2022 Volkswagen Taos evaluate: Fashionably late

The brand new Taos is good-looking and surprisingly good.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

In the case of launching SUVs, Volkswagen’s been behind the curve. In response to insatiable buyer demand, different automakers have fleshed out their utility-vehicle lineups at a a lot faster tempo than this Wolfsburg-based firm. However giving drivers one other alternative within the compact SUV phase, the 2022 Volkswagen Taos is lastly right here, and it was definitely worth the wait.

LikeHandsome looksSolid, Germanic feelCavernous inside

Do not LikeLethargic throttle responseVague steering

Although it does not provide many frills or thrills, this little schlepper nails the basics and checks all the precise bins. The Taos has cavernous quantities of inside house and is loads comfy, it is environment friendly, affordably priced and provides all of the superior driver aids you’d anticipate. Wrap all of it up in pleasantly restrained styling and this VW has no hassle competing with rivals such because the Honda HR-V, Jeep Compass and Subaru Crosstrek. In some methods, the Taos may even give Mazda’s ritzy CX-30 a run for its cash. 

Not like, say, the Chevy Trailblazer or Hyundai Kona, this Volkswagen is devoid of any visible fireworks, however it’s nonetheless an attractively styled car. The entrance finish is assertive but approachable, the physique traces are crisp and all of the panel gaps are laser straight and millimeter exact. There’s an actual feeling of fastidious craftsmanship with the Taos. One side of this range-topping SEL instance that I notably love is the paint job. Referred to as Cornflower Blue, it could be quaintly named however this colour is electrical. If this hue is just too brilliant for you, nevertheless, extra conservative colours can be found.

Based mostly on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB structure, which is as ubiquitous as boomers at a Jimmy Buffett live performance, the 2022 Taos is refined and astoundingly spacious. Dimension-wise, it is greater than 9 inches shorter than its massive brother, the Tiguan, although it is practically as capacious. The Taos provides practically 28 cubic toes of baggage house behind the second-row seat. Fold that 60/40 cut up backrest down and also you get simply shy of 66 cubes of junk-hauling room. Unusually, all-wheel-drive fashions are much less capacious, however not by a lot.

The Taos’ passenger lodging are equally beneficiant. The entrance bucket seats are comfortable, and consumers that go for an SE or SEL mannequin are handled to an eight-way energy driver’s chair with adjustable lumbar assist. The rear bench provides miles of house in all instructions, so even lanky adults should not have any hassle getting comfy and staying that method for hours at a time. From stem to stern, this VW’s inside capaciousness is severely spectacular.

It is not opulent, however the Taos’ cabin could be very good for the phase. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

What is not as praiseworthy are among the cabin’s supplies. The highest of the dashboard is a big swath of onerous, cheaply textured plastic. Shiny painted trim runs from door to door and the local weather controls really feel fairly low hire. These parts are considerably offset by first rate high quality leather-based on the seats and smooth plastic on the door uppers, so it isn’t all dangerous even when the Taos feels far much less premium than the CX-30.

An 8-inch digital instrument cluster is commonplace, however SEL fashions function a totally reconfigurable 10.3-inch panel that’s crisp and colourful. As for infotainment tech, three setups are supplied. The bottom Taos comes with a 6.5-inch show, whereas the midrange and top-shelf fashions each function an 8-incher, although the latter additionally good points embedded navigation. The Taos’ infotainment system isn’t instantly intuitive, however it’s easy sufficient to decipher after poking round for a couple of minutes. The true head-scratcher, nevertheless, is the dial to the precise of the display. It appears like a tuning knob, however you may twirl all of it day and the radio stations by no means change. As a substitute, this features like a management knob, permitting you to cycle via some infotainment settings and menus, although it is as inconvenient as it’s unintuitive. Simplifying issues, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are commonplace tools.

As much as three USB type-C ports are supplied on this VW and the highest two trims include a wi-fi charging plate. Setting the SEL trim other than the pack, it additionally boasts of an eight-speaker Beats audio system that sounds fairly good. Ventilated seats are supplied within the Taos, although solely on the SEL trim and solely with all-wheel drive.

Yep, there’s an engine beneath that bundle of wires and tubes. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Only one engine is obtainable right here: a 1.5-liter I4. Working on a modified model of the Miller cycle and fitted with a variable-geometry turbocharger, this little dynamo cranks out a decent 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This engine in all fairness easy and fairly potent, although it doesn’t stand out in any significant method from the powerplants you get in competing automobiles.

Two transmissions can be found within the Taos. Entrance-wheel-drive fashions (just like the one examined right here) are fitted with a standard eight-speed automated, however variants that function all-wheel drive include a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The previous unit is mostly fast, easy and responsive, although it may be a bit overeager to upshift at occasions. This problem, nevertheless, is minor in comparison with the car’s throttle response. When taking off in drive, the Taos can really feel completely torpid, prefer it simply does not need to transfer except you push the accelerator midway down or extra. Luckily, there is a easy answer to this downside: Simply click on the shifter into Sport mode and it makes the Taos far more responsive at low speeds.

When fitted with front-wheel drive, the Taos ought to return 28 mpg within the metropolis and 36 mpg on freeway drives. Mixed, this compact SUV is rated at a decent 31 mpg, although I have been getting simply shy of 36 mpg in blended driving with out even attempting, which is tremendous spectacular.

The Taos’ backseat is spacious and cozy. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Taos’ inside is cavernous and accommodating, however its driving place is somewhat off and I am unable to fairly put my finger on why. The connection between the steering wheel and seat does not appear proper, just like the instrument cluster is just too low and the wheel too excessive. In any occasion, this compact SUV is not any sports activities automotive (duh!), however it drives properly sufficient for what it’s. The steering is gentle and on the imprecise aspect, although the experience high quality is great, agency however freed from any harshness. The chassis absorbs bigger impacts with out flinching and does a superb job filtering out vibration and grittiness, virtually giving this VW the texture of a German luxurious automotive.

Volkswagen’s IQ Drive security suite is on the market on S and SE fashions, although it is commonplace fare on the SEL model. This expertise bundle consists of facilities like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection and extra. Ever-useful adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go functionality is bundled, too. It is easy and confidence inspiring, working just about precisely as marketed. SEL fashions additionally come commonplace with automated excessive beams, rear parking sensors and road-sign recognition.

Volkswagen’s new Taos was somewhat late to the celebration, however it was definitely worth the wait. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Out there at dealerships proper now, the 2022 Volkswagen Taos is obtainable in three trims: S, SE and SEL. This compact SUV begins at $24,190 together with $1,195 in vacation spot charges. If you’d like all-wheel drive, plan on spending round $2,000 extra. Near loaded, the front-drive SEL variant featured on this evaluate checks out for simply $32,685, a bargain-basement sum for such a spacious and extremely purposeful car.

Volkswagen was conspicuously late to the compact SUV celebration, however the Taos was definitely worth the wait. Although it is not notably thrilling, this SUV does precisely what it must and needs to be a giant vendor for the model.

About the author: SubSellKaro

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