Home News 2021 Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo: The Louis Vuitton Of Mixed Bags

2021 Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo: The Louis Vuitton Of Mixed Bags

The full name sounds like a Playstation title, but reality is far from fiction. The Porsche Taycan is an incredible offering and one of the best executions of a major brand entering the EV space. With the advent of Cross Turismo, it adds extra practicality and a new wagon-like design that has proved to be very popular. This particular model was effectively the base variant of the Taycan Cross Turismo, optimized for range. 

Out of Spec Score: 76/100

Styling  9/10

Taycan front three-quarter view with mountainous background

Distinctly Porsche, the Taycan carries their legacy brilliantly into the future. The Cross Turismo specifically brings wagon, or shooting brake, styling to the already elegant platform. The popularity of wagons has waned over the years, but the true automotive enthusiast still bears strong appreciation for them. Porsche tends to cater to the enthusiasts.

The Taycan sedan itself is beautiful, with four strong LEDs in each headlight giving it a unique fascia and the light bar along the back behind the sloped liftback trunk. The Cross Turismo takes it a step further, both in storage capacity and stature, turning heads wherever it goes. Every time I left the car parked, I looked back at it a minimum of three times. 9 out of 10 for stunning styling.

Interior 7.5/10

The interior category can tend to be a challenge to evaluate. Between build quality and feel and the actual layout, it can often be a mixed bag, as it was with the Taycan. Build quality was exceptional, though the driver seat had a bit of a squeak. But to my knowledge, that is quite unusual. The layout was generally well-executed, though I wasn’t a fan of some of the button placements or the center climate screen, but more on that in the tech section. 

Speaking of climate, though, the vents are interesting. They don’t move or adjust in any way physically by use of hands, but rather adjusted on the main center screen, akin to Tesla’s modern approach. However, the vents appear normal enough, to the point of myself and everyone else trying to adjust them manually, to no avail. All in all, 7.5 out of 10 for a good interior feel.

Performance 7/10

The mixed bag continues in the performance department, though I will preface with the fact that most people should be impressed. By typical, even luxury car standards, it is properly quick. But by electric luxury car standards, it may fall a bit short depending on where you set your bar. 0-60 sprints are a breeze, especially with the expected low-end torque, but they’re just a hair short of 5 seconds with the base 4 trim. Stepping up to 4S or Turbo will quicken it, but the 4 is still very fun-capable. Taking it up a twisty canyon road made me smile more than most cars I can remember. In fact, I felt like I was using more of the Taycan, whereas a Turbo would have been more power than could be used. 

The acceleration is perhaps strongest from 10-50mph, with a bit of fade after, but the passing capability on the highway is still impressive and usable. Again, more power than most people should need. Officially stated to be 4.8 seconds in the sprint to 60, it does feel a bit faster. The Cross Turismo comes standard with an 83.7 kWh usable (93.4 kWh gross) battery pack. The 4 variant such as mine comes with up to 469 horsepower when using launch control, or 375 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque in standard driving. The two-speed transmission with the rear motor assists immediate acceleration and balances in more efficient highway speeds. The upper variants will bring it up to 750 horsepower, while also fetching many more pennies. 

We found the Taycan Cross Turismo to be incredible off-road, which falls in line with the mantra set by Porsche, portraying this as more of the all-road capable luxury sports-wagon. It’s lifted a bit higher than the standard Taycan, with gravel mode and more cladding along the body. As tested, I have to settle on a 7 out of 10 for the 4’s base-level performance, but I should note that even a 4S with rear-wheel steering could narrow the margin closer to perfection. 

Practicality 7/10

Being 4 doors and a wagon, there’s some inherent practicality. But  it’s also, in reality, a 4 seater. The rear middle seat isn’t much to consider when optioned, and I would personally go without. The storage capacity is 15.8 cubic feet in the trunk, or 42.8 cubit feet with seats folded down. Then there’s the frunk with 2.8 cubic feet. The overall capacity is not bad, but substantially less than that of a Tesla Model S or many other cars in the segment. 

From an efficiency standpoint, it’s quite practical. Kyle achieved over 250 miles in our standardized highway test, beating 215 mile EPA estimate by a considerable margin, true to Porsche standards. It also charges quickly when using an Electrify America charger, taking advantage of the faster speeds of the 350 kW stations when applicable. It can peak at speeds of over 250 kW, though lives in the 100s for much of the charging curve. For road trips, it’s quite capable, and I would classify the package as a whole for 7 out of 10 in practicality. 

Comfort 8.5/10

The middle rear seat, if even optioned, is not a place I would want to spend any serious time in. So again, I would go without it. But the other four seats are truly works of art. My example was optioned with the 14-way seats, and I found them extremely comfortable for long drives. I can only imagine the effectiveness of the 18-way seats. 

Ride comfort was also excellent. The adjustable and dynamic suspension was setup beautifully, being very comfortable for standard daily-driving and having Sport+ mode for a much stiffer, engaging drive. Even Sport+ mode was tolerable on rough roads, though more comfortable settings really make a nice difference. All around comfort brings it a pleasant 8.5 out of 10.

Tech 6/10

I was relatively let down in the tech department. Granted, I could forgive it by focusing on the engaging driving experience. But for those who buy a car for the technology and user interface and experience, it left a lot to be desired. While the various displays may look good, I found the lower center display to be frustrating. Input required substantially more pressure than I would have hoped for. Haptic feedback helped me assess when input was received, but even that wasn’t the best feeling. The other displays are objectively beautiful, high-contrast, and bright. Too bright. When kept on the lowest brightness, it seemed to fair pretty well across all times of day. 

Speaking of input, I never realized how much I relied on track forward/reverse buttons, of which this has none. There are two separate customizable favorite buttons, one on the wheel, one on the driver’s console. As far as I can tell, forward/reverse would be the best use of these buttons, but it’s not my favorite interface. Apple CarPlay works well and is wireless, with a large interface on the main center screen. Built-in navigation worked fairly well, but was a bit harder to rely on without a specific address for the destination.

The Bose sound system was also quite good, though if you’re any sort of audiophile, I would bump up to the expensive albeit incredible Burmeister system. But even the Bose was one of the better Bose examples in recent experience. The technology behind the climate vents is fascinating, and works quite well, allowing for dispersed or focused air ventilation. As a whole, I consider the technology to be a 6 out of 10, given that I wish for refinement in some areas but it still holds its own.

Connected Services 8/10

I have few complaints in this area. Between Wireless CarPlay, decent navigation, and the benefits of the Porsche app, it’s a functional experience. With the phone app, you can lock and unlock the car or check vital information and even schedule service appointments. You can also plan navigation in advance, and send it to your car, a big benefit due to the frustration of using the onscreen keyboard at times. The navigation will allow route-planning along charging stations as well. 

Porsche Connect services are included with the vehicle for the first 3 years, with extension options starting at $205/month. Impressively, there is also Apple Music integration, free to new Taycan customers for 6 months. 8 out of 10 for all connectivity considered.

Active Safety 8/10

Porsche is proud of their safety standards. PAS is the Porsche Active Safe system, available as an optional extra for vehicles equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control. I do wish more safety was standard, but the PAS system is impressive in its own right. It can see cars up to 650 feet in front using the long range radar, and apply brakes in emergency situations accordingly. You’ll also find the usual 360 degree camera, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and more. There are also 8 airbags as standard, coincidently the score of 8 out of 10. 

Value 7/10

Taycan front cross section view

Another relatively weak point, depending on your actual point of view. To be a proponent of the average consumer, I would argue that the Taycan is a bit overpriced across all trims. That being said, Porsche is a premium product fetching a premium price tag. It feels premium across the board, though for just over $100,000 priced as tested, I would have expected a few more features and faster acceleration. It’s objectively quick, but there are quicker EVs for less money. But they may not feel as premium. It all depends on your priorities and what is manageable to sacrifice. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an incredible machine, but for me to get the features I’d want, it would be $150,000 which sits more than I would want or expect to pay. 

Editors Influence 8/10

I really enjoyed my time with the Taycan. Charging was simple, driving was engaging, and heads were turning. Sure, a Model S may have a bit more bang-for-buck on paper, but the Taycan carries a real presence down the road. I took it on some local mountain roads, and even with the 4 trim’s power and no rear wheel steering or performance upgrades, it was exhilarating. I would gladly take any Taycan for a day, a week, a month. If I was in the market with this budget, I’m not sure I would choose it. But I would attempt to talk as many friends as possible into the Porsche EV ownership lifestyle. 8 out of 10 for my influential remarks. 

Taycan with mountains behind
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I love the trajectory of transportation. It's always fascinating to see the emergence of technology within vehicles, and how they compete. I have a tremendous appreciation for EVs and old British all-mechanical roadsters alike. My personal daily driver is a NC Miata, but hoping to add an EV to the mix soon.