Automotive

Volkswagen limbos lower with the new Taos small SUV

Volkswagen limbos lower with t...
Volkswagen brings the new Taos to the entry point of its US SUV lineup
Volkswagen brings the new Taos to the entry point of its US SUV lineup
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Volkswagen brings the new Taos to the entry point of its US SUV lineup
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Volkswagen brings the new Taos to the entry point of its US SUV lineup
Volkswagen's new Taos measures about 9 inches shorter than the current smallest American-market VW SUV
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Volkswagen's new Taos measures about 9 inches shorter than the current smallest American-market VW SUV
A short but recognizable name for a short SUV
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A short but recognizable name for a short SUV
LED headlamps come standard on all models, but the central illumination is only available on higher trims
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LED headlamps come standard on all models, but the central illumination is only available on higher trims
The new Taos will come in both front- and all-wheel drive
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The new Taos will come in both front- and all-wheel drive
Power comes from a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder
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Power comes from a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder
The stretched lighting signature is similar to that on the new ID.4
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The stretched lighting signature is similar to that on the new ID.4
The touchscreen and shifter surrounds angle just enough to let you know it's the driver's equipment
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The touchscreen and shifter surrounds angle just enough to let you know it's the driver's equipment
The Digital Cockpit is standard and a heated steering wheel is optional
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The Digital Cockpit is standard and a heated steering wheel is optional
Two-tone seats come in several material options
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Two-tone seats come in several material options
Inside the load area
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Inside the load area
Volkswagen reveals the Taos
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Volkswagen reveals the Taos
The Taos will launch next (Northern Hemisphere) summer
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The Taos will launch next (Northern Hemisphere) summer
VW Taos
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VW Taos
View gallery - 14 images

If America's appetite for SUVs ever starts to subside, automakers won't know what to do with themselves for a while. Because right now they're going full-throttle ahead developing SUVs and crossovers of every size and sub-size. Every time we think we've seen the last utility vehicle from a given marque, it manages to squeeze another between, below or above the SUV line already on show at its dealerships. For Volkswagen, that's the new Taos, an entry level compact SUV with turbo power, a wide-stretched LED lighting signature and the latest digital goodies.

Volkswagen of America has been on a particularly hot SUV tear, having just introduced the ID.4 electric crossover a few weeks ago and launched the Atlas Cross Sport earlier this year. And it's not hard to see why. The company explains that more than half of 2020 US vehicle sales have been SUVs. Compact SUVs represent the biggest piece of that SUV pie, and VW wants to make sure it has something just the right size.

Hence, the 2022 Taos.

"Taos is our fifth new addition to the Volkswagen SUV family in just four years," VW Group of America CEO Scott Keogh explains it. "Taos will bookend our compact SUV offering."

Inspiring images of ancient civilizations and dry Southwest snow, the Taos dips below the Tiguan, measuring in about 9 inches (23 cm) shorter at just under 176 in (447 cm) long. It rides on a 105.9-in (269-cm) wheelbase, stretches 72.5 in (184 cm) wide and stands 64.4 in (163.6 cm) high.

The stretched lighting signature is similar to that on the new ID.4
The stretched lighting signature is similar to that on the new ID.4

Styling-wise, the Taos borrows more heavily from recent VW debuts than from its closest brother the Tiguan. The ID.4 lends the idea of LED headlamps connected to the VW emblem by a thin light bar, while the larger Atlas models inspire the stouter styling with squarish wheel arches. The Tiguan does lend its long, level character line.

The Taos does its work via a 158-hp 1.5-liter version of the EA211 turbo four borrowed from the Jetta. That engine pairs with an eight-speed automatic in FWD spec and a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch in 4Motion AWD guise. The available IQ.Drive suite of driver-assistance tech kicks in features like forward collision warning with auto braking, lane keeping system and adaptive cruise control with stop/go.

The touchscreen and shifter surrounds angle just enough to let you know it's the driver's equipment
The touchscreen and shifter surrounds angle just enough to let you know it's the driver's equipment

When an automaker actually has to start off its description of an entry level crossover interior with language as stiff and bland as "modern design and premium fit and finish," you know you're not really in for an enthralling joyride of comfort and delight. But the Taos looks pleasant enough around its five seats. The seats have a dual-tone scheme, and Volkswagen gives the slightest hint of driver bias by angling the bezel of the available 8-in infotainment touchscreen and slashed lower edge of the console surround ever so subtly toward the #1 position.

More important than its "premium fit and finish" work, VW adds the digital and connectivity tech that's must-have for every modern crossover. It keeps the digital generation's attention with colorful electronic instruments behind the steering wheel and standard in-car Wi-Fi capability. The available MIB3 infotainment system brings in wireless charging and app connectivity, voice control, and SiriusXM radio. Navigation and BeatsAudio eight-speaker audio are also available.

Volkswagen will build the 2022 Taos at its Puebla, Mexico plant, launching it in S, SE and SEL trims during US Summer 2021. More details and pricing will drop ahead of that launch.

Source: Volkswagen

View gallery - 14 images
2 comments
BlueOak
Going to guess "entry level" is loosely defined. And that the interior depicted requires a wallet-drain of around $30,000.
yawood
Isn't that just an American name for the T-Cross? The T-Roc is even more "entry level".