The 2023 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo Is Euro Road Trip Royalty

Five days on the Portuguese coast with Porsche’s 750-horsepower electric all-terrain wagon.

byJonathan Harper|
Porsche Taycan photo
Jonathan Harper

A small sign in the shape of a castle. A rutted road over a golden hill. An irresistible invitation to pull over and explore one of many 17th-century ruins that dot Portugal’s coastline. 

These are the things you can take advantage of in a car like the 2023 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo. On the truly, deeply, madly rutted road, we soon encountered a hastily abandoned Fiat Punto; the owner apparently decided the car couldn’t take anymore and proceeded on foot. We cruised past smoothly with our lifted electric wagon in Gravel mode, the air suspension lifted to the highest setting, throttle and traction control optimized for off-road driving and all four wheels engaged.

Of course, pretty much any crossover could’ve made it up there. But very few cars can deliver this kind of multifaceted experience on a road trip—a serene and luxurious cabin, loads of cargo space, the capability to hit almost any side quest, and an utterly engaging drive.

After easing up to the promised castle ruins and poking around, we descended back down the path to the well-paved motorway and switched the Porsche back to Range mode; the car lowered to become as aerodynamic as possible and preserve the remaining battery charge. Range mode also limited our speed to 87 mph and swapped the full-blown AC for ECO AC, slowing the fan speed and raising the temperature in an effort to squeeze every last mile from the battery. In a pinch, the Cross Turismo can power itself only with the front axle in order to save even more energy. 

With so much beautiful scenery in such close proximity, it was impossible to avoid a sunset excursion for some photos each evening. A little dirt road next to our rental house led down to the edge of a massive cliff. Car-accessible locations like this are rare in America without a permit, and I was so happy to capitalize on every breathtaking view in Portugal.

This is where I admit my massive bias towards this car. Even before this trip I’ve been well known (by my wife) to wax poetic about how perfect of a car the Taycan Cross Turismo is. I’ll see one in traffic and sputter with excitement, regardless of spec. It's an all-terrain electric super-wagon, what's not to love? The Turbo S spec may seem the least suited to extended long-haul driving with an EPA-estimated 222 miles of range, but that's still plenty for a more leisurely pace.

The Cross Turismo is not a small vehicle, a little over 16 feet long and six and a half feet wide. In Lisbon, where our journey began, I was keenly aware of how large it was compared to how small many of the streets were, and the car’s standard rear-axle steering was essential. That coupled with its rarity meant it drew attention everywhere, and not always in a good way. We made a quick stop at a Lidl grocery store for supplies, parking in an EV-only spot next to a fast-charger that was already occupied. Or so I thought—turns out the charger had two plugs, rarely the case in America (or if it does, it usually can't fast-charge two cars at once). Emerging from the store just a few minutes later with two of the largest packs of agua con gas available, I was greeted by a very animated Portuguese man gesturing towards the car and speaking very rapidly. It took a minute to figure out he was very upset that I'd parked in a charging spot and didn't plug in, blocking his access. Eventually I convinced him that I meant no harm, and the international incident was defused.

Once we hit the road south on the well-paved toll motorway, traffic lightened up and we sailed along in rapid comfort. On-ramps afforded the best opportunity for wide-open throttle pulls. My passengers quickly made it known that I should warn them in advance to rest their heads back against the seat in order to avoid whiplash from the sudden punch of speed.

Pressing on, we peeled off the highway about an hour in and stopped for a quick seafood lunch in Sines, before continuing on smaller two lane roads that traced the coast. Tour buses and agricultural vehicles were easy targets on the straight bits in between villages. The Cross Turismo gobbled up every passing section with exceptional ease. Instant torque goes a long way when all you need is a quick squirt of power to get around some slow moving tractor. With 774 lb-ft of torque on tap and a 0-60 mph time of 2.6 seconds, this wagon is supercar-quick. With 18-way adaptive front seats, we felt like we were essentially wearing the car, in a good way. Apple CarPlay made navigation and music a breeze. 

After our drive from Lisbon down to the Algarve coast, we had about 93 miles of range out of the 221 miles we started with. Plugged into a regular outlet with the Porsche Mobile Charger included in the trunk, the Cross Turismo was able to pull 1.2 kW, which resulted in roughly 20% range increase while charging overnight. That turned out to be more than enough to cover the local explorations we had planned each day, especially while running the Taycan in Range mode.

As a result, we started the last day with 112 miles of range and a 191-mile sprint north to Lisbon ahead of us. I would finally have to stop at a public charger somewhere along the way; this being Europe, there were plenty of options. I identified a 350 kW charger about 69 miles into the journey, which should’ve left a comfortable range buffer of about 40 miles, in theory.

So off we went, keeping up with traffic on the 75-mph limited motorway. Speeds and altitude climbed as we turned away from the coast and into the mountains. I watched as our range dropped quicker than the distance to the charger. Range anxiety began to kick in. I was on the verge of panic and needed to slow down. I was admittedly being a bit of an alarmist, but I went into hypermiler mode, drafting semi trucks on the uphills and relying on regenerative braking on the downhills.

We coasted into the rest stop with 29% range remaining, welcomed by a wide-open (and fully functional) 350 kW charger. Within minutes the Cross Turismo was ramping through 250 kW for a lightning fast charge. We unplugged at 95% a little over thirty minutes later. The blast back to Lisbon was uneventful in the most comfortable of ways. My lead foot may have gotten the best of me again. I somewhat sheepishly returned the car with only 25 miles of range remaining, knowing it would go straight on a charger at the Porsche office.

Over five days we covered nearly 430 miles in silent speed and absolute comfort. The car itself did everything we asked, with ease, and it was an eye-opening experience to use an EV this extensively in a different country. The road trip was certainly made easier by Europe’s more-advanced charging infrastructure, but by and large the Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo proved an ideal way to tour a foreign land. Would I rent an electric car over an ICE car full stop, though? Probably not yet—unless it’s as nice as this one.

2023 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo Specs
Base Price$199,150
PowertrainDual permanent-magnet synchronous motors | 93.4 kWh lithium-ion battery | 2-speed rear-axle transmission | all-wheel drive
Torque774 lb-ft
0-60 mph2.7 seconds
Top Speed155 mph
Range222 miles
Charging Speed5% to 80% in 22.5 minutes @ 270 kW
Cargo Space14.3 cubic feet | 41.3 ft3 with rear seats folded | 2.9 ft3 front trunk
Max Ground Clearance5.9 inches

Got a tip? Send us a note:

Porsche ReviewsPorsche Taycan