the second key, the memory setting is gone. Just saying...

TJ--that IS what i mean. it doesn't save to the same key so when i come back the next time, all setting change from the last time i drove, regardless if anyone else uses the car.

8. Sport/Sport Plus mode always returns to normal for safety and liability issues. Just imagine what happens if your wife starts in winter time in Sport Plus mode...on an icy road. Safety...again. I actually don't know any car with a sport mode which does act differently.

9. The controls on the steering wheel are limited because...just say it...right...safety. This has been determined during development by experts who know a lot about psychology and ergonomics.

TJ--good point.


It is interesting that you actually complaint mostly about...safety features.

I don't know how old you are, I am 46 and the Panamera Turbo S will be my 8th Porsche and probably my 30th car or so but you are wrong, sorry to say that. The Panamera has been designed exactly the way it is and considering how much money (over a billion Euro) and effort Porsche put into this car, it is an excellent product.

I actually have only two complaints about the Panamera: It is too expensive and the design, especially in the rear, is debatable. Everything else is close to perfection, like it or not.
agreed. the car is too expensive for what it is. but somehow i dont mind that anymore =)
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:40 PM
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continuing thanks to everyone. i don't knock the car, i like mine very much. my goal is simply to provide relevant information because the Panamera is such an investment. keep it coming...
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by toejam357 View Post
a. The trunk opener button only opens the hatchback, but it will not close it. The button must be held down until the hatchback is fully raised because if you let go, it will stop where it is. Also, the button only works when the car is full ON. NOTE: if you use the remote’s button, it will open fully on one touch…dumb.

b. The car burns oil continuously. Every 1300 miles or so, I get a “low oil” warning and I have to top up. I currently have 8,000 miles and it still goes on.

c. The sunroof suffers from severe wind buffeting.

d. The rear sunshade device is extremely cumbersome to remove. you will need to open both rear doors and the trunk lid in order to remove it.

e. Auto door lock – when the doors are locked and one of the doors are unlocked, the system does not then unlock all the other doors. Example: the doors are locked and exit to get something from the back seat. After exiting, the rear door is not automatically unlocked so I have to craw back into the front, press the “unlock” button and go back the rear again. I believe the car should have just unlocked all doors when I got out the first time…

f. The PCM is poorly designed.

i. In the radio there are 3 sets of 6 presets. To toggle these it requires pressing “presets” and select “1,2 or 3”. With so much screen space, they could have put more buttons on the screen or the “tuner” hard button could have done the toggling.

ii. I set the PCM radio stations and customize the dash display. I then save the settings with memory#2. When I return to the car the next day, all the settings are reset to default.

g. Entry Drive feature -- The memory settings are separate from the key dongle. This means when you use your dongle to unlock the car, it does not engage either memory#1 or #2, but rather has a mysterious default. It doesn’t even keep the last used settings(??)


II. Issues I find dumb but don’t really bother me too much:

a. Normal/ Sport/ Sport Plus modes – the car defaults in Normal mode every time you start the motor. You cannot set to Sport and have it remain in that setting.
Since the car is billed as a 4-door sports car with luxury touches (but its an epic fail at being anything close to a luxury car) it should default in Sport mode and let drivers change it to Normal or Sport Plus as desired.

b. the PDK transmission has an annoying lag and is not smooth. This cause the car to be unpredictable and jerky, in all modes.

c. You have to move the front seats to lower the rear seats.

d. All the control buttons are not sensitive enough so you have make deliberate presses. Again, this makes the car feel cheap and poorly executed.

e. The car does not automatically lower the ride height at high speeds. You have manually press the Sport Plus button. The should lower itself whenever the spoiler deploys, I think.

f. The cruise control stalk is on the lower left of the steering column. On my Boxster its on the lower right, which is a better location because it is easily confused for the turn signal. They should keep it consistent and leave it on the right side.

g. The controls on the steering wheel should do more.

The list may seem long, but overall I still like my Pan S very much. When you drive it hard, it performs well. I only wish it was better executed, especially for the price. When people ask me how I like my car, I tell them its like a bimbo: pretty to look at, fun to be with, but no brains at all.

Good luck with your informed purchase!


*My background: this is my 2nd Porsche. My 987 boxter S made me a big fan of Porsche and it is a really good car. The Panamera dampens my respect for Porsche quite a bit and I may not buy another “non Stuttgart” Porsche.
IA I agree, my Audi (same WV group) has the same button in the same place, but it opens at the press of the button. To add to your complaint, the button only works when the cars power is on, in the Audi it works also without the power off (when I need it the most). The similarity with Audi is seen that all the steering wheel buttons and the stalks are similar and in the same place, but they have reversed the functions, so that when I change from the Q5 to the PTT, I am going crazy with the volume, cruise control. Feg the button that washes the hedlights in the P-car, is the menu toggle button in the AUdi.

IB Powerful cars use oil. My M5 was a horrible drinker and the E55 AMG used oil too, that said my PTT hasent used oil for 5k km.

1D I used 15mins to get mine out in pouring raintrying to get a baby chair in. On the upside its real easy to insert back.

1Fi Yes, I would like more stations and I would also like the clock insted of the temp on the lower right corner

2A I dont find the SPort plus thing so irrittating as it is true that this might be a safety issue. BUT WHY DOES THE CAR NOT REMEMBER IF I WANT THE SPORTS EXHAUST TO BE ON!!!!!!!!!!!????????????

2B The PDK is really smooth, is there something wrong with your car?

2C This has to be done in every car that I have owned...

2F As mentioned above, I think this is a WV group thing =use same parts

The boot is odd shaped and ok the car could be more practical, but there is no competition. You cant compare this car with saloon cars. This is a sportscar (powerkit turbo beat a 997.1tt on the Sachsenring). This solved all my problems (ok I would need the 5th seat, why is that not an option?) of the 911 and the only car I can think of that is even close to this is the Ferrari FF, and I bet that is less usable from day to day than the Panny.

After all the whining I have done about this car, its still the best car I have ever owned!
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:17 PM
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To answer your question with a question, where would a fifth seat go? The tunnel between the seats houses the drive shaft, to eliminate the tunnel would require raising the entire car's profile upsetting the handling, etc. A good reason for Porsche's SUV.
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