The manual transmission is dying. So is the V-12. Soon, the V-8 will follow. And then, all internal combustion engines. It’ll be a sad day. But maybe cars like the 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo can help ease the pain. I like it more than my M3. Here’s why.
The 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Overview
Electric cars are at an inherent disadvantage because of the lack of actual moving parts and the hum of machinery, there are also benefits such as effortless speed. But while Teslas and BMW i4s might be fast in a straight line, it takes more than that to give a car that feeling of connection you might be longing for. Enter the Taycan.
I admit to being a little surprised that this car exists, given that the standard Taycan already has a hatchback design and everybody hates wagons. But I’m glad it does. Wagons are cool. Wagons with a frunk are especially neat.
Despite the electric powertrain, the Taycan comes in typical Porsche trims. The base, which is what you see here, the 4S, GTS and Turbo. And just like before, you get more power with each trim upgrade. But is the base model, with 469 horsepower, enough? I drive Larry Kosilla’s very own to see.
Performance Score: 9. Warp speed.
This is not the fastest car I have ever driven. But it’s close. And the way at which you can precisely control that power is key.
Climb into the Cross Turismo, and the car is just ready to go. No start button; as long as the key is with you, you’re good. Pull a toggle switch to put the car in drive mode, and you’re off with no fanfare or drama. Illuminated haptic controls on the right side of the dash allow you to control suspension, drive mode (comfort, sport, etc.), and a little diamond shape that controls the “sound”. We’ll get back to that.
Drive the Taycan Cross Turismo like a regular car, and that’s what it is. To do this, make sure your foot does not squeeze the throttle beyond the halfway point. If you do dip into it, you will be treated to a sensation of speed like no other. There is no kickdown, and no hesitation like in the i4 I drove. With surprisingly little squat, the Taycan simply goes. Four-wheel drive ensures no wheel spin, and the torque goes where it’s supposed to.
The base model is so good, I wonder what you might need the other variants for, aside from bragging rights. Any Taycan Turbo offers more acceleration than one could ever need on the road.
It’s a trick that never gets old, because there is no true sensation of speed like in a Corvette. You decide when you’ve had enough and back off the power, but the Taycan accelerates as easily at 100 as it does at 40 mph. Cruise along normally, and 375 horsepower is at your disposal. Use the overboost feature to access the full 469.
What’s missing from this land-going missile is sound. Pressing that diamond button turns on a sort of Star Wars-like sound from the speakers that is fun to listen to at first, but quickly becomes a nuisance. It’s only there to placate enthusiasts because of the missing ICE. I suspect all EVs will have this to start but eventually do away with it. People won’t miss the sound of an engine, especially if they are coming from a Nissan Altima.
Where the Taycan Cross Turismo really shines is in the handling department. With a curb weight of 5,029 pounds it’s almost exactly the same weight as that BMW i4, yet dimensionally seems much larger in person.
Cruise in Comfort mode, and it feels like a normal car. This makes it a particularly good daily. The chassis is solid, and the car is both quiet and comfortable as you travel serenely down the road.
Place it in sport to firm up the electronic suspension, pick a curvy road, and experience an almost perfectly balanced car. This finally feels like what an electric car can truly achieve, and you’ll feel as if the car is much smaller than it really is as you push it down the road. The center of gravity is kept low and evenly distributed with two battery packs over the front and rear wheels.
Steering feedback is amazing – among the best of any modern car. Why can’t BMW get this right? When a car is this precise, it makes you feel like a better driver.
Six-piston front brakes join the party, in typical Porsche monobloc style. Again providing perfect modulation, the brake pedal is firm but effective. You know exactly what the stoppers are up to at any given moment.
No, it’s not one-pedal driving, but is that something you really want in a car as capable as this? It begs to be driven.
Utility Score: 7. Whoa Wagon.
The Cross Turismo makes the standard Taycan sedan superfluous. I can’t imagine a single reason why you’d prefer it over this car.
The rear slope of the hatch is aggressive, and the opening is a little narrow considering how wide the car is, but beauty is sacrifice. The rear seats fold down for additional room, and the cargo area itself is plenty big for whatever you need to lug around. Walk to the front, and a frunk allows enough room for small luggage and bags.
Larry had a child seat in the back, showing off how much room the car has even with it installed. The roof is low, but so is the seating position. An overall excellent utility package that’s only outdone by perhaps a Cayenne in the Porsche showroom.
Efficiency: 10. Electric pride.
Have you seen gas prices? Ignore them in this car. The Taycan Cross Turismo gets about 300 miles per charge, and it takes 10 hours to fully charge overnight.
While the merits of electric cars are sometimes dubious, in the short term, the car will pay for itself. While driving the Cross Turismo around, the range barely dropped, even after repeated acceleration runs. Again, Porsche seems to be on top of their game here.
Features and Comfort: 7. All you could want, but at a cost.
The only area where the Taycan Cross Turismo falls short is inside, and that’s not even the fault of the car itself, but of Porsche.
They insist on nickle and diming you for every piece of fancy trim they offer. Opt out, and the car is as forgettable inside as the latest rom com. Choose to upgrade the trim by adding carbon fiber, matching seat belts, and other goodies, and you risk doubling your monthly payment.
This isn’t to say the car is uncomfortable. Everything is ergonomically where you’d expect it to be. The cloth seats are some of the most comfortable I’ve ever been in, and they hold you well even in aggressive corners. The steering wheel is perfectly shaped, and the seating position is perfect.
There are a few other issues. The toggle switch for drive mode is hidden by the steering wheel, so trying to select P, R or D can be a challenge. Three screens is too much, and the screen that displays climate control info isn’t easy to read at a glance. Above it sits a nav screen that is high-res but very small. Larger screens are optional.
Another issue are those haptic buttons. Located on the instrument cluster, they are hard to reach and hard to see. It’s also not possible to determine what they are by feel alone, causing you to look away from the road. This is hardly a Porsche-only problem, but it would be nice if we didn’t kill all the buttons.
The spartan interior is somewhat offset by the large tinted sunroof that covers both rows, along with the sense that everything you touch is put together really well. Somehow, Porsche manages to do this better than BMW and Mercedes, at least to this author’s sense of quality.
The 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo proves that electric cars have soul.
The Taycan in any form is simply a good car, no further explanation needed. It’s fast, efficient, good-looking and practical.
But drive it, and you begin to understand what makes Porsche special, and why the 911 is still relevant despite having its engine in the wrong place. I feel as if I’m one part of the machine when driving it. The car is responsive, and it talks back to me through the steering wheel. The throttle response is always accurate. I’m driving this car, not the other way around.
Do I miss the roar of a V-8? Yes. But the important bits that allow a car to have a soul are still in here.
This is a car that happens to be powered by batteries, but is not defined by them.
For more information on Larry’s Taycan, watch his video:
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