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First Look: 2022 Volkswagen Taos

Volkswagen continues to add to its SUV portfolio with the all-new 2022 Taos.


Volkswagen enters the small compact SUV segment in Canada with the new Taos, which arrives in summer 2021 as a 2022 model. With a similar exterior design to the larger, mid-size Atlas SUV, the 5-passenger Taos is 236 mm shorter than the 5- or 7-passenger Tiguan compact SUV. As a small compact SUV—not a true sub-compact like a Hyundai Kona or a Toyota C-HR—the new Volkswagen Taos will compete with the Subaru Crosstrek, Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tucson, and Nissan Qashqai. 

This new Volkswagen small SUV is powered by a new engine, a turbocharged 1.5-litre 4-cylinder that puts out 158 horsepower and a substantial 184 lb-ft of torque. It’s an advanced Miller Cycle powerplant with high injection pressure and variable turbine geometry, which Volkswagen says helps it be more powerful and fuel-efficient than the turbo 1.4-litre used in Volkswagen’s current Jetta compact sedan. Front-wheel-drive (FWD) Taos models are equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel-drive (AWD) Taos trims will be fitted with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. 


Driving the 2022 Volkswagen Taos 

Our Kelly Blue Book editors in the U.S. were able to take a brief test drive in a 2022 Taos prototype. They reported that the Volkswagen Taos felt peppier than one might expect, thanks to the new turbocharged 4-cylinder. Apparently, the turbo boost arrives quickly, making the compact new Volkswagen SUV feel bold and assertive off the line. 

Ride quality is good, as is the handling. All in all, the Volkswagen Taos offers drivers an emotional and exciting driving experience. It feels composed and balanced from the driver’s seat, aided by a strut front suspension and either a torsion beam (FWD) rear axle or a rear multilink arrangement (AWD). What’s more, there’s excellent front legroom for taller drivers. 


2022 Volkswagen Taos Interior 

The new Taos has an interior that’s elegant but understated, with two-tone fabric or leatherette on the seats. Volkswagen’s digital gauges are standard, and the standard 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment is upgraded to the latest Volkswagen infotainment system with an 8.0-inch screen and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.  

Overall interior volume, at 2,817 litres, is only 45.3 litres less than the Tiguan. And behind the rear seat, there are 796 litres of luggage space in the new Taos. That increases to 1,877 litres when the second row is folded down. 


2022 Volkswagen Taos Exterior 

For their first foray into the small SUV segment, Volkswagen has made a Taos that fits right in with the exterior looks of the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs. The Taos is a handsome if a bit cautious design, but it looks good with its squared-off wheel wells, long wheelbase, and settled stance. The overall proportions are right, the short overhangs will help in off-road situations, and the LED lighting strip that crosses the grille reminds us of the Atlas Cross Sport. 

Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard, but 18s and 19s are available. When this new Volkswagen compact SUV is viewed from the rear, it’s easy to see the Taos script prominently applied to the liftgate. Volkswagen suggests that we may soon start seeing this design element with some of its future models. 


How Much Will the 2022 Volkswagen Taos Cost? 

Canadian-market pricing has not been announced yet. But in the U.S., the 2022 Volkswagen Taos will start at around $23,000 USD. Higher trim levels, with options, may crack the $30,000 USD mark. Current base model FWD Volkswagen Tiguans, for the record, start at around $26,000 USD and $29,770 CDN in Canada. Pricing and specifications for the Canadian market 2022 Volkswagen Taos will become available before its summer 2021 on-sale date. 


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