Five-Point Inspection: 2014 Porsche Panamera 4S

Five-Point Inspection: 2014 Porsche Panamera 4S

4. Must-Have Options

By purchasing the premium package, you add parking aid systems that sound a tone any time you come closer to something than the car is programmed to be comfortable with.

It’s precise enough to help you squeeze into spaces the car really shouldn’t slot into, but you’ll probably be grateful to have it for more than tight parking spaces.

That package also includes a rear-view camera as most cars do today. Ignoring the fact that Porsche charges for something (many things, actually) that should be standard equipment, the camera seems like an engineering afterthought.

It’s as if Porsche set out to design the Panamera, finished the job and was thoroughly pleased with the product. But the thought of polluting it with idiot-proofing equipment sat with Stuttgart like stale beer.

It becomes painfully obvious that the Panamera was only designed to drive in one direction as soon as you try to use the obligatory electronic eye to back up.

Anyone buying the all-wheel drive model probably drives in the snow at some point in the year. From first snowfall until the seasonal shift, the camera is covered in road sludge and rendered useless.

You should also seriously consider paying for the air suspension if you think there’s a chance you might need to park in a garage with a steep ramp. Take it from me, there’s something especially painful about sanding the chin of a car that costs six figures.