Volkswagen adds Taos to its growing crossover utility vehicle linuep.
It wasn’t too long ago that Volkswagen had one utility vehicle and that model was an undersized and understated compact Tiguan. Fast forward to 2018 and an all-new three-row midsize Atlas rolled out, followed closely by the second-generation and noticeably larger, Tiguan. More recently, the Atlas Sport joined the line and soon, a subcompact Taos will extend the product line.
The 2022 Volkswagen Taos gives the brand an entry int0 a fast-growing and important segment. The new model takes on more than a dozen competitors, underscoring Volkswagen’s pressing need to have its own model. Thus, we’ll explore important facts about the new model., sharing what we know.
1. Named for Taos, New Mexico – Volkswagen chose Taos for its subcompact crossover utility vehicle, which is the name of a small town in northern New Mexico’s high desert region. The town is known for its historic adobe buildings, which are inhabited by Native Americans. Taos is pronounced “taws” or “touse,” or house with a “t.”
2. Manufactured in Mexico – Volkswagen de Mexico is tasked with building the Taos at its Puebla manufacturing plant. The plant initially began building the new crossover for the Mexican market and, as of February 2020 manufacturing, for foreign markets commenced. U.S. dealers should have the 2022 Taos in late May or June.
3. Three available trims – We think the 2022 Taos will retail for around $22,000, plus a destination fee, with fully loaded models approaching $30,000. VW hasn’t released pricing information yet, but the Taos should align with the principal players in the segment. Moreover, its equipment levels should be anything but stripped, perhaps paralleling how Buick equips its models.
4. Exterior design highlights – Design elements from the Atlas and Tiguan appear here. These include a familiar fascia, strong shoulders, beefy wheel wells, and a clamshell liftgate. LED lighting, including hockey stick-shaped accent lights, give the Taos a sophisticated look. Standard 17-inch alloy wheels give way to 18- or 19-inch alloys elsewhere.
5. Sized accordingly – Volkswagen places the Taos on a `105.9-inch wheelbase, measuring 175.8 inches long, 72.5 inches wide, and 64.4 inches high. Sizewise, it comes in slightly larger than the first-generation Tiguan. VW says the Taos will have 28.1 inches of standard cargo space or 66.3 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. Both numbers have the Taos near the top range for this segment.
6. Clean and tidy interior – Volkswagen interiors are orderly, clean, and offer excellent fit and finish. Cloth upholstery is standard with imitation leather available. A fully customizable instrument cluster is standard, spanning 8 inches on some trims to 10.25 inches on some models. The display screen measures 6.5 or 8 inches, in keeping with other Volkswagen models. All the expected tech equipment will be available, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, USB ports, and Bluetooth.
7. Spunky powertrain – All Taos models come with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 155 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Power travels to the front wheels or to four wheels utilizing a conventional 8-speed automatic transmission or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
8. Available safety equipment – We’re not certain how Volkswagen will equip the Toas with safety equipment, so count on a full suite being available — you’ll just have to pay extra to acquire it. Automatic headlights with high-beam assist, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning may be standard. Also, we expect adaptive headlights, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and parking assist will be made available.
The Taos will stand or fall on its laurels and be frequently compared with competing models. The list of competitors is a long one and includes the Ford EcoSport, Toyota C-HR, Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek, Chevrolet Trax, Buick Encore and Encore GX, Mitsubishi Outlander, and the Kia Seltos and Soul.
Further, models such as the Hyundai Kona and Venue, Mazda CX-3 and CX-30, Mini Cooper Countryman, Nissan Kicks and Rogue Sport, Jeep Renegade, and the Fiat 500X. Typically, models in this segment feature standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive, although there are exceptions.
More to Follow
On the heels of the VW Taos is the ID.4, a full-electric crossover. Volkswagen is committed to electrification, therefore we expect the Taos will eventually see a plug-in hybrid variant or perhaps a full-electric version.
The bottom line for Volkswagen is the Taos supplies an ideal gateway to the brand. VW has long relied on its line of cars to attract customers, but in the Taos, this automaker acknowledges the kinds of vehicles customers demand most.
Photos copyright Volkswagen of America. All rights reserved.