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STYLING | 7 out of 10
Certainly not a four door 911
some people will love and others will loathe" the design
More center stack buttons than a button factory
With the 2010 Panamera sedan, Porsche fills out its lineup with a truly spacious four-door that makes few compromises in its search for buyers seeking shattering power, great handling, and real room for four adults. It's no four-door coupe, like the Aston Martin Rapide or the Mercedes-Benz CLS, but a true "gran turismo."
Styling is a major controversy point. TheCarConnection.com's editors and reviewers from around the Web find the shape awkward. The Panamera's front fenders and rear lines help create a low drag coefficient, and rounded headlamps and tapered tail lamps render traditional details handsomely. The front end is low-but the rear roofline isn't, which makes the Panamera seem out of proportion, even in darker tones. Despite the obvious comparisons to Porsche's iconic 911, Edmunds says that the Panamera "isn't a four-door 911 - the engine's in the front, for one thing - but the 911's spirit is alive and kicking" in the Panamera, a common sentiment among reviewers surveyed by TheCarConnection.com. Edmunds also calls it an "undeniably sleek and sporty automobile," but others don't share that enthusiasm. Motor Trend in particular points out that "the controversial exterior styling is still awkward from side on," although they do concede that, "on the road, in the traffic, it's a striking looking car." Cars.com is less polite, griping that what Porsche has done "isn't styling - this is some kind of weird enlargement surgery you go to South America for."
The Panamera's cabin is a blend of leather, wood, and plastic, with a little too much of the last. Porsche's ignition sits to the left of the steering wheel, which itself comes from the 911, but most of the rest of the dash touches on new styling themes that aren't always successful. Wide flanks of buttons surround the console and overhead controls, giving them gills-a strange touch when the wood and leather lend an appealing 1970s flair that's executed even better in the console separating the rear seats. The control stalks on the column feel wiggly and out of touch with the rest of the quality pieces, too. Edmunds laments that there are "more center stack buttons than a button factory." Motor Trend reports that the 2010 Porsche Panamera's cabin "is truly gorgeous," combining materials and styling elements "in ways that will have Audi's interior designers sitting up and taking notice." Cars.com adds that the "four-seat interior design is the best on the market," while Autoblog christens the cockpit "unique and innovative." Several other reviewers return to the Edmunds criticism of the interior layout, although Autoblog notes that, "while intimidating at first glance, the sea of buttons are logically placed into quadrants" according to function, and "after some familiarization, their individual operations are readily absorbed."
The 2010 Porsche Panamera is ungainly from the outside, but more beautiful inside.