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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo first drive review: The greatest car… in the world?

It’s unlikely that Porsche set out to build the perfect car when it kicked off the Taycan program — back then it was called Mission E — but it’s come about as close as any auto company ever has in the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo. In the vein of a Volvo Cross Country, or an Audi Allroad, Porsche has lifted a sedan, grafted on a hatchback, and adorned the body with chunky black plastic cladding on all sides, and created a new quasi-crossover. People won’t buy wagons anymore, so they have to be dressed up in crossover cosplay to reach sales success. There’s only one problem, unlike every other crossover this one looks hot, and drives like a fast sports car. 

It’s truly the jack of all trades. Though somehow it actually manages to master all of them. 

There aren’t many cars in the world capable of providing all-weather all-wheel drive, light off-road capability, comfortable seating for the whole family, zero tailpipe emissions, a dynamically engaging driving experience, and scary fast hypercar acceleration. Obviously if any company was going to invent a car to fit all of those needs, it would be Porsche, right? For decades Porsche has excelled at making one or two people go really fast in a really fun way. Why not make it four or five? 

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo first drive Image from iOS 125 1
Photo credit: Bradley Brownell / EV Pulse

Back in 2018 my wife and I bought a Buick Regal TourX as a comfortable cross-country highway runner, and it’s served incredibly well in that role for hauling dog and thrift-store finds, getting decent MPGs, and providing quiet comfortable mile-eating reliability. The Taycan 4 Cross Turismo is pretty much exactly the same thing, except it’s faster, prettier, more comfortable, quieter, cheaper to operate, and better to drive in every way. Plus it’s electric. The only place our Regal has the Taycan beat is in storage space. I guess for twice the price, it should be twice as good, right? 

Everything that is good about the Taycan sedan is equally good in its long-roof sibling version. We’ve already provided comprehensive road tests of the sedan in Taycan 4S and Taycan standard model as well as an on-track review of the Taycan Turbo S. I’m not going to say anything new here about the Taycan itself. The car is good. Maybe too good. Maybe the best. But I will walk you through the differences between the sedan and the Cross Turismo, and tell you what I think of them. 

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo standard equipment

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Photo credit: Bradley Brownell / EV Pulse

Unlike the standard sedan, which is available in rear wheel drive, the Cross Turismo is only available with an electric motor on each axle for all-wheel drive. But don’t worry, it won’t cost you a lot extra to have that second motor. When you factor in that the Cross Turismo comes standard in the United States market with the long range Performance Battery Plus, air suspension, and a panoramic sunroof — options which add up to $10,820 on the standard sedan — the all-wheel drive only ends up “costing” you $180. 

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo suspension

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Photo credit: Bradley Brownell / EV Pulse

Speaking of air suspension, the Taycan Cross Turismo’s is 20 millimeters taller than that of the sedan’s. That extra ride height is found in the height of the shock mounting points, lifting the entire car up about three quarters of an inch. At its highest point, the CT has tons of ground clearance for an all-electric supercar family hauler. At its lowest point, however, the sporty wagon has all of the Porsche feel you will learn to love. As with everything Porsche does, it’s a sports car first. 

If you option your Sport Turismo with the off road appearance package (as this one pictured here is), the car will come with a few extra pieces of black plastic cladding, and in standard height mode, it will actually ride an additional 10 mm higher, for a full 30 mm extra over the sedan in normal mode. The suspension with this package isn’t actually different in construction, and doesn’t have a taller max or minimum setting, it just has 10 extra millimeters at its normal resting point. 

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo aesthetics

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Photo credit: Bradley Brownell / EV Pulse

The Taycan is a fetching car in sedan guise, and it manages the change to crossover wagon about as well as anything can. I’m not a massive fan of the black plastic cladding, but I understand that’s what sells these days. In fairness to Porsche, these don’t look like an afterthought, and flow quite well with the body of the Cross Turismo. 

Likewise, the additional cargo area on the back of the car is integrated quite well with the design of the Taycan. It’s quite obviously a Porsche designed hatch, as it shares a lot of cues with the current Panamera Sport Turismo as well. The fixed roof spoiler is a nice touch to keep the car’s sportiness intact, and the rear pillar isn’t too chunky. It’s still quite a sleek design, despite the added beefiness. 

As a side note, Porsche has really been killing it in the colors department lately, offering 17 different exterior colors for the Taycan Cross Turismo. This particular car is Cherry Metallic, which is totally choice. 

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo: The wagon bit

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo first drive Image from iOS 122 1
Photo credit: Bradley Brownell / EV Pulse

Porsche has only built three cars in its history with a traditional trunk at the rear (the 914, Boxster/Cayman, and Taycan sedan) so it makes sense that it would want to build a hatch rear entry-point for the Taycan as quickly as possible, just to get back into its own wheelhouse. 

The roofline of the Cross Turismo means rear seat passengers have significantly more headroom than what is offered in the sedan. I’m 6’2” and I have a difficult time getting into the rear seat of a four-door Taycan. In the Cross Turismo, I’d be perfectly comfortable running a full battery stint in the back. I didn’t even feel like I had a knee room issue with the front seats in a position where I could fit in those as well. It’s a proper family truckster. 

Room behind the seats is improved by about one and a half square feet as compared to the sedan, if you listen to the Germans who measured it. Of course German measurement specifies only including the space up to the top of the rear seats, meaning all of the vertical space gained by swapping to a long roof is null and void. You’ll have no problem fitting your life in the back of a Cross Turismo, and if you really need to haul something big, you can fold those rear seats flat. I like driving it in that mode, as all of Porsche’s best cars are two-seaters, right? 

Initial verdict

As with all of the Taycan models, this thing is a total winner from the ground up. If you’re looking for a car that will haul a family of four or five across the country in quiet comfort, and carry all of their stuff for a big long road trip, the Taycan Cross Turismo is a great choice. And once you’re there, the car is plenty capable on road and off for a solo drive to clear your mind, or a bounce down a fire access road to your favorite out-of-the-way fishing hole. 

I don’t know how many times we can tell you about how good the Taycan is, but add this one to the tally. It’s good. It’s good. It’s good!

Written by Bradley Brownell
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