2019 Porsche Panamera vs. 2018 Bentley Flying Spur

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Panamera has standard manual and offers available power remote child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors (the driver can activate and deactivate the power version from the front seat). The Flying Spur doesn’t offer child safety locks.

The Panamera offers available whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Panamera offers optional Porsche Active Safe, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Flying Spur doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Panamera helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard and even aims one of the vehicle’s headlights in the direction of the person or object. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The Panamera’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Panamera offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Flying Spur only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Panamera’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

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 Flying Spur 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 Flying Spur have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver 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 and front and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

The Panamera comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Flying Spur’s 3-year basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.

The Panamera’s corrosion warranty is 9 years longer than the Flying Spur’s (12 vs. 3 years).

There are over 4 times as many Porsche dealers as there are Bentley dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Panamera’s warranty.

Engine

The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid ’s 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 54 more horsepower (680 vs. 626) and 21 lbs.-ft. more torque (626 vs. 605) than the Flying Spur W12 S’ optional 6.0 turbo 12 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Panamera 4S 2.9 turbo V6 is faster than the Flying Spur W12 6.0 turbo 12 cyl.:

 

Panamera

Flying Spur

Zero to 30 MPH

1.3 sec

1.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3.8 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

6.4 sec

7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.9 sec

11.2 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2 sec

2.1 sec

Quarter Mile

12.3 sec

12.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111.3 MPH

107 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 Flying Spur V8 (48 city/51 hwy vs. 13 city/22 hwy).

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

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the Panamera’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Bentley only offers a regenerative brake system on the Flying Spur V8.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Panamera’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Flying Spur doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Porsche Panamera higher (3 to 5 out of 10) than the Bentley Flying Spur (1 to 3). This means the Panamera produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Flying Spur every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Panamera offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual 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 Flying Spur doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The Panamera stops shorter than the Flying Spur:

 

Panamera

Flying Spur

 

60 to 0 MPH

101 feet

106 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the Panamera has larger standard rear tires than the Flying Spur (295/40R19 vs. 275/45R19). The Panamera’s optional rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the Flying Spur (315/35R20 vs. 275/45R19).

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 Flying Spur’s standard 45 series tires. The Panamera’s optional 315/30R21 rear tires have a lower 30 series profile than the Flying Spur’s optional 35 series tires.

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 Flying Spur 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. Bentley doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Flying Spur.

The Panamera 4S handles at 1.01 G’s, while the Flying Spur W12 pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Panamera Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.3 seconds quicker than the Flying Spur W12 (23.9 seconds @ .86 average G’s vs. 26.2 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Panamera’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Flying Spur’s (39 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

The Porsche Panamera may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 1350 pounds less than the Bentley Flying Spur.

The Panamera is 9.7 inches shorter than the Flying Spur, making the Panamera easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces. The Panamera Executive is 3.8 inches shorter than the Flying Spur.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Panamera has standard flush composite headlights. The Flying Spur has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

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 Flying Spur 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 Flying Spur doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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

The Panamera has 6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Flying Spur (108 vs. 102).

Cargo Capacity

The Panamera has a larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Flying Spur (17.6 vs. 16.7 cubic feet).

The Panamera 4dr Hatchback has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Flying Spur (18.3 vs. 16.7 cubic feet).

The Panamera’s available rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Panamera’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Panamera to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes and vehicle inspection based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Bentley doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Flying Spur.

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 Flying Spur 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 Flying Spur doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Panamera detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Panamera has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Panamera also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The Panamera’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Flying Spur’s power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

Standard Connect Plus for the Panamera allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, finding fuel prices at nearby service stations, searching the internet, following twitter accounts and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

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 Flying Spur doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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

The Panamera is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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

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