The compact SUV craze continues and Volkswagen intends to take advantage of it. This is the conclusion we arrived at after attending the presentation of the Volkswagen Taos , a new compact SUV that is positioned under the Tiguan and whose claim is to attract new customers to Volkswagen. On the menu, a compact format but with plenty of interior space and a new 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.
The Volkswagen Taos is positioned under the Tiguan and seeks to conquer new customers in search of space and equipment.
Before getting to the heart of the matter, let\’s detail Volkswagen\’s strategy. Contrary to what you might think, the Taos is a compact SUV and not a subcompact. At Volkswagen, we aim to have a strategy similar to what we have with the two Atlases, that is to say to offer two SUVs of different formats in the same category. It is therefore 236 mm (9.3 inches) shorter than a Tiguan.
An evolving style
Looking at the Taos, we understand that the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs served as inspiration. LED headlights (on all trims) are placed on either side of a wraparound radiator grille, adorned on some trims with an LED strip that reinforces the visual signature. The squared wheel arches, mimicking those of the Atlas, accentuate the adventurous side, while the shape of the windows does the same. At the rear, LED position lights, a short overhang and the Taos word firmly anchored at the bottom of the tailgate are character defining elements.
On board, we adopted the Jetta approach . Indeed, the dashboard is made up of three distinct parts starting from top to bottom, namely the surface, the infotainment system and the bottom, including the dual zone air conditioning controls. These three sections are separated by contrasting colors and different textures, adding some life to Volkswagen\’s traditionally very monochrome interiors. Standard two-tone seats – in fabric, faux leather or leather – also add life on board while the 8-inch digital instrumentation confirms the technological side. The more equipped versions will receive a larger screen.
The equipment will be one of Taos’ business cards. In addition to all the driver assistance systems in the IQ Drive suite offered as an option, the Taos can be equipped with ventilated seats, directional headlights with automatic high beams, remote start and an electric tailgate. Let\’s not forget the 8-inch (6.5-inch entry-level) infotainment system equipped with the App Connect application. In terms of space, its 798-liter trunk can be extended to 1,877 liters by folding the backrests.
The technical side brings some new elements. We still use the MQB platform, but we use a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, supposedly more fuel efficient and faster. Deviated from the 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine present in the Jetta, this new machine offers a power of 158 horsepower, but above all 184 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic is standard with front-wheel-drive, while 4Motion all-wheel drive mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is offered for an extra charge.
For the moment, no hybrid or plug-in hybrid drive is envisaged. However, the integration of a 48-volt hybrid engine is not excluded.
The 2022 Volkswagen Taos – offered in Trendline, Comfortline and Highline versions – will be assembled at the Puebla plant in Mexico, near the Jetta and Tiguan. It will arrive in Canada in the second quarter of 2021 at a price that has yet to be announced.