What Car? says...
Cars used to have very clear-cut roles – you'd have a performance car to go fast in and an estate to carry your family (and neither would be an electric car). The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo shows how dramatically all that has changed.
This is a five-door version of the Porsche Taycan all-electric four-door coupé, with a taller, estate car-like body for greater versatility. The Cross Turismo has a lot more head room and boot space than the regular car, but the changes don't stop there.
It also sits 20mm higher than the standard Taycan and the Taycan Sport Turismo (which has the same raised roofline), or 30mm in its Lift mode if you’ve specced the optional off-road pack. Yes, you read that correctly. The off-road pack.
Unlike traditional fast estates such as the Audi RS6 Avant and Mercedes-AMG E63 Estate, the Cross Turismo is less focused on lap times and more focused on helping you to navigate muddy countryside car parks.
To do that, it not only gets the suspension tweaks, but also has a dedicated Gravel drive mode for use on loose surfaces, and plastic body cladding to protect it against scratches and scrapes. But wait a second. This is a Porsche. So has performance really been compromised in the name of practicality?
Well, that’s what we’re going to tell you over the next few pages of this review, as we assess the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo’s day-to-day usability, how much fun it is to drive, how much it will cost to run and how it compares with rivals, including the Audi e-tron GT, the Mercedes EQE and the Tesla Model S.
You’re unlikely to find a discounted Taycan for quite some time, but if you're in the market for a new car, we could potentially save you a small fortune on most models if you use our free What Car? New Car Deals pages. They have some very tempting new electric car deals.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
First things first. Does the fact that the Taycan Cross Turismo sits a whopping 20mm higher than the original Porsche Taycan compromise or limit the car’s inherent agility? Well, perhaps a touch.
In Normal mode, for example, on particularly demanding roads you get a little more body lean in quick corners and a bit more vertical movement over sharp crests than in the standard car. Those body movements always feel controlled and utterly predictable, though – unlike in the sometimes wayward Tesla Model S. In Sport or Sport Plus mode, the Cross Turismo is even more impressive.
In fact, Sport mode feels like it was specifically designed for British B-roads: it somehow manages to keep the Cross Turismo’s body locked into the surface like a proper sports car while also being able to pad out stretches of particularly lumpen Tarmac. In that regard, the Cross Turismo is superior to the standard Taycan because it lets you bound down battered country roads without the fear of bottoming out or catching the front splitter.
That sense of making effortless progress extends to how the Cross Turismo handles. It’s not as playful as the regular Taycan, which allows you to adjust your line with a quick stab of the accelerator. Instead, it feels like it's been designed to get you from A to B as quickly as possible with little drama.
There's so much grip that you’re unlikely to ever find its limits on a public road, and the steering gives you a much better sense of connection with the front wheels than you get in most petrol-powered performance estates. Every millimetre of movement has a subtle but positive influence on the car’s trajectory, giving you maximum confidence.
The brake pedal weight is very well-judged for an electric car too. The Cross Turismo puts energy back into the batteries when you hit the brakes, but the interference is minimal so you're never surprised by how the car reacts when you squeeze the middle pedal.
Most impressive of all, though, is the Cross Turismo’s acceleration. In our favoured 4S form, it produces the same whopping 563bhp as the equivalent standard Taycan and is just 0.1sec slower to 62mph, at a breathtaking 4.1sec. The more powerful Turbo and Turbo S are quicker still.
In the real world, the response when you stamp on the accelerator is instant, like switching on a light bulb. The way you're pushed back in your seat feels like gravity has flipped to acting horizontally. We’d certainly recommend giving your occupants some prior warning before flooring the accelerator.
So it’s devastatingly quick and effortless to drive, but the Cross Turismo has a final party piece: incredible levels of refinement. At motorway speeds, it lopes along with a relaxed gait more akin to a luxury saloon than a performance estate, and with the optional double-glazed windows fitted, there's minimal wind noise. Few cars are better built for crossing continents at speed.
Hold on, though... with all that plastic body cladding and promises of off-road ability, can the Cross Turismo really venture off the beaten path? Well, the simple answer is, no, not really.
The increased ride height is designed to make navigating the odd rough green lane or muddy car park enjoyable rather than excruciating, while the plastic body cladding should stop your lovely paint from getting chipped if you happen to venture down a gravel lane. We reckon most buyers will welcome this extra capability, but if you want to go rock-crawling in comfort, you simply can’t beat a proper luxury SUV.
As for the more practical considerations of owning an electric car, the Cross Turismo 4 and 4S models give you the longest range. Both get the higher performance 93.4kWh battery (83.7kWh usable) as standard, which is an expensive option on the base model and 4S models of the Taycan and the Taycan Sport Turismo. Officially they’ll do 304 between charges.
The Turbo version has a range of up to 301 miles on a full charge, with the Turbo S promising up to 285 miles. You’ll struggle to match those figures unless you drive very gently, but more than 200 miles should be easily achievable no matter which Cross Turismo you opt for. If a longer range between charges is required, the Mercedes EQE is a good alternative.
The interior layout, fit and finish
Given the rough and ready exterior of the Taycan Cross Turismo, it’s perhaps a little disappointing that it has a very similar interior to the standard Porsche Taycan. The only real indication that you’re in a Cross Turismo is the optional compass mounted on the dashboard (it also shows your altitude and the time on a digital display).
That said, we’re not going to complain too much, because it's a superb piece of design. Every surface, switch and knob feels suitably upmarket – something that's not the case in the Mercedes EQE – and it’s packed full of tech. For example, you can have four giant screens. Three of them – the one behind the steering wheel and the two touchscreens in the middle of the dash – are standard, but you can pay extra to have one for your front passenger so they can see your speed, or play with the sat-nav, music and other functions.
The instrument cluster behind the steering wheel is a sleek-looking 16.8-inch curved digital screen that’s fully customisable and can show all sorts of information, from navigation instructions to how much G-force you’re generating in corners. Most of the car's features are controlled using a central 8.4in touchscreen with haptic feedback, and a 10.9in infotainment screen.
There are not many physical buttons and finding touchscreen icons while driving isn’t very easy. The lower screen is awkward to operate without contorting your arm and you can easily catch it with your palm when trying to steady your hand to use the upper screen. The Audi e-tron GT has more physical buttons, making it is easier to use.
In terms of driving position, the steering wheel and driver’s seat have the same wide range of movement as in the standard Taycan, which makes it easy to get comfortable.
The Cross Turismo’s raised ride height means you do feel as though you’re sitting much higher than in the regular car – it’s more like a Porsche Macan than a Porsche 911 in terms of visibility. We suspect that will be a disappointment to keen drivers, but we found it to be the perfect set-up on tight B-roads with high hedgerows and dry-stone walls.
The higher seating position also makes navigating junctions less stressful than if you were lower down. Rear visibility is better than in the standard Taycan thanks to a larger rear window, but your over-the-shoulder view is compromised by thick rear pillars.
Front and rear parking sensors are standard, as is a rear-view camera. The standard LED headlights help with visibility at night, and adaptive matrix LED headlights are standard on Turbo models (and optional on lesser trims).
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo places an emphasis on rear-seat passenger space, but front-seat occupants are well catered for too (this is a Porsche after all, and the driver will always come first). Six-footers and taller benefit from more head and leg room than you get in the Mercedes EQE and there's also more storage space overall.
In the back, the Cross Turismo can easily accommodate two six-footers, and the squared-off roofline gives passengers significantly more headroom than you get in the standard car (Porsche says you get an extra 47mm) or the Audi e-tron GT. That gives the rear of the Cross Turismo a surprisingly airy vibe, which is a nice bonus for back-seat passengers.
The boot is not much bigger than the one in the regular Porsche Taycan, with space for about six carry-on suitcases. With the back seats dropped, the difference between the two cars is more marked, and the high roofline and wider loading aperture provide you with a genuinely useful amount of space. The Audi RS6 Avant and Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate have more, though.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo is not available in two-wheel drive configuration – the ‘entry-level’ car is the all-wheel-drive Taycan 4 Cross Turismo. Based on our experience with the rear-wheel drive Porsche Taycan that's no great loss, though (we concluded that "paying a bit more for the 4S takes the Taycan from deeply impressive to mind-blowing").
The Cross Turismo gets a number of features as standard, including air suspension with the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) electronic damper control system, and the higher performance 93.4kWh battery (83.7kWh useable). As a result, a like-for-like Cross Turismo is only fractionally more expensive than a standard Taycan.
The entry-level 4 Cross Turismo comes with dual-zone climate control, 19in wheels, LED headlights, cruise control, heated seats, a powered tailgate and a heat pump. If you want keyless entry, privacy glass, a heated steering wheel or adaptive cruise control, you'll have to pay extra.
The 4S doesn’t net you a whole lot more kit – you get red brake calipers, brushed aluminium door sills and some silver exterior detailing. What you’re really paying for is the jump in performance from 375bhp to 483bhp.
The Turbo and Turbo S come with a longer list of standard kit but push up the price by tens of thousands of pounds. That said, depreciation is likely to be very low, which can keep PCP car finance deals competitive (relatively speaking). If you're lucky enough to have a Cross Turismo on your company car list, you'll be spending very little on benefit-in-kind tax.
As for charging, because the Cross Turismo gets the 93.4kWh battery pack as standard, it can charge at rates of up to 270kW with the Taycan’s 800-volt electrical system (most EVs have a 400-volt system). In ideal conditions, that allows a 10-80% charge in around 20mins, which is quicker than a Tesla Model S hooked up to a Tesla Supercharger.
There are currently only a handful of locations capable of charging the Cross Turismo at up to 270kW but you can use regular public CCS charging points. A 0-100% charge from a 7kW home wallbox takes around 13hrs. Porsche charges extra for a Type 2 cable, which you’ll need. Don’t worry about all the other charging options, though – they're really not necessary.
There's a three-year warranty on the Cross Turismo itself, but the battery is covered separately for eight years, with a guarantee that it won't drop below 70% of its original capacity during that time.
The list of standard safety kit includes automatic emergency braking (AEB), traffic-sign recognition and lane-keeping assistance. It’s a shame blind-spot monitoring (a standard feature on the Model S) is reserved for the options list, as part of a Lane Change Assist pack.
In terms of crash protection, the standard Taycan achieved a five-star rating from Euro NCAP, the same as its closest rival, the Model S. Whiplash protection for adults sitting in the front or back was found to be marginal, though – rather disappointing.
The list of standard safety kit includes automatic emergency braking (AEB), traffic-sign recognition and lane-keeping assistance.
Reliability is much harder to predict because this is Porsche’s first electric car in more than 100 years. However, the brand finished 19th out of 32 manufacturers in our 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey – just behind BMW in 17th but ahead of Audi in 21st and Mercedes in 23rd.
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Even the ‘base’ Taycan Cross Turismo is fast, with an official 0-62mph time of just 5.1 seconds, but the range-topping Turbo S make it feel like gravity has flipped on its side. With launch control activated you’ll be launched to 62mph from rest in just 2.9 seconds.
For us, the 4S strikes the best balance between price and performance. In terms of kit, it doesn’t net you a whole lot more kit over the entry-level 4 but what you’re really paying for is the jump up in performance from 375bhp to 483bhp.
|RRP price range
|£80,255 - £162,926
|Number of trims (see all)
|Number of engines (see all)
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)
|Available doors options
|3 years / No mileage cap
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)
|£160 / £326
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)
|£321 / £651