2022 Volkswagen Taos First Drive: Is This a Mini Tiguan?!

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos is the latest entry into the growing subcompact crossover segment. However, it’s larger than you think because the Taos is sized more like Subaru Crosstrek rather than a Hyundai Kona. Think of it as a miniaturized Tiguan because it’s shorter in length but has a similar width to crossovers a size above it. The family resemblance to the rest of the Volkswagen lineup is unmistakable even when looking at the car from the rear.

Thanks to its boxy proportions, the 2022 Volkswagen Taos has more cargo room than you’d expect for a small crossover. Rear seats are accommodating even for three people across thanks to the Taos’ width. The squared-off cabin yields generous cargo capacity even with the rear seats up. If you’re looking for a power liftgate, you won’t find one on any trim of the Taos.

Volkswagen’s latest infotainment system is standard in the 2022 Taos. Only higher trims get built-in navigation. The base S trim uses a 6.5-inch touchscreen while the SE and SEL get a larger 8.0-inch unit. Volkswagen’s 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit and eight-speaker BeatsAudio sound system are only offered on the range-topping SEL grade.

Powering the 2022 Volkswagen Taos is a new 1.5-liter turbo-four with 158 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. FWD models get a traditional torque converter eight-speed automatic transmission. AWD models get a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. EPA fuel economy ratings are 28/36/31 mpg city/highway/combined in FWD guise or 25/32/28 mpg with AWD.

If you’re big on safety, you’ll need to go up the trim ladder because the 2022 Taos doesn’t come standard with them. You’ll need to opt for the IQ. Drive package on the S and SE grades. Thankfully, the full IQ. Drive driver assistance suite is standard on the top-of-the-line SEL model.

Don’t expect the 2022 Volkswagen Taos to offer peppy acceleration. While it has a lot of torque keep in mind that it’s larger than your average subcompact crossover. Its curb weight ranges from 3,175- to 3,430 pounds, making it one of the heavier cars in its class. The AWD model’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gives you a driving experience closer to a vehicle with a manual, which may turn off potential buyers.

In terms of handling, the Taos drives closer to a raised Volkswagen Golf with AWD. That means the Taos is easy to maneuver and possesses an agile feel. The long wheelbase and larger side pay dividends in ride comfort, especially over rough pavement despite being firmer.

Pricing for the 2022 Volkswagen Taos starts at $22,995 before the $1,195 destination fee. AWD variants start at $25,040. In addition to the added traction, the AWD model gets a multilink rear suspension and has more standard features than its FWD counterpart. If you’re looking to get the most loaded Taos, expect to spend up to $33,000 in FWD guise or just over $34,000 with AWD. Certain features on the SEL trim like 19-inch alloy wheels and ventilated front seats are exclusive to examples with AWD.

Despite being late to the party, the 2022 Volkswagen Taos appears to be a viable competitor in the subcompact crossover class.  It offers a nice blend of space, comfort, and efficiency, which should help it appeal to a broader audience. We’re looking forward to getting the car on our home turf and see where it lands among its rivals.

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