The Taycan represents Porsche's foray into the electric vehicle space, and it does not disappoint. The Taycan is a technological masterpiece that manages to deliver incredible comfort and effortless driving one moment and then, with the twist of a knob, world-beating performance the next. How one car can do both so well is a little baffling.
But all that technology and capability comes at a high price. The Taycan is not cheap, and we found some of Porsche's touchscreen tech to be needlessly complicated — Luddites steer clear.
How does the Taycan drive?
We expected a lot from the Taycan, and in common Porsche fashion, it overdelivers. We thought it'd be quick and it is. At Edmunds' test track, our 4S test car ripped from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. Did we mention this car weighs over 5,100 pounds? That's as much as a Ford F-150.
You wouldn't know it from the way it goes around corners either. There's the effortless balance and ease of a rear-wheel-drive sports car, but with ridiculous amounts of traction and thrust exiting corners. It kind of feels like cheating. The brakes feel and perform amazingly, offering ample stopping power and none of the artificialness that's common among today's EVs and hybrids. The Taycan does casual cruising well too, with the exception of its lack of automatic regenerative braking. Some EVs provide enough regen when you lift off the accelerator that you often don't need to touch the brake pedal. Not so in the Taycan.
How comfortable is the Taycan?
The seating is cushy but not enveloping, but only the sport seats provide the lateral support needed for any dynamic driving. Still, we managed 9.5 hours behind the wheel in a day without feeling completely beat-up, so that says a lot. The rear seats aren't nearly as good, with their overly prominent lumbar support, tight toe room and a slightly elevated floor height.
Ride comfort, on the other hand, is impressive. Given how much the Taycan weighs and how well it handles, the ride is incredibly well composed. It's complemented by a very quiet cabin. And it's not just the absence of engine noise that's impressive, but also the car's insulation from outside noise in general.
The single biggest miss here is an overcomplicated climate control system, particularly the virtual vent controls. There's a bit of a lag time when you adjust the vent position, and it's quite distracting if you're on the go. If the AC system wasn't so effective in its auto mode, this would be a bigger issue.
How’s the interior?
The Taycan's touchscreen interface is pretty good but not perfect. The lower touchscreen controls the climate settings but can also be used to navigate the upper touchscreen through its virtual touchpad and shortcut buttons. Like other touchscreens, the Taycan's is prone to smudges, though thankfully they only are noticeable when the system is off. If you're not open to taking some time to learn new things, you'll probably hate this interface.
When it comes to getting in and out, the Taycan is more like a sports car than a sedan, especially if the air suspension isn't raised to its friendliest setting. Once inside, there's lots of space up front, but the rear seat is small for a car this long, and the lack of toe space under the front seats makes it feel more cramped. Rear passengers should watch their heads as the swoopy roofline runs pretty low.
Even though the rear window is pretty narrow, rearward visibility is perfectly fine. And it's even better out front thanks to the thin windshield pillars. Door-mounted mirrors ensures objects don't get obscured when you're turning. Arguably the worst part of visibility is the reverse camera and its wide, distorted fish-eye lens perspective.
How’s the tech?
The optional Bose surround-sound system delivers punchy sound with impressive clarity, even when cranked up to irresponsible volumes. The nav system is easy to learn on the fly and has the ability to display various map views within the gauge cluster, even when Apple CarPlay is active. CarPlay comes standard, but Android Auto is not available. A wireless charger and four USB-C charging ports are also included.
Our pricey test vehicle was missing a lot of common driving aids including adaptive cruise control, and the ones it had were a little overbearing at times. The optional surround-view camera didn't operate for an entire week, but when it did finally right itself, it worked seamlessly with the parking assist sensors. The reverse camera picture looks like a fish-eye lens, and while you can see a lot of what's behind you, the skewed image makes it difficult to gauge proximity to things.
How’s the storage?
The rear trunk space, at 14.3 cubic feet, is a bit small for how large the Taycan is, and boxes will need to be pushed in farther than you think to clear the slope of the trunklid. There's underfloor storage that helps, and the rear seats split 60/40 and fold down flat, lending some needed cargo flexibility. The front trunk offers an additional 2.8 cubic feet of storage and can fit a small roller bag.
There's slightly better interior storage than what most luxury sedans provide. The armrest bin is pretty modest, but a cubby beneath the lower touchscreen can store things such as sunglasses, face masks or even a small purse. The door pockets will hold a couple of water bottles, but the glovebox won't hold much beyond the owner's manual.
Car seat anchors are easy to locate, though the tilt of the rear seat bottom is steep, so proper adjustment of your child safety seat's base might be tricky. A rear-facing seat will be a bit of a squeeze behind most front occupants.
How economical is the Taycan?
The EPA estimates that a Taycan 4S with the standard battery has a range of 199 miles with a consumption of 42 kWh/100 miles, which is the EV equivalent of a gas guzzler. By comparison the other "thirtiest" EVs include the Audi e-tron (46 kWh/100 miles), Tesla Model X Performance on 22-inch wheels (43 kWh/100 miles) and Jaguar I-Pace (44 kWh/100 miles).
But in Edmunds' testing, we experienced significantly better range and consumption while driving the Taycan using settings that a typical owner would. (The EPA mandates the use of default settings for its testing.) We observed 323.3 miles of range with a consumption of 32.3 kWh/100 miles. Note that, unlike a regular car's mpg number, improved efficiency comes from a lower kWh/mile consumption figure, not a higher one.
Is the Taycan a good value?
Most EVs these days don't come cheap, but the Taycan is like shopping in the boutique vitamin aisle at Whole Foods instead of CVS. Even the base-model 4S starts thousands above Tesla's Performance models. That said, no Taycan owner will have to worry about questionable build quality or glitchy firmware updates. And beyond the software and electronics, Porsche has a way with interiors and the tactile feel of switches and buttons, or at least the few of them that haven't migrated to the touchscreen menus.
Warranty coverage and roadside assistance for Taycan are pretty standard for the luxury class. But an onboard charger and 240-volt charge cord, assuming you have a simple matching socket installed, can save you from purchasing an entire home charging station. You'll also benefit from three years of charging at Electrify America stations, where your first 30 minutes of each visit are free (sufficient for charging to 80% battery capacity in the right conditions).
There was never any doubt the Taycan would be a performer, and even the base-model 4S offers plenty of thrills. Speed can be accessed anywhere, but that's expected of any luxury EV. Instead, the Taycan impresses with its composure and the sensation it delivers behind the wheel. It supplies what you'd want of any high-performance sedan when you press it, but the rest of the time it's simply an exceptionally comfortable car.
And EV or not, the Taycan is a great-looking vehicle. The shape is instantly familiar as a Porsche yet special at the same time. Porsche's first production EV aims to wow, and wow it does.