2019 Porsche Panamera vs. 2019 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Porsche Panamera are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Panamera and 6 Series Gran Coupe have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Panamera offers optional power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The 6 Series Gran Coupe’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Panamera has standard front and rear seat side-impact airbags and head airbags, which act as a forgiving barrier between the passengers and the door. Combined with high-strength steel door beams this system increases protection from broadside collisions. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn't offer rear-seat side-impact airbags, only ones for front seat occupants.

Both the Panamera and the 6 Series Gran Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Panamera has more powerful engines than the 6 Series Gran Coupe:

 

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.

640i Gran Coupe 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

315 HP

332 lbs.-ft.

650i Gran Coupe 4.4 turbo V8

443 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

M6 Gran Coupe 4.4 turbo V8

552 HP

502 lbs.-ft.

Alpina B6 Gran Coupe 4.4 turbo V8

591 HP

590 lbs.-ft.

M6 Gran Coupe Competition 4.4 turbo V8

592 HP

502 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Porsche Panamera turbo V6 is faster than the 640i Gran Coupe 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. (automatics tested):

 

Panamera

6 Series Gran Coupe

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.6 sec

15.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.5 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

13.3 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107 MPH

97 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 640i Gran Coupe Auto xDrive (48 city/51 hwy vs. 19 city/28 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Panamera 4S 4 Auto 2.9 twin turbo V6 gets better city fuel mileage than the 640i Gran Coupe xDrive (21 city/28 hwy vs. 19 city/28 hwy).

The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 31 miles. The 6 Series Gran Coupe 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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Panamera E Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 6 Series Gran Coupe’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Panamera’s standard fuel tank has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 6 Series Gran Coupe M6’s standard fuel tank (23.7 vs. 21.1 gallons).

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 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe (1 to 3). This means the Panamera produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 6 Series Gran Coupe every 15,000 miles.

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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Panamera’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the 6 Series Gran Coupe:

 

Panamera Base

Panamera

640i/650i

M6 w/Carbon Brakes

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

16.5 inches

13.7 inches

16.1 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

16.1 inches

13.6 inches

15.6 inches

The Panamera stops much shorter than the 6 Series Gran Coupe:

 

Panamera

6 Series Gran Coupe

 

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

101 feet

108 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Panamera has larger standard tires than the 6 Series Gran Coupe (F:265/45R19 & R:295/40R19 vs. 245/45R18). The Panamera’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 6 Series Gran Coupe (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. F:265/35R20 & R:295/30R20).

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 640i Gran Coupe’s standard 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Panamera has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the 640i Gran Coupe. The Panamera’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the 6 Series Gran Coupe.

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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Panamera is 2 inches wider in the front than the average track on the 6 Series Gran Coupe.

The Panamera Turbo handles at 1.00 G’s, while the 640i Gran Coupe pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Panamera Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the 650i Gran Coupe (23.9 seconds @ .86 average G’s vs. 25.5 seconds @ .77 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Panamera’s turning circle is tighter than the 6 Series Gran Coupe’s:

 

Panamera

6 Series Gran Coupe

SWB 4dr Hatchback

39 feet

39.2 feet

LWB 4dr Hatchback

40.7 feet

n/a

AWDSWB 4dr Hatchback

39 feet

39.2 feet

AWD LWB 4dr Hatchback

40.7 feet

n/a

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 6 Series Gran Coupe 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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Panamera Turbo is quieter than the 640i Gran Coupe (64 vs. 69 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Panamera 4dr Hatchback a Large car, while the 6 Series Gran Coupe is rated a Compact.

The Panamera has 11 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 6 Series Gran Coupe (108 vs. 97).

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Panamera’s available rear seats recline. The 6 Series Gran Coupe’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Panamera has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the 6 Series Gran Coupe with its rear seat up (17.6 vs. 12 cubic feet). The Panamera has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the 6 Series Gran Coupe with its rear seat folded (47.3 vs. 44.6 cubic feet).

The Panamera 4dr Hatchback has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the 6 Series Gran Coupe with its rear seat up (18.3 vs. 12 cubic feet). The Panamera 4dr Hatchback has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the 6 Series Gran Coupe with its rear seat folded (49 vs. 44.6 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Panamera’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Panamera has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in service department satisfaction. With a 17% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.

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 6 Series Gran Coupe 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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the Panamera’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The 6 Series Gran Coupe 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 6 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

The Panamera will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Panamera will retain 42.42% to 48.11% of its original price after five years, while the 6 Series Gran Coupe only retains 36.57% to 37.86%.

Recommendations

The Porsche Panamera outsold the BMW 6 Series by over two to one during 2018.

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

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