Well guys - it's been 14 months now since defecting to the Porsche world. I have mixed feelings about it.
As a recap - my most recent E39 M5 was a pristine Imola red 2003 that I purchased in AZ with 47K miles, and I drove the car for 6 years and 60K miles. During that time I added a Dinan exhaust and did some regular maintenance - things like CPS, TPS, spark plugs and some odds and ends. Didn't really need much over that time, but when I sold it the suspension needed to be refreshed. The new owner was a local SF Bay Area guy and has kept the car up cosmetically and since addressed the suspension refresh. Was really a fantastic car to own for those 6 years and zero regrets - really the best daily driver / all arounder ever made in my view.
Pics of the road trip driving it home, and as it was delivered to new owner 6 years and 60K miles later:
But I felt it was time to move on - I don't normally keep cars beyond 3-4 years, so was already double my normal time. I thought about going the distance with it and refreshing the suspension and doing a full sound system overhaul - but my need for a daily had changed - currently I work from home. I do travel up into the main silicon valley area on a weekly basis but no longer daily, and I found myself tending to drive the Camaro SS convertible when nice weather and my truck when weather was bad.
So the one thing I was missing from the stable was a good long haul road trip car. Sure - the M5 is pretty good at this - but I wanted something with a better ride, more interior space for luggage and bikes, and most importantly better audio sound and technology. So I looked around and almost grabbed a CPO 550i Msport, but for $12K more ended up with a CPO 2013 Panamera S with only 24K miles.
So what are my impressions now? Well it's been 14 months and I have mixed feelings about the car. 7K miles added. It's been a fantastic road trip car - no doubt about that. Filled that role in the stable with flying colors. Ride is fantastic - seats are awesome - overall the interior is just amazing and the audio system is killer - has the 2nd level audio package which is from Bose - very impressive system for a factory one. Performance is better than expected - handles better than an E39 M5 - no joke, it really does - it dances and grips with no drama and feels just like a 911 sedan would when driven hard - but very quiet and stable and comfortable when cruising on the highway. Quite an impressive car.
So what are the downsides? Well - luckily it's a CPO car as it had a few issues - cam advance solenoid was acting up so that got replaced, front control arm bushings made noise - got new ones, some trailing arm cradle in the back suspension cracked - that was the big one as it was a rather expensive part. Nothing electrical - all that has worked flawlessly. Car is now completely sorted and working like a new one.
So other than more weeks in the shop than I would have liked, and they gave me a loaner, so no big deal - the biggest issue I have with the car is depreciation. I wasn't expecting it to be on a E39 M5 curve mind you. Bought the car for $52K - was expecting it to lose $6K / year and my plan was to sell it after 4 years. Well with the CPO running out in a year and the issues it had I decided to see if I could get out clean with a $6K loss. Nope. Currently have the car listed at $44K but it's probably worth $40-42K depending on the buyer. So it doubled my depreciation estimate for the first year. But now I'm taking a step back and realizing - it can't continue on that pace or it would be worth zero in a few years. That won't happen. I am just in a bad part of the curve right now - 1 year into a 2 year CPO and the car went from 5 years old to 6 years old. But it has very low miles, and with the items already addressed under CPO seems to be a very solid car. So I'm now thinking the best thing to do isn't dump it early, but ride it out and stick to the original plan and keep it 4 years, maybe even 5. At that point the car will still only have 60K miles or less with my usage level - and mostly highway driving at that. And my estimation on value at that time is mid $20K's - seems like a 60K mile V8 Pano S in great condition will be worth that even at 10 years old. Anyway that brings me back into my $6K / year depreciation range which I am comfortable with.
I considered swapping it for a CPO F10 535i or a E90 M3 sedan or even a E34 M5. But overall cost / year of owning the first two will not be significantly less, and the Pano is still a much better road trip car than either one. E34 M5 would be a different animal - the way those are going might even make money. But then it feels like I have 3 toys rather than a regular car and 2 toys. I dunno. Might still go that route if I get a bite at the right price for this one!
But for now the plan is ride it out another few years and hope for the best on the repair front. No regular maintenance will be due in the next 3 years, just the 60K mile service which isn't that big of a deal for DIY anyway - plugs, filters, etc. Biggest thing is PDK fluid - but again that's DIY and $200 worth of factory fluid - no big deal.
I don't see going back to a E39 M5 - unless I found a killer S2 or something with the Dinan wheels - that would probably get me back into the fold. And I would still need to address the audio situation.