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2021 Porsche Taycan Review

The all-electric 2021 Porsche Taycan has blistering acceleration, lively handling, and a first-rate interior, but some overly complicated cabin controls prevent it from reaching the zenith of the luxury hybrid and electric car class.

Pros & Cons

  • Lightning-quick acceleration
  • Athletic handling
  • Upscale cabin
  • Long list of features
  • Over-reliance on touch-sensitive buttons in the cabin

New for 2021

  • Much less expensive base model
  • Head-up display newly optional
  • Over-the-air update ability

8.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.8
Performance: 9.5
Interior: 6.8
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Porsche Taycan?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Porsche Taycan a Good Car?

Though it falls a little short of a top ranking among luxury hybrid and electric cars, the Taycan is still an excellent vehicle. It drives with all of the enthusiasm of a sporty Porsche, tackling corners with ease and taking off from a stop with the urgency afforded by an all-electric powertrain. Inside, you'll find welcoming seating, posh materials, and a tech-first approach to conventional controls.

There are only minor downsides: A lack of physical buttons and knobs on the dashboard makes some common adjustments too much of a chore, and rear-seat room and electric driving range are nothing special.

Why You Can Trust Us: 13 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 13 Porsche Taycan reviews – along with reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2021 Taycan is the right new car for you.

This 2021 Taycan review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2020.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Porsche Taycan?

The introduction of a much less expensive base model addresses one of the biggest hurdles to buying a Taycan: price. This EV now starts at around $80,000, though there are still higher-performance models that retail for more than $235,000. If you have the budget for a high five-figure or low six-figure electric car, the Taycan is absolutely worth checking out.

You'd also do well to consider the Taycan's primary rival, the Tesla Model S. Though it doesn't have the outright advantage in price anymore, the Model S offers a much longer driving range. And if you like the idea of driving an efficient Porsche but want the safety net of a gas engine, check out the plug-in-hybrid version of the Panamera.

Find a 2021 Porsche Taycan for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Porsche Taycan: What's the Difference?

After being introduced as an all-new vehicle for 2020, the biggest change for the Taycan in 2021 is the introduction of a new base model that lowers the starting price by about $24,000. This new model has a less robust electric powertrain though.

There are a few other minor changes for 2021. A head-up display and an automatic height-adjusting suspension are newly optional. The Taycan also gets a new degree of connectivity, with the ability to purchase some features via over-the-air updates, either permanently or on a subscription basis.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Taycan »

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2020 Taycan review to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Porsche Taycan Cost?

The base 2021 Porsche Taycan starts at $79,990, which is one of the highest base prices in the luxury hybrid and electric car class. However, that's right in line with the Taycan's primary rival, the Tesla Model S.

The Taycan 4S starts at $103,800, the Taycan Turbo retails for $150,900, and the Taycan Turbo S will set you back at least $185,000. With a long list of optional features, the Taycan's price can balloon even further. You can add roughly $50,000 in options to bring a Turbo S model to around $235,000.

All Taycan models qualify for a federal electric vehicle tax credit of up to $7,500, and you may be eligible for other state or local EV incentives that can ultimately lower the final cost of the car. To learn more, check out How Does the Electric Car Tax Credit Work?

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Porsche dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Porsche deals page.

Can I Lease the Porsche Taycan?

Yes, Porsche offers lease options on its vehicles.

Porsche Taycan Versus the Competition

Porsche Taycan vs. Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S takes a top spot in the luxury hybrid and electric car class, and despite strong competition over the past several years, it's still the benchmark for electric cars. The base Model S offers a little more than 400 miles of range. The more expensive Model S Performance boasts a zero-to-60 time of 2.3 seconds while only sacrificing about 15 miles of range. There are also new Model S Plaid versions on the horizon that Tesla claims will produce more than 1,000 horsepower, offer over 500 miles of driving range, and produce a zero-to-60 time of under two seconds.

The Tesla and Porsche have similar base prices, but the Taycan is still eligible for federal EV tax credits (no Tesla vehicles qualify at this time). You'll get a lot more cargo space with the Model S, while the Taycan is the clear winner for interior panache and build quality. These electric rivals have similarly sporty handling, so-so seating, and futuristic but ultimately overinvolved infotainment/touch-screen systems.

Compare the Taycan and Model S »

Porsche Taycan vs. Porsche Panamera

The Porsche Panamera ranks highly in the super luxury car class. A hatchback design affords it ample cargo space, and the second row is incredibly roomy. The Panamera has six engine choices, ranging from a turbocharged V6 to a twin-turbocharged V8. There are also two plug-in-hybrid versions that offer 14 miles of all-electric driving and good fuel economy when the gas engine kicks in.

The 457-horsepower Panamera 4 E-Hybrid has a similar base price to the Taycan 4S, and the 690-horsepower Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid retails for about $188,000. You can get the base Taycan for tens of thousands of dollars less than any semi-electrified Panamera. Gas-only Panameras cost between about $87,000 and $153,000. Choosing between the Taycan and the Panamera mostly depends on the powertrain you want, though you may want to consider the latter's extra space.

Compare the Taycan and Panamera »

Compare the Taycan, Model S, and Panamera »

Taycan Performance: No Taycan It Easy

Taycan Motor

Powering the standard rear-wheel-drive Porsche Taycan is a single electric motor and a 79-kWh battery pack that combine to produce 321 horsepower. All Taycan models are capable of short bursts of extra power when using launch control, referred to as overboost. In that scenario, the base model puts out up to 402 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque.

All other trims feature standard all-wheel drive and two electric motors. The Taycan 4S, previously the lowest trim, is rated at 429 horsepower. With overboost and launch control, it doles out up to 522 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque.

Even these lower-end models are blisteringly fast. The Taycan takes off from a stop with authority and cruises up to higher speeds quickly. In fact, you may find yourself going faster than you thought before you realize it.

Part of the reason for the Taycan's smooth and linear power delivery is its two-speed transmission. Most other electric cars use a single-speed transmission, but the Porsche's outfit helps to manage acceleration better.

The base Taycan and Taycan 4S are available with a 93-kWh battery, dubbed Performance Battery Plus. In the standard Taycan, this upgraded cell is rated at 375 horsepower, with up to 469 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque with overboost.

The Taycan 4S with the Performance Battery Plus has 482 horsepower, with up to 562 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque available with overboost.

The Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S both come standard with the larger battery and are each rated at 616 horsepower for everyday use. Obviously, that makes them feel even quicker than the base model, thrusting you back in your seat when you hit the accelerator.

It's another story with launch control and overboost: The Taycan Turbo is available with up to 670 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque, while the Turbo S puts out up to 750 horsepower and 774 pound-feet of torque. All of those figures are among the highest of any car we review.

Taycan MPGe

The 2021 Porsche Taycan 4S gets an EPA-estimated 75 to 79 MPG-equivalent in the city and 80 to 81 MPGe on the highway. Overall, the Taycan's MPGe is a little low compared to that of all other all-electric vehicles.

For more information, check out What is MPGe?

What Is the Driving Range of a Porsche Taycan?

The Taycan has a maximum driving range of 227 miles. That's for the 4S model with the upgraded 93-kWh battery. With the standard 79-kWh battery, the Taycan 4S has a range of 199 miles. As of this writing, neither Porsche nor the EPA has announced range estimates for the new base Taycan.

The Taycan Turbo can go 212 miles on a full charge, while the Turbo S can manage 201 miles. Overall, there's little reason to choose a Taycan model based on range, given the 28-mile difference between the highest and lowest distance.

The Taycan's range is in line with what you'll get from several other electric cars, such as the all-new luxury Polestar 2 (233 miles), and it splits the difference of much less expensive EVs such as the Nissan Leaf (215 miles) and Chevrolet Bolt (259 miles).

For as much as it aims to be a Tesla killer, the Taycan falls far short of the range delivered by various Tesla vehicles. The Tesla Model 3 has a maximum range of 353 miles, and the Model S surpasses 400 miles.

How Do You Charge the Porsche Taycan?

You can charge the Porsche Taycan at home using a 240-volt electrical adapter or at public charging stations often found in shopping centers or parking garages. The Taycan's charging cable is J1772 specification, so it's compatible with any charging port of the same measurement.

How Long Does It Take to Charge the Porsche Taycan?

It takes between 9.5 and 10.5 hours to fully charge the Taycan via a 240-volt household-style power outlet or a public Level 2 charging station. Using Level 3 charging, you can go from 5% battery capacity to 80% in 93 minutes. A 270-kilowatt station with maximum charging power can juice the Taycan to 80% in just 22.5 minutes.

Where Can I Charge the Porsche Taycan?

There are around 25,000 public charging stations across the United States. Taycan owners can take advantage of free 30-minute charging for three years at any of the roughly 2,200 charging portals of Volkswagen's Electrify America initiative (Porsche is a subsidiary of Volkswagen).

You can also find DC fast charging at Porsche dealerships nationwide.

Taycan Ride and Handling

The Taycan handles just as well as all of Porsche's other performance-oriented cars. Battery components span most of the center of the undercarriage, and it's this low center of gravity that helps provide poised control around corners. Steering is fairly responsive and well-weighted.

In contrast to most other electric vehicles, the Taycan employs very little regenerative braking. The good news is that if you're coming from a gas-only car, this Porsche's brake feel will seem completely natural.

Regenerative braking in other EVs allows you to lift your foot off the accelerator, and the car will start to provide braking power by recapturing energy for the batteries. This essentially allows for “one-pedal driving,” a phrase widely used to characterize the abilities of regen braking.

How Fast Is the Porsche Taycan?

The standard Porsche Taycan goes from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Other models are a lot quicker. The Taycan 4S goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, which is impressive compared to most other performance cars, electric or not. The Taycan Turbo does the sprint in three seconds flat, and the Turbo S trims it to 2.6 seconds. The Taycan Turbo S is just one of a few mainstream production vehicles that go from zero to 60 mph in under three seconds.

The Taycan 4S has a top speed of 155 mph, while both Turbo models top out at 161 mph. The base Taycan trim is limited to a top speed of 143 mph.

Is the Porsche Taycan Available With All-Wheel Drive?

The Porsche Taycan comes standard with all-wheel drive. Most luxury electric vehicles come standard with AWD.

Read more about performance »

Taycan Interior: Too Tech-Heavy?

Taycan Cargo Space

In standard form, the Porsche Taycan has 14.3 cubic feet of trunk space. You can easily carry several suitcases or a good amount of assorted smaller bags. Taycan Turbo models have only 12.9 cubic feet of room in the trunk.

Because there's no gas engine under the hood, the Taycan has a front trunk that measures 2.8 cubic feet. It's large enough for one smaller suitcase or a couple of grocery bags.

How Many People Does the Taycan Seat?

The Taycan sedan offers seating for four, but you can add an optional second-row middle seat to boost capacity to five. The front seats have plenty of leg- and headroom for you to get comfortable, as well as a multitude of power adjustments. Outward visibility is good in most directions.

Rear-seat accommodations are a little more of a mixed bag. Headroom and legroom will likely be just enough for taller people, so they may want to limit their time back there. Additionally, because of the battery shape and placement, the second row has smaller-than-usual space for your feet.

Taycan and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the Taycan’s rear outboard seats.

Taycan Interior Quality

Like all Porsches, the Taycan's cabin is top-notch. All materials are of the highest quality, and there are seemingly endless options for customization, such as several different leather upholsteries, deviated color stitching, and plush coverings for most surfaces.

You can also spring for aluminum, wood, or carbon fiber trim pieces throughout the interior. The overall design is cool and modern, though it's a hair short of being over-the-top flashy or elegant.

Taycan Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Taycan's cockpit and center stack are almost completely digital. The main infotainment touch screen features crisp graphics and processes your commands quickly. Standard Apple CarPlay is a boon for iPhone users, but Android devotees are out of luck: Like all other Porsche products, the Taycan does not have support for Android Auto.

Below the main screen is a smaller display that's the hub for secondary controls like climate and seat heating or ventilation. It echoes the central problem with the Taycan's dashboard, which is a lack of physical buttons and knobs. Adjusting the temperature requires using the smaller display to scroll through numbers, and it can be hard to do accurately while on the move. Even traditional knobs for audio volume or tuning are missing.

The standard digital instrument cluster looks great and, though you may not be able to tell, is curved for optimal visibility and reduced glare. One cool option is an additional touch screen on the dashboard in front of the passenger that lets them play personal assistant for controlling navigation or otherwise going through infotainment features.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 10.9-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, four USB ports, wireless device charging, navigation, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a 10-speaker stereo
  • Available infotainment features: a passenger-side 10.9-inch touch screen, a 14-speaker surround-sound Bose stereo, and a 21-speaker Burmester surround-sound stereo
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control, a 16.8-inch digital instrument cluster, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, proximity keyless entry, a universal garage door opener, and ambient interior lighting
  • Other available features: quad-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic glass roof, and a cabin air ionizer

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Taycan Reliability

Is the Porsche Taycan Reliable?

The 2021 Porsche Taycan has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five.

Porsche Taycan Warranty

Porsche covers the Taycan with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and an eight-year/100,000-mile battery and electric powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Taycan Safety

Taycan Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2021 Taycan. This is common for high-end luxury vehicles.

Taycan Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Rearview camera
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers

Available advanced safety features:

  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Head-up display
  • Night vision detection
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Porsche InnoDrive (maintains set speed and steering on highways)

Read more about safety »

Taycan Dimensions and Weight

The Taycan is 16.3 feet long, and its curb weight ranges from 4,566 to 5,119 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Porsche Taycan Built?

Porsche builds the 2021 Taycan in Germany.

Which Porsche Taycan Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Porsche Taycan comes in four trims: base (Taycan), 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S. The base model is the best value, as it comes with nearly all the features of the next highest trim but at a much lower price. If you want all-wheel drive, however, you’ll have to purchase a higher trim, and the Taycan 4S is a great choice. It delivers satisfying performance for a fraction of the cost of the Turbo models. No matter which trim you go with, you can choose from a long list of appearance customizations and optional features.

Porsche Taycan

The 2021 Porsche Taycan starts at $79,990 and comes with a 79-kWh lithium-ion battery. A 93-kWh battery pack (Performance Battery Plus) is optional for $6,580.

Standard features include partial leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable and heated front seats, ambient interior lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 16.8-inch digital instrument cluster, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, proximity keyless entry, and a universal garage door opener.

The standard 10.9-inch touch-screen infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay, four USB ports, wireless device charging, navigation, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a 10-speaker stereo. Also standard are performance summer tires, launch control, and driver assistance features including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive headlights, automatic high-beam headlights, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, front and rear parking sensors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Like most Porsche models, the Taycan is available with a plethora of optional equipment. The Premium package costs $7,080 and includes Matrix-design LED headlights, 14-way power-adjustable front seats with memory settings and ventilation, a panoramic glass roof, a 14-speaker surround-sound Bose stereo, a surround-view parking camera system, blind spot monitoring, and a cabin air ionizer.

Notable individual options include full leather or Race-Tex suede upholstery ($4,130), Olea Club leather ($6,570), 18-way power-adjustable front sport seats ($1,930), a rear middle seat ($480), heated rear seats ($530), massaging and ventilated front seats ($2,000), and a heated steering wheel ($280).

On the technology front, you can opt for a head-up display ($1,850), night vision detection ($2,420), adaptive cruise control ($2,050), Porsche InnoDrive ($3,610), and a passenger-side 10.9-inch touch screen ($1,130). Also available are surface-coated brakes ($3,490), quad-zone automatic climate control ($990), and a 21-speaker Burmester surround-sound stereo ($7,000).

Options for charging include a 19.2-kW onboard AC charger ($1,680), a 150-kW onboard DC charger ($460), and intelligent range management ($300).

Porsche Taycan 4S

The Porsche Taycan 4S starts at $103,800. In addition to the features from the base model, it comes standard with all-wheel drive, an additional motor, an adaptive air suspension, and red brake calipers.

The $6,430 Performance package adds rear-wheel steering, sport chassis control, torque-vectoring steering, and the Sport Chrono bundle of a multifunction steering wheel, a stopwatch, and Sport Plus driving mode. Ceramic-coated brakes are optional for $9,080.

Porsche Taycan Turbo

The Porsche Taycan Turbo retails for $150,900, with a standard 93-kWh lithium-ion battery, larger wheels, ceramic-coated brakes, torque-vectoring steering, upgraded headlights, leather upholstery, 14-way power-adjustable front seats with memory settings, heated rear seats, a suede headliner, stainless steel pedals, and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound stereo.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S

With a base price of $185,000, the Taycan Turbo S comes with unique wheels, 10-piston and cross-drilled brakes, the Sport Chrono package, rear-wheel steering, 18-way power-adjustable front sport seats, suede upholstery, and a GT steering wheel.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Porsche dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Porsche deals page.

See 2021 Porsche Taycan specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Porsche Taycan offers nearly everything you could want from a performance-focused electric car: swift take-off speeds and deft handling, along with a good, though unremarkable, battery range. The brand's reputation for luxury, quality, and reliability are featured as well.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Taycan 4S is simply a stylish, fun-to-drive, four-door, four-seat performance sedan that oozes Porsche DNA from every pore and costs no more than a 911. And that may be enough to tempt them to make the jump to electric power." -- Motor Trend
  • "The Porsche damn well should be better than the Tesla, and it is, even if the electric range — likely a real-world 230 or 240 miles — falls disappointingly short of Tesla’s 300-mile heights. What you get for that lofty price is a four-door supercar GT, a technical and performance marvel." -- Autoblog (2020)
  • "The Porsche Taycan is remarkably impressive in many ways. It's quick, it's fun and it's also comfortable and quiet. … There is room for improvement, but Porsche's first production EV is a win and yet another sign that an all-electric future is worth getting excited about." -- CNET (2020)
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