The Panamera offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The RS 7 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.
Both the Panamera and the RS 7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Panamera third among large premium cars in their 2013 Initial Quality Study. The RS 7 isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 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 first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 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 53 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 23rd.
In a Motor Trend race course test, the Porsche Panamera Turbo 4 was clocked 1.62 seconds faster than the Audi RS 7 (82.68 sec. vs. 84.3 sec.).
On the EPA test cycle the Panamera S E-Hybrid running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the RS 7 (23 city/29 hwy vs. 16 city/27 hwy).
The Panamera S E-Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The RS 7 must run its internal combustion engine to move.
Regenerative brakes improve the Panamera’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RS 7 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
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 RS 7 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The Panamera Hybrid/V6/S RWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the RS 7 (21.1 vs. 19.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Panamera S4/GTS/Turbo’s standard fuel tank has 6.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the RS 7 (26.4 vs. 19.8 gallons).
For better stopping power the Panamera Turbo/GTS’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the RS 7:
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 RS 7 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.
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 RS 7.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Panamera’s wheelbase is .2 inches longer than on the RS 7 (115 inches vs. 114.8 inches). The Panamera Executive’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the RS 7 (120.9 feet vs. 114.8 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Panamera is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the RS 7.
The Panamera Turbo 4 handles at 1.03 G’s, while the RS 7 pulls only .95 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Panamera Turbo 4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the RS 7 (23.7 seconds @ .87 average G’s vs. 24.2 seconds @ .83 average G’s).
The Porsche Panamera may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 550 pounds less than the Audi RS 7.
The Panamera has 4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RS 7 (98 vs. 94).
The Panamera has 1.1 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom and 1.6 inches more rear headroom than the RS 7.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Panamera’s available rear seats recline. The RS 7’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Panamera offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The RS 7 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
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 RS 7 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 RS 7 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 RS 7 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
A power rear sunshade is optional in the Panamera to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The RS 7 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.
To help keep rear passengers entertained, the Panamera offers optional rear seat controls for the radio which can play a separate audio source. The RS 7 doesn’t offer rear seat audio controls.
Optional Online Services for the Panamera allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including playing internet radio stations, finding fuel prices at nearby service stations, searching the internet and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The RS 7 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 RS 7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its March 2014 issue and the Porsche Panamera Turbo 4 won out over the Audi RS 7.