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2022 Volkswagen Taos vs. 2022 Honda HR-V: Which Is Better?

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos and the 2022 Honda HR-V are the smallest SUV entries from their respective makers. Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • The Volkswagen Taos is a new entry for 2022.
  • The Honda HR-V is in its last model year before a redesign.

2022 Volkswagen Taos

2022 Volkswagen Taos Front Left Side in Kings Red.
The 2022 Volkswagen Taos seen driving here in Kings Red.

Base Price: $22,995 / Read our 2022 Volkswagen Taos Review

What we like: Good passenger space; standard digital instrumentation; 7- and 8-speed automatics rather than a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

What we would change: S model’s small touchscreen; active-safety features cost extra on the base car; pricey top trim.

Overview: The Taos is Volkswagen’s newest and smallest SUV, nearly a foot shorter than the Tiguan. Its blocky styling emulates its bigger brothers and makes the Taos look substantial rather than toylike. It also makes for a roomy interior, with seating that’s comfortably up off the floor. Both the front and rear seats are plenty adequate for adults. Cargo space is pretty good, too, with 27.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 60.2 with them folded, although those totals are reduced in the all-wheel-drive version.

Under the hood is a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 158 horsepower. With front-wheel drive, it’s paired with an eight-speed automatic, while the AWD version gets a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). EPA combined estimates are 31 mpg (FWD) and 28 mpg (AWD). Acceleration is sprightly around town, slightly less so on the highway. The suspension tuning is firm yet still comfortable, but the over-boosted steering is a let-down.

What’s new for 2022: The Taos is a brand-new addition to the lineup for 2022.

Features and technology: The 2022 Volkswagen Taos is sold as the S, SE, and SEL. All Taos trims get a digital instrument cluster, an unusual feature in this class. The infotainment system display is just 6.5 inches in the S, but other trims get an 8-inch unit and wireless smartphone mirroring and wireless charging. Only the SEL comes standard with VW’s safety suite of driver assists, which consists of forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. The SE gets the first three but not lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise, though you can add them. All those items are extra-cost on the S. The Taos S has an attractive starting price, but prices climb quickly, with the SEL well over $30k.

What does the future hold: Volkswagen may add a plug-in hybrid variant. See 2022 Volkswagen Taos models for sale near you

2022 Honda HR-V

2022 Honda HR-V Driving in Aegean Blue Metallic
The 2022 Honda HR-V is shown here, driving in Aegean Blue Metallic.

Base Price: $21,420 / Choose the right trim for your 2022 Honda HR-V

What we like: Exceptionally roomy interior; versatile cargo-carrying capability; available AWD.

What we would change: Touchscreen infotainment could use improvement; acceleration is sluggish; make active-safety features available on lower trims.

Overview: The 2022 Honda HR-V is the brand’s smallest SUV and is based on the platform of the now-discontinued Fit subcompact. From that car, the HR-V gets its most noteworthy feature: the Magic Seat multi-folding rear seat that allows for exceptional cargo-carrying versatility as well as generous accommodations for passengers. Offering big space in a small footprint is the HR-V’s special talent. Cargo volume is a generous 23.2 cubic feet, expanding to 57.6 with the rear seat folded (55.9 on upper trims).

The HR-V’s driving experience is less exceptional. All variants use a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine with a modest 141 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is tepid, though at least the CVT mimics the shifts of a conventional gearbox. The hardworking engine returns 30 mpg overall in models with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available on all trims; with it, fuel economy is 28–29 mpg.

What’s new for 2022: There are no changes for 2022.

Features and technology: The 2022 Honda HR-V is offered in four trim levels: LX, Sport, EX, and EX-L. The base LX is sparsely equipped. The Sport adds unique design elements along with a smattering of additional features such as roof rails, active noise cancellation, a larger touchscreen radio, and shift paddles. Only the EX and EX-L get the HR-V’s bundle of active-safety features, which includes forward-collision warning with automatic braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. Those same two trims also get heated seats, a sunroof, and Honda’s neat LaneWatch, which displays an image from a rear-facing camera on the center screen when the right turn signal is activated. Leather is exclusive to the EX-L. Honda’s 7-inch screen-based infotainment system is on all but the base LX and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though its lack of physical menu buttons is a frustration. Navigation is not offered. Our pick would be the EX, which includes much more equipment than the lower trims.

What does the future hold: Expect a new HR-V to arrive for 2023. See 2022 Honda HR-V models for sale near you

Taos vs. HR-V: Strengths comparison

Volkswagen Taos Benefits: More powerful standard engine; more responsive transmission; cargo space.

Honda HR-V Benefits: Strong resale value; good reliability history; rear-seat space.

2022 Volkswagen Taos vs. 2022 Honda HR-V: Which Is Better?

2022 Volkswagen Taos vs 2022 Honda HR-V Interior
Top: The 2022 Volkswagen Taos is shown here from the front row interior.
Bottom: The 2022 Honda HR-V is shown here from the front row interior.

The Taos is better to drive, although its steering keeps it from being fun, and it has more modern in-cabin tech. The aging HR-V still has unbeatable versatility and great resale value. Both are roomy for small SUVs.

See 2022 Volkswagen Taos models for sale or See 2022 Honda HR-V models for sale

2022 Volkswagen Taos 2022 Honda HR-V
Popular Powertrains
Engine 1.5-liter turbo I4 1.8-liter I4
Horsepower 158 hp @ 5,500 rpm 141 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque 184 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm 127 lb-ft @ 4,300 rpm
Transmission 8-spd automatic CVT
Fuel Economy 31 mpg (28 city/36 hwy) 30 mpg (28 city/34 hwy)
Also Available 7-spd automatic; AWD AWD
Specs
Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety n/a 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 99.2 inches 102.8 inches
Overall Length 161.3 inches 170.4 inches
Width 69.5 inches 69.8 inches
Height 64.8 inches 63.2 inches
Turning Diameter 36.8 feet 37.4 feet
Headroom, Front 40.7 inches 39.5 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.8 inches 38.3 inches
Legroom, Front 40.1 inches 41.2 inches
Legroom, Rear 37.9 inches 39.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 56.5 inches 56.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.2 inches 54.5 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 99.9 cubic feet 100.1 cubic feet
EPA Cargo Volume 27.9/65.9 cubic feet 23.2/57.6 cubic feet
Joe Lorio
Joe Lorio is an author specializing in automobiles. He says, “I have been into cars ever since I started with Matchboxes, and have been sharing my opinions about them for almost as long. Granted, I was pretty young at the time, but my parents really should have listened to me when I told them not to buy an Austin Marina.”

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