It stands to reason that Volkswagen would add a smaller compact companion to the larger Tiguan and much larger Atlas high wagons.
The Taos arrives at the perfect moment, considering that utility-style cars are popular in this wide range. The Chevrolet Trailblazer, Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-30 and the upcoming 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross fall into this bracket.
The Taos is named after a small town in New Mexico and could be considered as a replacement of sorts for the basic Volkswagen Golf hatchback. It bends to a long service this year, but leaves behind the hot-air Golf GTI and Golf R variants that will receive updates for 2022.
From front to back, the Taos’s design matches the Tiguan’s appearance. By 2022, that car will get a new grille and LED headlights that are close to Taos’ designs. Both models share similar front and side glass, but the Taos’ lift gate and taillights are unique.
Compared to the Tiguan, the Taos is generally nearly 24 inches shorter and is 10 inches shorter between the front and rear wheels. Surprisingly, the Taos is slightly wider, which explains why total passenger space between the two is almost identical. Those sitting in the back (especially adults) should find it a relatively comfortable place and easily enter and exit through the wide door openings.
With the rear seat folded, the cargo volume is only slightly less than that of the Tiguan, which can be had with three rows of seats. The low cargo floor of the Taos should make loading and unloading less of a strain.
As with most Volkswagen cars, the Taos’ cabin and dashboard have a lean and conservative profile. The adjustable digital meters are standard and resemble traditional round speedometers and tachometers. The transmission shifter is a conventional stick and the control panel dials and switches for the audio and climate controls are uncomplicated. The standard 6.5-inch and available 8.0-inch touch screens are attractively integrated with the dashboard.
Standard with all trims is a new turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 158 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque. Basic fuel economy is rated at 8.4 l / 100 km in the city, 6.6 on the highway and 7.6 combined.
Front-wheel-drive models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. A seven-speed automatic comes with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. It is a dual-clutch transmission, which should mean faster shifts and less parasitic power loss.
A torsion beam (solid) rear axle comes with the FWD Taos, while an independent rear suspension is attached to the AWD version.
Prices for the base Taos Trendline start at $ 28,400, which is about $ 2,700 more than a base 2021 Golf Trendline equipped with the optional eight-speed automatic transmission. That gets you the base plus roof rails, two-tone canvas covered seats, push-button starter, four-speaker sound system and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Comfortline adds all-wheel-drive, six-speaker audio system, leather seat cover, eight-way powerful driver’s seat and cordless phone charging
Opting for the top-end Highline upholstery features a sunroof, with leather-covered seats (heated and ventilated), ambient 10-color interior lighting, navigation, premium eight-speaker Beats brand audio system and adaptive (rotating with curves) headlights.
Optional on the Highline is a wide range of dynamic safety technologies that include blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control with emergency braking. You can also upgrade your Highline with remote start and 19-inch wheels.
The overall space of the Taos, good appearance and a relatively strong powertrain should make it a popular choice in this bracket. Unless the available Tiguan third-row bench is an absolute necessity, saving a few thousand dollars sounds like something a bit smaller than a sensible move.
What you need to know: 2022 Volkswagen Taos
Type: Front / all-wheel-drive compact utility
Engine (hp): 1.5-liter I-4, turbocharged (158)
Transfer: eight-speed automatic; seven-speed automatic (opt.)
Market position: Adding smaller utility vehicles / crossovers is usually done with a host of car manufacturers, while compact sedans become less popular, or disappear altogether. VW also needed a car to enclose under the Tiguan.
Points: Overall attractive design resembling the Tiguan. • Passenger and cargo space is also almost equal to that model. • Basic model costs a little more than the outgoing Golf. • Standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine should prove more than enough for most drivers.
Driver assistance: Blind spot alert with cross-traffic backup alert (opt.); active cruise control (opt.); front and rear emergency braking (opt.); Alert Driver Alert (after); lane-keeping assist (opt.); pedestrian detection (opt.)
L / 100 km (city / road): 8.4 / 6.6 (FWD)
Base price (incl. Destination): $ 28,400
- Base price: $ 24,600
- The smallest of Chevy’s utility companies offers a choice of two turbo I-3 engines.
- Base price: $ 25,000
- Compact hatch can be obtained with turbo or non-turbo I-4 engines, as well as electric power.
- Base price: $ 26,800
- Stylish CX-3-based model can be ordered with a turbocharged 250-hp I-4.
– written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media
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