Porsche recently invited FlatSixes to drive its latest creation, the all-electric Taycan 4 Cross Turismo. As great as the standard Taycan sedan is, we actually prefer the wagon version, as it gives up very little in dynamic enjoyment, while providing much more daily livability for you and your family. In addition to hauling butt, you can also haul everything you need for a long weekend away, or even a cross-country road trip for four adults and maybe even a dog. Other companies are trying to build electric cars, but Porsche is trying to build electric Porsches. This isn’t only the best electric car we’ve ever driven, it might be the best Porsche we’ve ever driven. Here’s a list of five reasons why we think that might be the case.
If you’re not familiar with the Cross Turismo model of the Taycan, they’re being shipped to dealerships right now, so here’s the crash course on what makes it tick. In order to sell wagons these days, manufacturers need to be able to tell customers that they’re crossovers. For that reason, Porsche has fitted the long-roof Taycan with some plastic body cladding around the wheel wells, on the front and rear bumpers, and the lower rocker panel. The company has also lifted the car by 20 millimeters (about three quarters of an inch). Unlike the sedan, the Cross Turismo is only available with all-wheel drive, and it comes standard with the larger 93.4 kWh Performance Battery Plus, as well as air suspension, a panoramic sunroof, and roof rails. It’s a simple formula, but it works really well.
1. It’s great to drive, on road and off
This should come as no surprise to those of you who have read our reviews of the Taycan in the past, but it’s really good. It’s as dynamically engaging as a Porsche sports car, it’s as comfortable and relaxing to drive as a Porsche luxury sedan, it’s as scary quick as a Porsche supercar, and it is as inexpensive to operate every day as the most stripped back economy car. You don’t sacrifice anything with the Taycan, because while it is a big heavy car, it carries all of that weight down low and inside the wheelbase. You definitely notice it has some heft to it, especially under hard braking, but it grips and rolls through a corner as if it were a long-wheelbase 718 Cayman GT4 with even more power. Which is fitting, because I have it on good authority that the Taycan’s suspension and dynamics tuning were the task of the same team who worked on the 718.
Personally, I prefer the dynamic engagement of the rear-wheel drive sedan model, as it is a bit lighter with a smaller battery and no front motor, leading to a bit better steering and road holding. But, if you need to carry full-sized adults, you’ll want the wagon, as the extended roofline means people over six feet can comfortably sit in the back seat without feeling like they’re being penalized. For most people who have families, you’ll appreciate the extra room, as cargo space is positively massive whether the seats are down or not.
While you might feel a smidgen more dive under braking or body roll through the corners in the Cross Turismo than the slightly lower sedan, it’s far from an unmanageable mess. Porsche has a lot of trick electronics controlling the car’s weight at all times, and the air suspension is a modern marvel of automotive engineering. Unless you’re driving the two back to back, it’s unlikely you’ll notice much of a difference at all. With all-wheel drive, you’ll certainly get more grip out of the corners. The bigger and heavier battery is a slight minus, but considering the range you gain with this standard feature, it’s a trade off many of us would opt for anyway.
What little you lose in on-road dynamics, you gain in off-road performance. While the car I tested was fitted with grippy summer tires, it was still more than capable of traversing a rocky and gravel-filled mountain fire road. With the press of a button, the car was shifted into Gravel Mode, which lifted the suspension to its maximum height, dampened the throttle input, and shifted torque application to avoid wheel spin at inopportune moments. Anything short of a boulder would have been made short work of by the Taycan. I’m sure the road I was on wasn’t even half as demanding as what the car could do. It’s not going to crawl the Rubicon, but it’ll get you to your weekend camping spot or across an open field.
2. It’s the most customizable Porsche ever
In recent years Porsche has taken great pride in its ability to offer pretty much any eventuality a customer might want. The Taycan Cross Turismo offers four different power levels [4, 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S], a whopping 17 exterior color options, an even more impressive 19 interior color options, eight different wheel designs, three choices of seat style, and scads of visual cues and trims for the outside and inside of the car. There are literally millions of different ways to build your dream Taycan, and that’s before we even get to the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur choices! You can get your seat belts in eight different color options, for goodness sake!
3. 300 miles of range is easily within reach
Over the course of a day I ran this maroon beauty through its paces in Southern California, running a little over 100 miles of highway running with the cruise control on in Eco mode, plus another nearly 100 miles of mountain roads in Sport Plus with the wick turned up. Over four hours of driving in everything from stop and go traffic to off-road trails to twisting turning SoCal ribbon tarmac glory, and the Taycan returned a quite respectable 3.1 miles per kWh of energy expended, and I think that number might even be slightly conservative. My trip was 194.1 miles in total, and the charge meter claimed the car could do another 71 miles before running empty of electrons.
If you were to set the cruise and point the car toward the highway, you could pretty easily exceed 300 miles of range from a single charge. There aren’t any solid EPA test numbers on the Cross Turismo’s range just yet, but the more powerful Taycan 4S sedan is rated at 272, and Porsche frequently over-delivers on those numbers, too. Add in the ridiculously fast charging capable with Porsche’s 800v architecture and you’ve got the recipe for an electric car with easy road trip capability. Most days you don’t go more than 30 miles from your house anyway, right? So charge it up at night and you’ll realize just how awesome it is to never have to visit a gas station ever again in short order.
4. It’s a comparative bargain
Not only is the Taycan Cross Turismo a bargain in the Taycan lineup, but it’s a bargain in the Porsche lineup and the electric car world. Allow me to explain.
OK, so among Taycans, the Cross Turismo 4 is a steal and a half. It’s hard to call a car which starts at $90,900 a bargain, but consider for a moment that the entry-level Taycan sedan kicks off at $79,900. That entry level sedan comes standard with a smaller battery rated at 225 miles of range, non-air suspension, no sunroof, no roof rails, 67 fewer horsepower, and rear wheel drive only. If you wanted to add air suspension, the bigger battery, and a sunroof to the sedan, it would cost you $90,720. So for $180 extra you get a wagon body and standard all-wheel drive. Get it now?
Let’s think for a minute about what that $90,900 would buy you in a gasoline-powered Porsche wagon. Obviously the Panamera has been part of the P-car lineup for quite a few years now, but have you checked the price of one of those lately? The Panamera 4 Sport Turismo, which is basically as close to this spec as you can get, is powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 pushing out a comparatively mild 325 horsepower. As the entry level model of the Panamera wagon family, it’ll cost you $98,000. Sure it’s a size bigger than the Taycan, but it’s also going to suck your wallet dry on fuel costs! You could opt for the plug-in hybrid Panamera 4 e-Hybrid Sport Turismo, but oof, that’s going to kick off at $107,800!
Now we’re going to compare it to the nearest allegory in the Tesla world, which is probably the five-seater Model X, which starts at $89,990. Tesla does claim that the Model X has a quicker 0-60 time and a longer 360 miles of range, but as has been well documented, Tesla tends to exaggerate its numbers a bit while Porsche tends to report conservatively. When it comes to options, Tesla pretty much doesn’t offer any. You can choose from five colors (three greyscale, plus blue and red), two wheel designs, and three interior colors. Also consider that the Porsche is still eligible for $7,500 in federal tax incentives, while Tesla has burned through its allowed credits, and will cost you the full boat. Another tick in the Porsche column? They’re showing up to your local dealership in the next month or so, while Tesla has delayed its facelifted Model X until October or November, and hasn’t built a single example all year.
5. It’s so pretty!
I realize that this is an entirely subjective category, but the Taycan is a real looker, isn’t it? I wouldn’t normally go for the plastic cladding look, but Porsche manages to pull it off exquisitely. This thing is a supercar, an overlander, and a family truckster all rolled into one gorgeous package. The Cherry Metallic paint is doing a lot of heavy lifting here, but the Taycan Cross Turismo looks pretty darn good in other colors as well.
What do you think? Has Porsche built a stunningly great car, or are you going to pass in favor of another Cayenne or Panamera?