2022 Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo review

Porsche pokes fun at the go-anywhere wagon by remixing its classic safari past with its high-performance EV present.

What we love
  • Phenomenal performance, yet still easy to live with
  • Improved back seat and boot space compared to sedan
  • A certified head-turner with safari-inspired styling

What we don’t
  • All-touch infotainment can be daunting
  • Interior creaks and rattles
  • Massive tyres generate plenty of road noise

Introduction

Depending on your point of view, the Porsche Taycan has become a surprising hit for the brand. In 2021 it was Porsche’s third-best seller behind the Macan and Cayenne SUVs, and outsold the revered 911 – not bad for a nameplate that was only introduced to Australia at the start of 2021.

On closer analysis, though, it’s perhaps no surprise that the Taycan has risen so quickly. Philosophically, it’s the equal of a 911 in terms of performance and positioning, but more importantly for a market that seems to be ever fascinated with practicality, it offers rear doors and functional family seating.

With the addition of an even more practical Cross Turismo variant, the Taycan range now includes a hatch-meets-wagon-styled crossover. One that, perhaps hilariously, offers the least clearance and prowess off the beaten track of any Porsche SUV, yet is the only one to wear a more rugged-looking set of black plastic bumpers, sills and wheel arch flares.

Upon collecting the 2022 Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo for this review, I thought it was almost comical-looking with its squat roof line, massive body-coloured wheels and high-contrast plastic cladding. Over time I softened my stance a little, got comfy with the aesthetic decisions, and embraced the Taycan’s safari aspirations.

And why not? With a starting point of $279,000 plus on-road costs for the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo, it’d be disappointing if it looked like all the other BMW M and Mercedes-AMG performance SUVs at the golf club, right?

It certainly doesn’t behave like them either, with a delightfully potent 500kW (peak) and 850Nm to play with, all delivered with slingshot ferocity and eerie EV silence.

Ultimately, given the amount of genres this car crosses, it should be bewildering and indistinct. In reality, though, it might just be the best Porsche yet.

Looking at the Taycan Cross Turismo range, there are three models to choose from: Taycan 4, Taycan 4s, or the flagship Taycan Turismo. Pricing kicks off from $176,600 plus on-road costs, so while it hardly fits all budgets, the Taycan Cross Turismo does cover a range of price points.

All come with all-wheel drive, but power outputs climb as you rise through the range. Naturally, Porsche shifts a few extra features from the optional equipment list onto the standard list as you move through the range, too, but Porsche being Porsche, there are still plenty of extras available.

This car right here, for instance, has some $44,190 of optional equipment – everything from the 21-inch Cross Turismo Design Wheels ($6770) to the the paint that covers them (an extra $2500 on top), plus rear axle steering ($4300), a fixed panoramic sunroof ($3370), Ice Grey paint ($5000) – all the way down to little details like a colour-matched key ($780) or a naff electric car sound, or rather Porsche Electric Sport Sound ($1050, but why though?).

Key details 2022 Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo
Price (MSRP) $279,000 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Ice Grey metallic
Options 21-inch Cross Turismo design wheels – $6770
Metallic paint – $5000
Rear axle steering – $4300
Carbon matte interior package – $4220
Fixed panoramic roof – $3370
Wheels painted in exterior colour – $2500
Sport Chrono package – $2340
Passenger infotainment display – $2150
Illuminated carbon door sills – $2150
Active parking support – $1890
Heat pump – $1630
Electric charge port cover – $1310
Aluminium roof rails – $1220
Porsche Electric Sport Sound – $1050
4+1 seating – $1000
Tinted LED matrix headlights – $990
Porsche crest on headrests – $950
Vehicle key in exterior color – $780
Courtesy door lights with Porsche logo – $600
Price as tested $323,190 plus on-road costs
Rivals Audi RS6 | Mercedes-AMG EQS53 (due Q2 2022) | BMW X5 M

Inside

Like almost everything else about the Taycan, the interior design is both clearly Porsche but similarly clearly modernised. The general cockpit-like layout and low-slung seating feel immediately familiar – the almost comical four screens in front of front seat occupants, less so.

Porsche has kept a mostly similar driver interface. Things like gauge layouts and key controls, steering wheel buttons and the like are as you’ll find in other Porsche models but – shock horror – Porsche’s twist-tab starter fob has been removed.

Instead, the Taycan is ready to roll by the time you’re seated inside, coming to life via the proximity key, and is switched off by a very device-like power button. Gear selection is a little different too.

There’s a small 911-like paddle to pick your direction of travel, but instead of being console-mounted, it’s high on the dash, obscured slightly by the steering wheel – suggesting slightly that the focus is no longer on the once integral act of changing gears for this performance Porsche.

Interior space is surprisingly generous. While the Taycan is hardly compact, its lines are drawn tightly, so the hunkered roof line suggests there may not be much room to move inside.

That’s not the case, but the stance is typically low seat, legs forward, like a 911. Still, it’s a little easier to get in and out of, and while the Cross Turismo is only 20mm higher off the ground than a Taycan Turbo sedan, it feels much more traditional to slide your bum in and out of.

By far the most meaningful improvement is in the rear seat. While the roof line is still far from lofty, the reduced tumblehome over occupants’ heads means it’s easier for taller occupants to find their happy place.

It’s not all roses. Form seems to rule over function in some areas, like the console lid that skews towards the driver making access difficult. Worse still, it doesn’t have a lock-in detent when open, so it needs one hand to steady it as you rummage through, lest it slam shut on you.

This particular test car demonstrated a variety of interior creaks and rattles – almost criminal in a car approaching $300K, but doors and dash all found a resonant frequency to buzz or rattle at. Likely made more obvious by the lack of noise and vibration from the car on the move compared to a petrol Porsche, but disappointing nonetheless.

There’s handy storage space under the floating console, but once your keys and wallet have slid forward they can be tricky to retrieve. Wireless phone charging, bafflingly, remains an option, even on the Taycan Turbo, but at least the little phone-securing clip inside the console remains.

With the once traditional rows of interior switches now relegated to the multi-use touch displays, the design is cleaner overall, but gone is the reach-press simplicity of old. Now you’ll need to comb through menus for some features, though key controls like drive mode and suspension height remain within easy one-touch reach.

By far the Cross Turismo’s greatest advantage over the sedan is in the rear seat, with a taller roof line freeing up more space for passengers, but also in terms of resting comfort and for ease of getting in and out.

This particular car was equipped with the 4+1 seating option, but as a five-seat car the Taycan is somewhat kidding itself. Four is the comfortable limit. Although the batteries are dispersed underfloor, there’s a gap to allow more foot space for rear passengers, so the overall experience feels more natural.

At the rear there’s a compact-ish (for a wagon) 405L of luggage space, just 39L more than the sedan, or 1171L with the rear seats folded. Up front there’s an extra 84L of under-bonnet storage – just enough to hold a carry-on case, a briefcase or a pair of shopping bags – but because you need to stoop to release the safety catch up front, I’d suggest putting anything you want to carry with you, but not use too often, up front.

2022 Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo
Seats Five
Boot volume 405L seats up / 1171L seats folded / 84L under bonnet
Length 4974mm
Width 1967mm
Height 1412mm
Wheelbase 2904mm

Infotainment and Connectivity

Buckle in: the infotainment system in the Taycan is all-encompassing, largely because – as with so many premium brands before it – the screens inside a Taycan don’t just look after things like radio and navigation, but attend to a whole ecosystem of vehicle functions.

If you’re keeping count, the driver faces a 16.8-inch digital display, the main infotainment screen claims 10.9 inches of space, the console display adds an 8.4-inch screen below that, and if you opt for the passenger display screen, it adds another 10.9-inch screen to the mix for $2150.

The second screen is quite limited in terms of its display capabilities. Front seat passengers can watch the driver’s speed, keep an eye on navigation, or cue up the native infotainment system (but not a paired smartphone), but not much more – all things they could do by looking a few degrees to the right on the centre display.

Pre-loaded infotainment features include live satellite navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay (but not Android Auto), digital radio, and a host of online functions are available, thanks to an embedded SIM and LTE connectivity. A pumping 14-speaker Bose sound system takes care of audio reproduction.

Porsche’s infotainment menus are, for the most part, logically laid out and easy to navigate. However, there’s now so much baked in that finding the function you’re looking for can involve plenty of prodding and probing until you land where you want to be.

The air-con controls reside permanently on the lower screen, which is fine, and below that there’s a handwriting recognition panel so you can enter addresses with ease – though this by far favours the left-handed.

Things get a bit unintuitive when it comes to expanding the AC controls, which then pop up on the next screen above. This includes the method of adjusting the AC vents, which can’t be moved by hand, but rather by tracing your finger across the screen to send air where you think you might like it.

That would be less of a problem, perhaps, if our test car weren’t fitted with the optional panoramic fixed glass roof ($3370), which although deeply tinted and mostly effective at cutting the sun’s heat, still felt uncomfortably warm overhead on days over 30 degrees.


Safety and Technology

As with other models in its line-up, Porsche seems to have taken the approach that the Taycan is a driver’s car first and foremost. That means, of the driver assist tech fitted, none overrules or takes over control fully or intrusively – don’t expect hands-off semi-autonomous driving capabilities here.

You do get a decent haul of standard assist systems, however. Things like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, active lane-keep assist and forward autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

The Taycan Cross Turismo also comes stocked with rear outboard ISOFIX child seat mounts, 10 airbags, front and rear (outboard) seatbelt pretensioners, and a pedestrian-protecting pop-up bonnet.

The Taycan range has not been rated by ANCAP in Australia; however, Euro NCAP awarded a five-star safety rating in 2019 with an 85 per cent adult occupant rating, 83 per cent child occupant rating, 70 per cent vulnerable road user rating, and a rating of 73 per cent for safety assist systems.

2022 Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo
ANCAP rating Not tested

Value for Money

Want a 500kW wagon? Your choices are pretty limited – in fact, the Taycan Turbo is technically the only one right now. Of course, broaden the criteria a little and for a little less (from $221K) you could get a 441kW Audi RS6 or 450kW Mercedes-AMG GLE63.

Both are potent and engaging but offer a different take on performance. The Taycan’s silent speed and decent open-road comfort put it into an entirely different niche, though no doubt it’ll be cross-shopped against everything from SUVs to performance sedans and sports cars by various buyers.

Alongside Porsche’s own range, the Taycan Turbo looks like pretty sharp value alongside a similarly priced 911 Carrera S (331kW, 3.7sec 0–100km/h), and even challenges the more expensive Panamera GTS (353kW, 3.9sec 0–100km/h) albeit with a little less interior space.

Porsche does, however, trail most rivals with a three-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty as opposed to the five-year warranty offered by most brands. Its high-voltage battery warranty extends to eight years or 160,000km.

Service pricing may vary by dealer, and is price on application, rather than the predefined or pre-paid options offered by rival brands. In the case of the Taycan, intervals are every 24 months or 30,000km.

Against a claim of 28.7kWh/100km (ADR test cycle results) after almost 500km in the Taycan, and with a near even split of freeway running and city driving, plus some time spent exploring the performance potential, the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo had settled on 26.3kWh/100km. Porsche publishes a claimed driving range of 425km, but on-test indicated range from a full charge sat just below 400km.

At a glance 2022 Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo
Warranty Three years / unlimited km
Service intervals 24 months or 30,000km
Servicing costs N/A
Energy cons. (claimed) 28.7kWh/100km
Energy cons. (on test) 26.3kWh/100km
Battery size 93.4kWh

Driving

If you want the short version: very few cars have managed to plaster maniacal grins on the faces of the driver and passengers alike the way the Taycan Turbo does.

That’s it. That’s all you need to know. The Taycan Turbo drives like a Porsche, and a bloody swift one at that. Sure, it doesn’t have the same artful rise and fall of noise, and swell of torque, the way something like a 911 Turbo does.

Instead, it takes the peak of the peak of a car like that and delivers it all the time, if you’re keen to discover its limits.

More broadly, though, unlike a race-ready 911, the Taycan has the ability to plod around town sedately. There’s enough control in the accelerator action to make rolling with traffic a snap – although I will say the lack of sound makes it easy to sneak beyond suburban speed limits with just a flick of the right ankle.

Because Porsche doesn’t want you to think of the Taycan as an electric car, there are some missing items you might find in other EVs. There’s no B-mode to increase energy-harvesting brake regen, nor are there shift paddles for the same function.

The Taycan does without one-pedal driving, and if you let your foot off the brake in drive or reverse, it’ll creep forward like a conventional car. To me that makes sense. For owners with a Macan, Cayenne or 911 in the garage it’ll probably make sense too.

There is a low-drag regen mode, but it’s actually pretty imperceptible. There’s also an adaptive regen that monitors surrounding traffic and harvests more energy back if you let off the go-pedal as a car in front slows. I liked this mode the most around town, but you do need to reactivate it every time you start the car.

As a family freighter, the Taycan Cross Turismo handles things well. The massive tyres generate a fair amount of noise, but surprisingly the air suspension is quite supple for something so high-performance, and the steering is a touch more stable and relaxed than something like a 911.

Unlike some cars with four-wheel steer, the rear axle steering on the Taycan feels harmonious – no unexpected shifting from the rear. Instead, the car tucks in tightly and feels more compact than its quite large dimensions.

Width might be a problem, however. The broad stance means inner-city laneways and car parks are nerve-wracking places to try and position something with wheels so far outstretched to the corners. The low-slung helm isn’t so low that you feel like you’re locked into a limited-movement sports car, though, at least.

Performance is huge if you decide to unlock it. With a nominal 460kW from the twin-motor drivetrain, or up to 500kW overboost when using launch control, backed by 850Nm, the Taycan Cross Turismo absolutely defies its 2320kg kerb weight.

Porsche claims this specification can hit 100km/h from standstill in 3.3 seconds. Accessing launch control is about as easy as it comes too. In Sport or Sport Plus mode just hold the brake, floor the throttle, pause for confirmation, then side-step the brake and without fuss or tyre-frying histrionics, the Taycan hums in a rising pitch as it leaps for the horizon.

It’s wildly compelling stuff. The rear motor runs through a two-speed transmission, and most of the time you won’t notice it, but ask for max power and the momentary upshift whump adds an interesting layer to the performance that most other EVs are missing.

Again, Porsche being the company it is, the Taycan is set up to drive like a high-performance car – but it hasn’t been sanitised or completely idiot-proofed. If you drive like a hamfisted driver, the car will do hamfisted things.

Clamp the accelerator too early out of a corner and the nose will push hilariously wide. Hit the go pedal at the right moment and the rear can be coaxed into a slide. The electronics help here a lot (and that’s most obvious when testing the calm standing-start acceleration), but they do still allow a margin for driver error that’s rather refreshing.

The same goes for the way driver assist systems work. You still have to position the car in its lane, and you still get clear unfiltered steering feedback as a result. There’s no fighting the car for superiority.

Key details 2022 Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo
Engine Dual AC synchronous electric motors
Power 460kW (500kW overboost)
Torque 850Nm
Drive type All-wheel drive
Transmission Single-speed front, two-speed rear – automatic
Power to weight ratio 198.3-215.5kW/t
Weight 2320kg

Conclusion

It’s been a while since I’ve jumped behind the wheel of something that commanded so much attention. Even a regular Taycan doesn’t seem to turn heads the way the Cross Turismo treatment does.

Neighbours, friends and family all requested a ride around the block. One avowed EV denialist even came back with a renewed outlook on electric cars after a quick on-ramp run.

Ultimately, the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo is probably more car than most owners will need.

As a sports car it is exceptional: sharp handling, blisteringly quick, and reassuringly predictable. It’s not perfect, as there are times it can’t hide its weight (try as it might), but it’s clear Porsche set out to make a performance car that is electric, and not an EV that can go fast.

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