The Panamera offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The S7 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 S7 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, front and rear parking sensors, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Panamera first among large premium cars in their 2014 Initial Quality Study. The S7 isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 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 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 11th.
The Panamera S E-Hybrid’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6 hybrid produces 29 lbs.-ft. more torque (435 vs. 406) than the S7’s 4.0 turbo V8.The Panamera Turbo S’ standard 4.8 turbo V8 produces 120 more horsepower (570 vs. 450) and 184 lbs.-ft. more torque (590 vs. 406) than the S7’s 4.0 turbo V8.
The Panamera S E-Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 16 miles. The S7 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 S7 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 S7 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 S7 (21.1 vs. 19.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Panamera’s optional fuel tank has 6.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the S7 (26.4 vs. 19.8 gallons).
For better stopping power the Panamera Turbo/GTS’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the S7:
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 S7 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.
For better traction and acceleration, the Panamera has larger standard rear tires than the S7 (275/45R18 vs. 255/40R19). The Panamera’s optional rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the S7 (295/35R20 vs. 265/35R20).
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 S7.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Panamera’s wheelbase is .3 inches longer than on the S7 (115 inches vs. 114.7 inches). The Panamera Executive’s wheelbase is 6.2 inches longer than on the S7 (120.9 feet vs. 114.7 inches).
The Panamera Turbo 4 handles at 1.03 G’s, while the S7 pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Panamera Turbo 4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the S7 (23.7 seconds @ .87 average G’s vs. 24.8 seconds @ .81 average G’s).
The Porsche Panamera may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 600 pounds less than the Audi S7.
The Panamera has 4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S7 (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 S7.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Panamera’s available rear seats recline. The S7’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 S7 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 S7 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 S7 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.
A power rear sunshade is optional in the Panamera to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The S7 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.
Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the Panamera’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The S7 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 S7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Porsche Panamera won the Check it Out award in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The Audi S7 didn't win any award.