2021 Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo review: Who needs a Turbo?
While I certainly wouldn't kick a 670-horsepower Turbo out of bed, there's a whole lot to like about the base Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo. No, it's not as quick as the Turbo, but this EV's accolades extend well beyond one-punch acceleration. The 4 is every bit as comfortable, functional and luxurious as other Cross Turismos, with a lower price and better range to boot.
Well, better range probably. The EPA has yet to release official Taycan Cross Turismo mileage estimates, but the 4 should be the champion of the bunch. All Cross Turismos get the Taycan's larger 93.4-kilowatt-hour performance battery and the 4 uses a pair of motors, one at each axle. It's essentially an all-wheel-drive version of the standard Taycan sedan I tested earlier this year (you know, the pink one).
I'm no stranger to range-testing Taycans, so putting the 4 Cross Turismo through these same paces is a cinch. The climate control stays at 72 degrees and I don't alter my driving style one bit. That means above-average highway speeds on a long route from Los Angeles down through Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties, stopping at Electrify America stations along the way to record mileage and juice up. (When they worked, anyway.)
All told, after about 400 miles of testing, my math shows an average of 277 miles per charge. That's slightly less than what I got in the rear-wheel-drive Taycan sedan, but completely reasonable, considering the Cross Turismo's extra motor and heftier curb weight. I'm sure Tesla stans will jump in and shout at me about how Elon's hype-machines will go farther on a charge, but remember, those numbers don't always play out in the real world. EPA testing is one thing. Actual driving is another. A 277-mile range is plenty.
Plus, because of the Taycan's 800-volt architecture, you can plug it into a 350-kW DC fast charger and take the battery from a 5% state of charge to 80% in 23 minutes. Find one of the (working) 350-kW Electrify America chargers in a Wal-Mart parking lot and go buy yourself something nice from inside. You've earned it.
Unlike the Gentian Blue Taycan Turbo I tested in April, this Cherry Metallic Taycan 4 has the optional (and awesome) $1,780 Off-Road Design Package. This adds extra body cladding for maximum butch appeal and defaults to an 0.4-inch higher ride height than the standard Cross Turismo. This car also rides on 20-inch wheels while the Turbo had 21s, and honestly, I'd way rather have the Off-Road kit on appearance alone. It's just a shame this German-spec car has the cool double-bubble metal roof we won't get in the States -- all our CTs have a solid glass pane instead.
Appearance is key with that Off-Road Design Package, since the Taycan Cross Turismo doesn't really have any genuine off-road ability. Sure, it'll drive over things more easily than a Taycan sedan and it'll happily bound down two-track dirt roads to a far-off campsite. But even in the 4 Cross Turismo's highest ride setting, it has less ground clearance than most compact crossovers. This car's summer tires aren't exactly built for rugged excursions, either.
On the other hand, the Cross Turismo is a total on-road champ. The 93.4-kWh battery and pair of electric motors produce 469 hp (with launch control) and 368 pound-feet of torque. That's an identical amount of horsepower to the RWD Taycan with the performance battery, but the Cross Turismo has an extra 105 lb-ft. Because of that, despite a nearly 300-pound weight disparity, the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo can accelerate to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds compared to the RWD sedan's 5.1. Not that you'll actually notice a 0.3-second difference in practice, of course. And besides, all EVs offer thrilling launches, what with that immediate kick-you-in-the-butt torque.
Once underway, the 4 exhibits the same excellent balance and composure as any other Taycan, Cross Turismo or otherwise. Crisp turn-in and optional rear-axle steering add to this wagon's agility and having that big battery pack low in the chassis keeps this EV planted while cornering. For what it's worth, the Taycan 4 has no trouble keeping up with two friends in a 911 Carrera S and 911 Targa 4S on a nice run up my favorite canyon road. With its great composure and plentiful grip, the least-powerful Cross Turismo is nothing short of a blast to drive.
Regardless of battery size or power output, the Taycan Cross Turismo offers the sort of interior refinement and high-quality fit and finish you'd expect from a Porsche. A wide range of upholstery colors and comfort and convenience options are available -- the keyword being "options," since just about everything can be spec'd a la carte (because Porsche). Rear passengers will appreciate the Cross Turismo's extra 3.6 inches of rear headroom over the Taycan sedan and when you aren't schlepping people, fold the seats flat to unlock 42.8 cubic feet of cargo volume. That's not a ton of space and the low-slung profile means taller objects are a no-go, but it's certainly better than what a standard Taycan offers. Plus, the Cross Turismo just looks cooler. Win-win, right?
Driver-assistance and infotainment tech mimic the other Taycan models, with a whole host of systems available as options -- some of which can even be added by subscription through Porsche's Function on Demand feature. The standard Porsche Communication Management multimedia software is housed on a 10.9-inch central touchscreen, augmented by a digital gauge cluster and a screen to control climate control and a few vehicle functions. Porsche's passenger display is optional, too, for $1,130.
The Taycan 4 is the only Cross Turismo that starts off with a five-figure MSRP, coming in at $92,250 including $1,350 for destination. The price quickly skyrockets when you start adding the good stuff, natch, and a nicely optioned car like my Cherry Metallic tester comes in around $120,000. (Check out the Porsche Design subsecond clock on the dash, by the way, which is a $2,440 option.)
I realize that a $92,950 car is hardly a good value, especially when other, more practical EVs can be had for a lot less money. But Porsche's not exactly worried about that, since Taycan sales are already off to a strong start. On the other hand, the 4 Cross Turismo is kind of value when you compare it to other Taycan models. Quick, sharp, comfy, stylish and pretty darn efficient, the 4 Cross Turismo is all the Taycan you'll ever need.