Volkswagen Taos Research

The Car Connection Volkswagen Taos Overview

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The Volkswagen Taos is the second compact SUV offered by Volkswagen, presenting a smaller (and cheaper) alternative to the jumbo-sized Tiguan. 

The Taos will be offered in three trim levels: S, SE, and SEL. Front-wheel drive is standard on all grades, with all-wheel drive optional. Base models are very well equipped, offering air conditioning, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, an 8.0-inch digital cockpit display, Bluetooth, two USB-C charging ports, and LED headlights/taillights.

The Taos starts at around $24,000 but gets much more expensive as options get added on. The best value is the mid-grade SE (around $28,000), which adds a larger 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen that comes with wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay and an accompanying wireless charging pad to go with it. The SE also gets new synthetic leather upholstery that’s meant to simulate Alcantara. SEL models get a larger 10.3-inch instrument panel display that is highly customizable, with multiple gauge views and the ability to display turn-by-turn directions from Android Auto/Apple CarPlay in the gauge cluster for added convenience.

The new Volkswagen Taos

Volkswagen’s entry-level Taos pulls in styling elements from VW’s other SUVs, with a shape that reminds you of the Tiguan and a face that is borrowed from the Atlas Cross Sport. The sides are rather simple, but the X-shaped grille is much more dramatic and feeds directly into the standard LED headlights. Alloy wheels are standard on all trims and range from 17- to 19-inches in size. 

All Taos come with a 158-hp 1.5-liter turbo-4 that makes 184 lb-ft of torque. FWD is standard on all trims and comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission, while opting for AWD upgrades to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. Only the AWD models get selectable drive modes as well to adjust the steering weight and throttle response more to the driver's liking. 

The Taos is about 9 inches shorter than the Tiguan, but its wheelbase (105.9- or 105.6-inches) is only about 4 inches shorter. That gives the Taos a large interior for its dimensions and gives it an advantage over like-sized and priced competitors. The backseat has 37.9 inches of rear legroom, which means it can fit adult passengers with ease (at least on the outboard seats). Cargo room does fall behind other, more conventionally sized compact SUVs. It changes depending on drivetrain configuration, FWD models have 27.9 cubic feet and AWD models 24.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats.

Disappointingly, automatic emergency braking is not standard, though it is available on the S model as part of a safety package that also includes active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and automatic high beams. These features come standard on several vehicles in this class, leaving the Taos to play catchup. 

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2022
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