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Car Review

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo review

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Published: 22 May 2023
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

It’s the Cross Turismo’s fitness for purpose that defines it. The standard Taycan is a fraction crisper and sharper around corners, but because Porsche wanted that car to show it could behave like a ‘real’ sports car, it also reminds you of what you miss from a conventional sports car – the noise and thrashing mechanicals. This, with a more family-oriented, outdoorsy remit, treads more gently, has a broader horizon and so works even better at the job it sets out to do.

Let’s start with comfort, then.

It rides beautifully. Beyond beautifully. Like a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, in its softer modes the Cross Turismo is unafraid of its weight. The springs sigh with the roads, you get float, sag and cushioning over crests, unruffled movement from the suspension, very little kickback and noise. This is the most important and – in many ways – impressive aspect of the car. The standard Taycan always feels taut. This one knows how to relax. Silence comes not only from the motors, but from everywhere. Noise, vibration and harshness has been banished. With the single exception of tyre noise, the Cross Turismo is remarkable for its comfort.

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Occasionally, if the road starts to buck and churn, the axles can lever against each other in a similar way to older 911s, but you can cure that by ramping up to a stiffer suspension setting (there’s really not much comfort penalty) and even if you don’t, the way the body maintains or recovers control is so smooth you never lose confidence in it. It’s one of those cars that sweeps along effortlessly, carrying speed easily, lightly and deftly; the sort of speed that leaves passengers clueless as to how quickly they’re travelling.

Does the weight act against it?

There’s no heave around corners and, most remarkably of all, no tension in it. We literally can’t think of another car that blends speed and comfort as well as this, another car that you could load four people into and drive so rapidly yet serenely. It’s a world away from the stomping Mercedes-AMG E63, way ahead of even an Audi RS6 or Porsche’s own Panamera.

Does it matter that it lacks their rousing V8s? Less and less. Porsche’s propulsion sound is no replacement, but it’s engaging enough, while the real highlight the petrol has no answer to is the prompt, precise, perfectly proportionate throttle response. Drama, that’s what’s lacking. But do you really want that from a car with the Cross Turismo’s remit?

Does the lack of drama mean less reward?

Relax, there is something beguilingly engaging about this car’s steering and the way it goes down a road. Firm up the suspension and that float disappears. In its place you get quicker control but still no tension or harshness. Having used its considerable weight in its favour, now it seems to have performed the trick of making it disappear.

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Push the Taycan four-door hard and eventually grip will give out and you’ll get a sudden lurch that, although instantly controlled, reminds you of the weight involved and how hard the car is working. Here that boundary is blurred more successfully. In short it’s a wonderfully fluent car on any road for any type of driving.

Any issues to spoil the party?

Two flies in the soup, one easily managed, the other less so. The acceleration in the Turbo S can be distressing. The kind that has passengers gulping and gurning while making sudden uncontrolled grabs for handles. Better, more in keeping, to ease into that powerband. You do not need your Cross Turismo with 751bhp and a 2.9-second 0-62mph. The sweet spot is lower down the range – the 483bhp (563bhp with Launch overboost) 4S Cross Turismo, capable of 0-62mph in 4.1s is a very happy balance. Still ridiculously quick for a nice family oriented car, but manageably so.

The Turbo S is fitted with unnecessarily bonkers brakes too. Giant 420mm ceramic composite discs grabbed by 10-piston calipers. It bucks the trend for electric cars having oil tanker stopping distances that’s for sure, and when they get warm they can bite instantly and hard which is slightly at odds with the rest of the driving experience. But to do that you have to actually use them, and for 90 per cent of the time you won’t be – up to 0.39g the braking is all done through the electric motors.

You do have to use the pedal though, as Porsche doesn’t believe in heavy regen when you lift off and there are no paddles such as you get in many other electric cars. You can choose to switch on heavier regen, but it’s not strong, never a substitute for actual braking.

What does that mean for range?

Don’t hold out a hope of matching Porsche’s range claims. The rule of thumb with electric cars is to knock a third off the claimed range – especially when they’re so much fun to drive fast. All your EV eco driving instincts go right out of the window. Porsche claims up to 270 or 280 miles? Read that as 200 miles, and probably less in the winter when it’s freezing outside.

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