Porsche Taycan review 2020

The Taycan is Porsche’s first electric car, and brings staggering performance and style to the EV segment

£118,355
Average price
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2
Out of 5

Pros

  • Brilliant to drive
  • Fantastic interior
  • Shocking acceleration

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Limited rear seat space
  • Tesla offers a longer range
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Model review

It might come as a surprise, but Porsche is already well-versed in the world of electrification – introducing hybrid models as far back as 2010, and plug-in hybrids in 2013. And after building up strong expertise and praise for such models, in 2020 the German firm would introduce its first EV, the Taycan

Previewed all the way back in 2015 by the Mission-E concept, it showcased what looked like an electric four-door version of the 911, and that’s ultimately what the Taycan was when it was finally revealed in production form in 2019. It debuted in two hugely powerful forms, Turbo and Turbo S, before being followed afterwards by a slightly more affordable ‘4S’ model. 

Latest model

While the Taycan might look like other Porsches, under the surface that’s far from the case. Aside from its range of new electric powertrains, the Taycan sits on a new platform and is designed from the ground-up to be electric – it’s not just an EV version of an existing car. The batteries are also placed so low to the floor that the Taycan has the lowest centre of gravity of any Porsche. 

At its unveil, it was also the first production car to use an 800-volt system – double the number usually offered in an electric car. That essentially allows the Taycan to be the fastest-charging EV on the market today, with the power to top up at 270kW, meaning that 60 miles of charge can be added in just five minutes. Though good luck trying to find an electric car charger that can support those speeds!

The Taycan will also be joined in 2022 by an estate-like Cross Turismo model, while Porsche has already made upgrades to the existing model as part of 2021 model year updates. Changes include additional interior and exterior colours, additional on-demand services and greater charging flexibility. 

Value for money

Given neither Porsches or electric cars in general are known for being cheap to buy, it comes as no surprise that the Taycan is not inexpensive. Prices for the standard Taycan 4S start from £83,580, which is a lot of money, though it’s worth considering the technology, performance, and long range of up to 287 miles on offer. Standard kit could be more generous, though, as features like electric folding mirrors and a reversing camera are just offered as optional extras. Prices rise considerably as you go up the trim levels, with the Turbo available from £115,860 and the flagship Turbo S costing a steep £138,830. 

Don’t think you’ll be able to save by looking for a nearly-new model, though, as steep demand is keeping prices high. At the time of writing, the Taycan had been on sale for less than a year, though even the cheapest used Taycan 4S models we could see cost £92,000 – almost £10,000 more than the standard list price. 

Looks and image

We’d argue there isn’t a better-looking electric car on the market today than the Taycan. It really does look like a four-door version of the 911, with its sleek aerodynamic shape making this Porsche look superb. Sharp lighting at the front and rear and a generally minimalist design also help it to look exceptionally clean and fuss-free. Porsche also offers a broad range of personalisation possibilities to create a unique Taycan.

The interior of the Taycan is an equally stunning piece of design, with a mix of technology and high-grade materials. Porsche has replaced the traditional dials with a cool new curved 16.8-inch digital instrument dial system – bringing a really modern feel to the cabin. You also get a large central media system, while a new touchscreen handles climate settings – this being a first for a Porsche. As an optional extra, you can also have an extra touchscreen on the dashboard in front of the passenger.

But it’s behind the wheel where the Taycan really impresses. Porsche has done the remarkable thing of making a heavy electric car feel as light and nimble as a sports car. It’s truly remarkable. But the Taycan is also impeccably refined and comfortable as well – making it a super cruiser when you don’t want to make use of the ludicrous acceleration. It’s a true masterclass from Porsche, and easily the best EV to drive on the market today. 

Space and practicality

While the Taycan might be a good size and offer four doors, don’t expect it to be all that practical, as this is one of this Porsche’s few weak links. 

Four adults will be able to sit in the Taycan, though rear space is quite cramped and not as good as that in a Tesla Model S or indeed Porsche’s own Panamera. The 366-litre boot is also not particularly big – in fact the Ford Focus hatchback is roomier – and it’s important to note the Taycan is a saloon rather than a hatch, which means the opening isn’t quite as practical. On the plus side, with no engine under the bonnet, the Taycan does have a ‘frunk’ cargo space – adding an additional 81 litres that’s ideal for a small bag. 

Powertrains

Three powertrain options are offered on the Taycan – 4S, Turbo and Turbo S, and all come with all-wheel-drive. 

Starting with the Taycan S, which is available with two battery packs. The standard unit is a 79kWh battery, which enables a range of 292 miles and offers 225kW rapid charging capability. Its twin electric motors also produce 522bhp and 640Nm of torque. But Porsche also offers a ‘Performance Battery Plus’, adding a larger 93kWh battery capacity, which increases the claimed combined range to an impressive 288 miles. Performance is also increased to 652bhp and 650Nm of torque. Performance is very similar for both, with 0-60mph taking 3.8 seconds. 

Both the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S only have one battery pack option – the larger 93kWh one from the 4S, with Porsche claiming a range of up to 281miles on the Turbo and 258 miles on the Turbo S. In terms of performance, the Turbo produces a huge 670bhp and 850Nm of torque, allowing for a 0-60mph time of just three seconds. As for the Turbo S, well this is one of the quickest production cars on the market today – its electric motors servicing up a monstrous 750bhp, allowing for a 0-60mph time of 2.6 seconds. 

Running costs

While you’ll pay a lot of money upfront for the Taycan, you’ll soon recuperate some of that money when it comes to running costs. Providing you’re careful where you charge – home or free public chargers being preferable – it’ll cost you a fractional amount to plug in this Porsche compared with a conventional petrol car with this power. 

It’s also exempt from emissions-based road charges and road tax, while the Taycan is proving a very popular company car thanks to its current benefit-in-kind of zero per cent – essentially meaning you get free company car tax.

Just be aware this is still a Porsche, though, so both maintenance and insurance costs could still be steep. 

What to look out for

Given much of the technology in the Taycan is new, there are certain question marks surrounding its reliability. However, all models will be covered under Porsche’s warranty until 2023, with the brand offering three years of unlimited mileage of cover. Meanwhile, electric vehicles tend to cost less in maintenance that an equivalent internal combustion engine model.

Rivals 

While there’s a growing range of electric cars to choose from, there are still few in the same ballpark as the Taycan – arguably its closest competitor being the Tesla Model S. A plug-in hybrid Porsche Panamera could also be worth considering, though it won’t have the same zero-emissions capability as the Taycan. 

Depreciation

As mentioned earlier, Taycans are holding their value exceptionally well, and while values will start to drop as models start getting older, we reckon it will continue to offer minimal depreciation for a car of this value. 

Which Taycan to pick

Cheapest to buy when new

300kW 79kWh 4dr RWD Auto

Most MPG

300kW 79kWh 4dr RWD Auto

Fastest model (0-60)

560kW Turbo S 93kWh 4dr Auto

Trims explained

Rather than offering traditional trim levels, Porsche instead offers one standard grade and then offers a comprehensive range of options and personalisation.

Taycan

Standard equipment on the Taycan includes 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, LED interior lighting, two-zone climate control and pre-heating functionality. Electric and heated front seats are also fitted, along with keyless start, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control and a part leather interior. A large 16.8-inch digital dial system is also fitted, along with a large touchscreen with satellite navigation and Apple CarPlay. In terms of safety kit, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and traffic sign recognition are fitted.

From £83,580

Summary

  1. Outrageous performance
  2. Good electric range of up to 288 miles
  3. Three models to choose from
  4. The best EV to drive on the market
  5. Stunning interior
  6. Not cheap to buy…
  7. And optional extras are expensive as well
  8. Not especially practical
  9. Fantastic low running costs
  10. Without a doubt one of the best electric cars you can buy today

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