The compact SUV segment keeps getting hotter, and Volkswagen will enter the fray in June with the all-new 2022 VW Taos. The Taos, an all-new 5-seat compact crossover SUV, is 9.3 inches shorter than the 3-row Tiguan. As such, it will compete in a segment already crowded with the likes of the Jeep Compass, Nissan Rogue Sport, Kia Seltos, Hyundai Tucson, and Subaru Crosstrek.
Whether you consider it a larger subcompact SUV or a smaller compact SUV, the new 2022 Volkswagen Taos has a lot going for it. The design language of the VW Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport is very present, and the styling comes across as handsome in an understated sort of way.
The Volkswagen Taos is an all-new vehicle, a compact 5-seat crossover SUV. It arrives in the U.S. in June as a 2022 model, powered by a new 1.5-liter engine with 158 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque at only 1,750 rpm.
If you order a Taos with front-wheel drive, it comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission and a torsion-beam rear axle. If you order it with 4Motion all-wheel drive, which has an electro-hydraulic center coupling, your Taos will have a multilink rear axle and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
What We Like
- Designed and engineered for the U.S.
- Turbo engine has excellent torque
- It’s efficient, too
- Handsome but reserved exterior styling
- Digital gauges (VW Digital Cockpit)
What We Don’t
- Shape is perhaps a bit too familiar?
- Safety suite not standard on base model
Volkswagen’s new 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder TSI engine makes 158 horsepower. That’s 11 hp more than the turbo 1.4-liter engine in the current Jetta.
While it’s far too early for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fuel-economy numbers for the 2022 Taos, we do know the new engine in the Taos has been designed to be very efficient. To that end, it’s a high-compression design with high injection pressures, and it has a turbocharger with variable vanes. What’s more, the aluminum-block powerplant, which has plasma-coated cylinder liners for reduced internal friction, occasionally runs on the Miller Cycle to save fuel.
In our brief drive of a 2022 Volkswagen Taos prototype, we were most impressed by the immediacy of the engine’s low-end torque.
Standard Features & Options
The base Volkswagen Taos, the S model, gets cloth interior fabric, digital gauges, and Volkswagen’s standard 6.5-in touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An 8-inch touchscreen comes with VW’s available MIB3 infotainment system, which also means you get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
At the SEL level, the new VW Taos comes with two-tone leatherette seats, active LED headlights, and a light bar across the grille, a la the new electric VW ID.4.
4Motion AWD is optional on all 2022 VW Taos models.
The Taos S and Taos SE are available with VW’s extensive IQ.Drive Safety Suite, which is standard on the upmarket SEL. In addition to a forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, IQ.Drive includes a blind-spot monitor, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. Also available: active LED headlights and Parking Distance Control.
Behind the Wheel
Even though the turbocharged 1.5-liter seems like a small engine, it provides the new Taos with energetic acceleration. With the 8-speed automatic transmission we sampled, the shifts were smooth and well-timed, and the power delivery ramped up quickly and consistently.
Thanks in part to a long wheelbase, the ride quality feels of the new VW Taos is composed and nicely balanced, not bumpy. Overall, the driving experience is akin to that of a much more expensive automobile. If you live in areas with real weather, VW’s 4Motion AWD would be a smart choice.
Look for the 2022 VW Taos to go on sale in June of 2021 as a 2022 model.
Questions You May Ask
Where is the Volkswagen Taos made?
Although much of the Taos design and engineering was handled in the U.S., the new compact crossover SUV will be built at VW’s factory in Puebla, Mexico.
Is the Taos smaller than the Tiguan?
Yes, it is. The new VW Taos is 9.3 inches shorter than the long-wheelbase Tiguan sold in the U.S. The Taos has a 105.9-inch wheelbase, while that of the LWB Tiguan is 109.8. Interestingly, the wheelbase of the shorter Tiguan sold in Europe is 105.6 inches, a bit shorter than that of the new Taos.
How much cargo room is there in the new Volkswagen Taos?
The Taos has 28.1 cu ft of luggage space, which increases to 66.3 cubic feet when the back seat is folded. The 3-row Tiguan has only 12 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third row, or 33 when that seat is folded.
How does the new VW Taos compare in size to the Subaru Crosstrek?
The Subaru Crosstrek and Volkswagen Taos are remarkably close in size. The new VW Taos is a 175.8-inch vehicle with a 105.9-inch wheelbase. The Subaru Crosstrek is a 176.5-inch vehicle with a 104.9-inch wheelbase.
Will the Taos be offered in any fun colors?
Yes, it will. Look for the new VW Taos in Cornflower Blue, King’s Red, and Matte Pure Gray.