2022 Volkswagen Taos becomes brand’s smallest, most affordable SUV – Roadshow

The 2022 VW Taos brings crisp styling to the already-crowded entry-level compact SUV section.


In contrast with rivals, Volkswagen has been combating an undersize SUV lineup for years. That started to vary on the bigger finish of the portfolio with the debut of the German firm’s midsize Atlas for 2018, a product beachhead additional strengthened with the arrival of a sleeker two-row Atlas Cross Sport spinoff that debuted this yr. These fashions have clearly helped, however a lot of the motion in crossovers has occurred on the entry-level finish of the market, under the model’s current Tiguan. These small SUV buyers are lastly poised to get some consideration with the debut of this crisp-looking 2022 Volkswagen Taos.

If you happen to need assistance determining the place this new entry suits, at 175.Eight inches lengthy and 72.5 inches large, the 2022 Taos is sized to tackle fashions just like the Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Nissan Rogue Sport and Subaru Crosstrek within the reasonably priced finish of as we speak’s overcrowded small-SUV swimming pool. America’s compact utility section really has fairly a selection by way of footprint, with VW’s personal Tiguan on the big aspect (it is even accessible with three rows) and new entries like VW’s forthcoming all-electric ID 4 splitting the center in dimension. The brand new Taos will skirt above subcompact fashions just like the Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona and Nissan Kicks.

VW Taos affords customary turbo energy

Powered by a 1.5-liter spinoff of the EA211 four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injected engine discovered within the Jetta, the Taos follows VW’s well-established design language that favors sharply tailor-made traces and unadorned surfaces over among the section’s busier (if younger and energetic) designs. Just like the aforementioned ID four EV, the Taos’ nostril contains a grille bisected by an accessible gentle bar that flows cleanly into the usual LED headlamps (higher-end fashions have adaptive items).

The mannequin’s most distinct departure from different current VW SUVs is the blacked-out bumper fascia that offers the Taos a barely more durable look. Whereas hardly revolutionary, this design’s comparatively easy traces are more likely to age effectively. (Notice: An ordinary mannequin is proven right here; a sportier-looking R-Design trim or even one with an off-road-ready appearance might finally come to market.)

Thanks partly to an extended 105.9-inch wheelbase, VW says this mannequin, inbuilt Puebla, Mexico, contains a cabin that is practically as spacious because the 9.6-inches-longer Tiguan inside. The Taos affords 28.1 cubic toes of cargo area, increasing to 66.three cubes with the rear seats folded. Certainly, Roadshow’s personal Steven Ewing recently drove a camouflaged Taos prototype and located that it provided stable area and street manners.

The aforementioned four-cylinder engine powers the Taos’ entrance wheels as customary, with 4Motion all-wheel drive accessible as an optionally available additional. VW says the Taos’ powertrain is sweet for 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the latter approaching boil from 1,750 rpm. That is barely extra horsepower and considerably extra torque than the nonturbo 2.0-liter flat 4 present in Subaru’s Crosstrek. In truth, the Taos has extra horsepower than the Subaru’s up-level 2.5-liter 4 (176 lb-ft), although it may’t match the Japanese soft-roader’s 182 hp. 

Curiously, FWD Taos fashions depend on a standard eight-speed torque-converter automated, whereas 4Motion AWD fashions ship with a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. The latter will seemingly supply faster shifting, which may make it the choose of the vary for driving lovers. Nonetheless, with one fewer ratio and extra mechanical drag as a consequence of its further driveshafts, AWD fashions are sure to have inferior gas financial system (EPA estimates haven’t but been launched).

The cabin will probably be accessible with numerous surprisingly premium options, together with a panoramic roof and ventilated leather-based seats.


At the least for the second, there are not any electrified powertrains deliberate for this mannequin. At this entry-level compact SUV finish of the market, hybrid fashions are uncommon (with or and not using a plug). Pricing has not but been introduced, however the Taos is more likely to begin within the $23,000-$24,000 vary to be according to rivals, and attempting to engineer such expensive tech right into a car in that value vary can be very tough. That mentioned, a 48-volt mild-hybrid system for higher-end trims could possibly be doable over time.

VW Taos has upscale inside choices

The 2022 VW Taos’ cabin will look acquainted to those that have been within the firm’s current choices, however that is no a foul factor. Like the outside, the mannequin’s cockpit styling is smooth and clear, with a horizontally oriented dashboard and what seems to be to be most of the similar higher-quality controls that we have skilled beforehand. Curiously, even base fashions obtain a reconfigurable all-digital gauge cluster. Two-tone fabric seats are customary, with each leatherette and full-on cowhide accessible. A panoramic moonroof and heated/ventilated seats will even be accessible, each of that are good (and comparatively uncommon) inclusions at this finish of the market.

Infotainment is dealt with by VW’s MIB3 {hardware} by way of an 8-inch touchscreen on base fashions and a 10.25-inch unit on higher trims. Options like wi-fi charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot are additionally accessible, as is embedded navigation (the latter isn’t all the time provided at this finish of the market). Integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is customary on all fashions, with wi-fi CarPlay accessible on midlevel trims and above. As much as three USB-C ports are provided, so in case your gadgets nonetheless use conventional USB-A connections, put together to make use of some dongles.

Regardless of its markedly smaller footprint, the Taos has inside area that rivals VW’s bigger Tiguan.


VW Taos is a bit gentle on customary ADAS

On the protection entrance, VW is bundling a collection of driver help tech underneath its IQ Drive banner. Sadly, whereas ahead collision warning with automated emergency braking and blind-spot help can be found on base fashions, these vital security options are usually not customary gear as they’re in some rival SUVs. Options like lane-keep help and adaptive cruise management are additionally optionally available.

The truth that this mannequin carries a North American title (the Taos is known as after the artsy and historic city in New Mexico) is not accidentally — “It was crucial to attempt to discover a localized title,” Hein Schafer, VW’s senior vp of Product Advertising and marketing and Technique, instructed Roadshow throughout a media teleconference. Whereas VW already affords a slew of comparable small crossovers all over the world, the Taos has been expressly designed with US and Canadian prospects in thoughts, and the Taos title is supposed to strengthen that concept. At Roadshow, we’re simply joyful this SUV has an easier, less-contrived moniker than the Tiguan (a cross between “tiger” and “iguana” — actually).

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos is slated to go on sale within the second quarter of 2021.

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Chris Paukert