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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 M5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
Both the Panamera and M5 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 M5’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 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 M5 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
Both the Panamera and the M5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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.
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.
The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid ’s 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 63 more horsepower (680 vs. 617) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (626 vs. 553) than the M5 Competition’s optional 4.4 turbo V8.
On the EPA test cycle the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the M5 (48 city/51 hwy vs. 15 city/21 hwy).
The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 31 miles. The M5 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 M5 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
The Panamera E Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has a gallon more fuel capacity than the M5 (21.1 vs. 20.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Panamera’s standard fuel tank has 3.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the M5 (23.7 vs. 20.1 gallons).
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 M5 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.
For better stopping power the Panamera’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the M5:
For better traction and acceleration, the Panamera has larger standard rear tires than the M5 (295/40R19 vs. 285/40R19). The Panamera’s optional rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the M5 (315/35R20 vs. 285/40R19).
The Panamera’s optional 315/30R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the M5’s optional 35 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Panamera offers optional 21-inch wheels. The M5’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.
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 M5 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. BMW doesn’t offer an active suspension on the M5.
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 M5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Panamera is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the M5.
The Panamera’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.2% to 48.8%) than the M5’s (54.7% to 45.3%). This gives the Panamera more stable handling and braking.
The Panamera Turbo handles at 1.00 G’s, while the M5 pulls only .98 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
For better maneuverability, the Panamera’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the M5’s (39 feet vs. 41.3 feet). The Panamera Executive’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the M5’s (40.7 feet vs. 41.3 feet).
The Porsche Panamera may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 350 pounds less than the BMW M5.
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 M5 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 M5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Panamera Turbo is quieter than the M5:
70 MPH Cruising
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Panamera’s available rear seats recline. The M5’s rear seats don’t recline.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Panamera’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The M5 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
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.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Panamera offers an optional rear wiper. The M5 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 M5 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 M5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Porsche Panamera comes in four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the BMW M5 isn’t available as a station wagon.
The Panamera is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The M5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
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