Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
We were given the chance to test the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo in Turbo guise at its launch. Like the regular Taycan Turbo coupé, it produces a whopping 617bhp, with launch control boosting that to a scarcely believable 671bhp. So despite having a bigger backside than the regular Taycan, it is just one tenth slower from 0-62mph (3.3 seconds versus 3.2).
In the real world, of course, that tenth of a second is imperceptible – you’re simply too busy trying to keep your head from smacking off the back of the headrest, such is the ferocity of the Cross Turismo’s acceleration. In fact, the kick in the guts is almost unpleasant and simply doesn’t relent, even when the two-speed gearbox changes up at about 45mph. We’d certainly recommend giving your occupants some prior warning before flooring the accelerator.
Straight-line pace is only a small element of the Taycan driving experience, though. After all, a Tesla Model S is capable of producing similar acceleration. No, the regular Taycan’s party piece is that it is the only electric vehicle (EV) currently on sale that is truly thrilling when it comes to threading together a series of corners.
So does the fact that the Cross Turismo sits a whopping 20mm higher than the regular Porsche Taycan compromise or limit the car’s inherent agility? Well, perhaps a touch. In Normal mode, for example, on particularly demanding roads you do get a little more body lean in quick corners and a little more vertical movement over sharp crests. Those body movements always feel controlled and utterly predictable, though – unlike 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, as 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 actually superior to the standard Taycan, as you can bound down battered country roads without the fear of bottoming out or catching the front splitter on a particularly nasty compression.
This sense of making effortless progress also extends to how the Cross Turismo handles. It’s not quite as playful as the regular Taycan, which allows you to easily adjust your line with a quick stab of the accelerator. Instead, it feels like it has been designed to get you from A to B as quickly as possible with little drama.
There is so much grip that you’re unlikely to ever find its limits on a public road, while its 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, the driver, 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, as many EVs do, but the interference is minimal so you are never surprised by how the car reacts when you squeeze the middle pedal.
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, the Cross Turismo lopes along with a relaxed gait that is more akin to a luxury saloon than a performance estate and with the optional double-glazed windows fitted, there is 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 ‘base’ Cross Turismo 4 gives you the greatest range. It gets the higher performance 93.4kWh battery as standard, which is an expensive (and must have) option on the 4S coupé. Officially it’ll do 283 miles between charges, with the 4S managing 281 miles.
Meanwhile, the Porsche Taycan Turbo has a range of up to 281 miles on a full charge, with the Turbo S promising up to 260 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, though, the Tesla Model S is a better choice.
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