Motorists of Ireland, we know you tend to shun an estate car. But we're here to tell you that this electric wagon is so extraordinarily good across all disciplines that we might have to retire the words 'Swiss Army knife' as the ultimate versatility comparator and instead replace them with 'as useful as a Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo' in the popular idiom from now on. This is a quite tremendous piece of engineering from the German company that has all the strengths in the world and seemingly no weaknesses whatsoever - save the robust asking price.
In the metal
Handed a high-ranking Turbo model in glorious Cherry metallic paint, it's hard not to fall in love in an instant with the new Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. It blends everything that makes the regular Taycan look so distinctive and futuristic with all the graceful visual elan of a Panamera Sport Turismo, and then layers on top the usual crossover-estate clobber of black plastic cladding around the wheel arches, silver skid-plates in revised bumpers fore and aft, a bespoke design of alloy wheel (20s as standard, optional 21s on our test car) and, finally, a raised ride height.
This is 20mm further from the deck than a standard Taycan from the off and rises to 30mm if the Off-Road Package is added, which it is on the car in the pictures; you can spot if this is the case if you take note of the vanes on the outer edges of the bumpers and at the ends of the sills. They're not fitted on a Cross Turismo without the Off-Road Package.
That rakish bodywork and extended roofline are most to the benefit of rear-seat passengers once you clamber aboard, because those seated in row two now have an extra 47mm of headroom to play with. Sitting in the back of the Cross Turismo is definitely more pleasant and accommodating than it is in the back of a Taycan, and the saloon is already fairly roomy in the rear as it is.
Despite this, the practicality levels of the Cross Turismo are hardly off the charts - it remains resolutely a four-seater, as the only option if you need a quintet of humans onboard is the cost-optional '4+1' seating arrangement and, even with that box ticked, there's a strange storage tray construct on the transmission tunnel that means the centre-rear occupant hasn't got much room for their feet and lower legs.
Also, the boot is only a little more capacious here than it is on a Taycan Turbo, measuring 405 litres versus the saloon's still-useful 366-litre figure. Fold the 60:40 split rear seat backs down and the maximum volume in the back of the Turbo Cross Turismo is a modest-by-estate-car-standards 1,171 litres, so don't go expecting to fill the rear of the electric Porsche estate with a load of bulky Ikea boxes.
Still, as the cabin is typically Porsche-beautiful - made of the most fabulous materials and bolted together with thoroughly Teutonic precision - we're not complaining too much. Especially as you can have up to four pin-sharp digital displays dotted across the Taycan Cross Turismo's fascia, all of which work supremely well. Perhaps the only minor gripe is that, despite its elevated ride height, once you've installed yourself behind the Porsche's lovely steering wheel and adjusted to what is THE perfect driving position, you don't exactly feel as if you can see the road ahead any better.
Aside from the additional tallness of the air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and a slightly softer state of tune for the system to go with its model-specific extra drive mode of Gravel, the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo uses much the same chassis tech as the Taycan Turbo saloon.
That means Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive, the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) limited-slip rear differential and a set of white-callipered (six-pot front, four-pot rear) Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) discs, which measure 410mm up front and 360mm at the rear. To our test car, Porsche added the Rear-Axle Steering with Power Steering Plus option, to improve agility on a machine that is - while impressively only 15kg heavier than a four-door Taycan Turbo - nevertheless clocking in at a portly 2,395kg with a driver and relevant fluids onboard.
Of course, given its off-road potential (mild though it may be), you're not expecting the Cross Turismo to drive as sharply as the lower, moderately lighter Taycan. So it comes as something of a surprise to report that the Cross Turismo felt every bit as edifying behind the wheel as the last electrified, non-turbo Turbo we drove.
It has the same delectable steering, the same mammoth levels of grip, the same unimpeachable traction and the same nigh-on terrifying acceleration out of corners. Seriously, push down on the accelerator with a heavy right hoof and you'd better pray there's plenty of run-off space in front of your electric Porsche. Marginal trimming of the on-paper acceleration stats has naturally gone on in the shift from saloon to estate Taycan Turbo, but something that can still rip off 0-100km/h in 3.3 seconds and which will veer in hyperspace-like fashion from 80-120km/h in a scant 1.9 seconds is what you might politely term 'flippin' fast'.
Also, with Porsche Electric Sport Sound (PESS, another option) fitted, the rich, thick, buzzing sci-fi whoop the Taycan Cross Turismo emits is deeply alluring. Interestingly, until a Taycan 4S with PESS drove past us in the street recently, we had no idea just how loud this system is outside the car, as much as it is within.
So the Cross Turismo has the brain-frying speed of a 'normal' Taycan Turbo and it has nearly every last scintilla of the handling prowess too. Seriously, even provoking it with outrageously ugly steering inputs to make it swerve violently from side to side just in order to try and ruffle its composure for the briefest of seconds, the Cross Turismo's chassis didn't flinch once. It displays resolute body control with only the faintest trace of additional lean when compared to the saloon and it resists understeer incredibly gamely for what is, at the end of the day, 2.4 tonnes of fast-moving mass.
What's really brilliant about it, though, is that it dollops on top extra ride comfort and cruising civility, which means you don't pick the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo simply for the sublime looks outside and the fact you can cram a couple of snowboards in its boot from time to time - you pick it because it is, rather incredibly, superior to what is already the greatest EV on the planet.
We've driven so many of these higher-riding, plastic-clad machines of all shapes and sizes that offer precisely nothing extra in terms of rolling refinement when compared to their source material. The Cross Turismo doesn't fall into the same trap. It preserves the Taycan's kinematic acuity but then it's also nicer to be in when it traverses lumpen tarmac, its taller stance and three-chamber air suspension doing a marvellous job of isolating occupants from any thumps and crashes attempting to make their way into the cabin. It also seems quieter on the move too, although that's probably partly because this car was fitted with, yes, another cost option in the form of noise-insulating glass around the passenger compartment. However, we reckon a large part of its cruising dignity is that shapelier rear end of the Cross Turismo; remember how Volvo claimed racing an 850 Estate was more aerodynamic than a saloon, back in touring car competition in the 1990s? Yes. Let's go with that.
Anyway, whatever sort of driving you demand of the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo, it seems to have every base so comfortably covered that it's somewhat embarrassing for everyone else involved in the automotive battle. That it's a zero-emissions EV with usable real-world range on a single charge and it also totes rapid battery replenishment times thanks to its 800-volt electrical architecture is merely the icing on the cake, frankly.
What you get for your money
On the face of it, the Cross Turismo looks massively more expensive than the Taycan when you first check out Porsche Ireland's configurator. But panic not: the discrepancy in prices occurs at the lower end of the scale because the Cross Turismo is only sold in four-wheel-drive format (as befits its off-road leanings) and with the bigger battery alone, whereas the basic four-door Taycan comes with rear-wheel drive and the option of a smaller capacity lithium-ion unit.
That accounts for the seemingly vast €11,005 between the entry-point €89,961 Taycan and a Taycan Cross Turismo 4 at a minimum €100,966. At 4S level, the gap between the saloon (€106,363) and the Cross Turismo (€111,760) is down to €5,397, all represented by the difference in standard battery packs between the two, and when you get to the Turbo and Turbo S models at the tops of the two Taycans' respective ranges, the difference between having a four-door or the wagon is a mere €1,376-€1,388.
That said, at €148,831, the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo is not a cheap car. Thankfully, like the Taycan Turbo on which it is based, the factory kit list up here at this rarefied stratum is reasonably generous and includes air suspension with PASM, LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus (PDLS Plus), dual-zone climate control, eight-way electrically adjustable front seats, cruise control, a decent spread of Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) tech, ParkAssist front and rear, part-leather upholstery, the full 10.9-inch Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment set-up (which supports Apple CarPlay but not Android Auto, regrettably), and a 14-speaker, 710-watt Bose Surround Sound System - among more.
We love the Porsche Taycan. We love a crossover estate even more. This is like the lovechild of the perfect sports EV and an Audi A6 allroad quattro, and as a result it vaults straight into our personal top-five dream cars. We reckon it'll do exactly the same for you once you've tried it.
Seriously, what more do you need a vehicle to do? This Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo is indecently fast, dynamically gifted, impeccably refined, has a majestic interior with more passenger and boot space (marginally) than the saloon, looks even nicer on the outside than its electric Porsche sibling, promises to get you further on your journey if you somehow end up on wet grass or an unmade country track and yet, for all its performance potency, it continues to be a zero-emissions saint that has a long range between charges. The Cross Turismo is a spectacular thing and if this is what the long-term future of motoring has to look like, then please sign us up now.