2019 Porsche Panamera vs. 2018 Audi A6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Panamera has standard Porsche Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A6 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Panamera and the A6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, night vision systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The Panamera has more powerful engines than the A6:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Panamera 3.0 turbo V6

330 HP

331 lbs.-ft.

Panamera 4S 2.9 turbo V6

440 HP

405 lbs.-ft.

Panamera GTS 4.0 turbo V8

453 HP

457 lbs.-ft.

Panamera 4 E-Hybrid 2.9 turbo V6

462 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

Panamera Turbo 4.0 turbo V8

550 HP

567 lbs.-ft.

Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid 4.0 turbo V8

680 HP

626 lbs.-ft.

A6 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

252 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

A6 3.0T 3.0 supercharged V6

340 HP

325 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Porsche Panamera turbo V6 is faster than the A6 3.0T 3.0 supercharged V6:

 

Panamera

A6

Zero to 30 MPH

1.8 sec

1.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5.4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

7.5 sec

8.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.6 sec

13.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.5 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

13.3 sec

13.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107 MPH

102 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the A6 2.0T 8-spd Auto Quattro (48 city/51 hwy vs. 22 city/31 hwy).

The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 31 miles. The A6 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Panamera Turbo’s fuel efficiency. The A6 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regenerative brakes improve the Panamera’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A6 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The Panamera E Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the A6 (21.1 vs. 19.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Panamera’s standard fuel tank has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the A6 (23.7 vs. 19.8 gallons).

Transmission

The Panamera’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The A6 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Panamera’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A6:

 

Panamera Base

Panamera

A6 2.0T

A6 3.0T

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

16.5 inches

13.6 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

16.1 inches

13 inches

13 inches

The Panamera’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the A6 2.0T are solid, not vented.

The Panamera offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The A6 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Panamera stops much shorter than the A6:

 

Panamera

A6

 

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

101 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Panamera has larger standard tires than the A6 (F:265/45R19 & R:295/40R19 vs. 245/45R18). The Panamera’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A6 (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 255/40R19).

The Panamera’s standard 295/40R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A6’s standard 45 series tires. The Panamera’s optional 315/30R21 rear tires have a lower 30 series profile than the A6’s optional 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Panamera has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the A6. The Panamera’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the A6.

Suspension and Handling

The Panamera offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The A6 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The Panamera offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Audi doesn’t offer an active suspension on the A6.

The Panamera offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The A6’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Panamera has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Panamera’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The A6 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Panamera’s wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer than on the A6 (116.1 inches vs. 114.6 inches). The Panamera Executive’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the A6 (122 inches vs. 114.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Panamera is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than the track on the A6.

The Panamera 4S handles at 1.01 G’s, while the A6 2.0T Premium Quattro pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Panamera Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.9 seconds quicker than the A6 2.0T Premium Quattro (23.9 seconds @ .86 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the Panamera uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The A6 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Panamera offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A6 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Panamera Turbo is quieter than the A6 3.0T Premium Plus Quattro (75 vs. 77 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Panamera 4dr Hatchback a Large car, while the A6 is rated a Mid-size.

The Panamera has 10.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A6 (108 vs. 97.2).

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Panamera’s available rear seats recline. The A6’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Panamera has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the A6 (17.6 vs. 14.1 cubic feet).

The Panamera 4dr Hatchback has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the A6 (18.3 vs. 14.1 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Panamera’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The A6 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Audi is ranked third.

Ergonomics

The Panamera’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The A6 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Panamera offers an optional rear wiper. The A6 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Panamera offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The A6 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

When the Panamera is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The A6’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the Panamera’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The A6 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The Panamera offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The A6 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Porsche Panamera comes in four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Audi A6 isn’t available as a station wagon.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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