The new 2022 VW Taos: a fiery SUV with impressive handling

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Price: The 2022 Volkswagen Taos S has a starting price of $23,295, plus a destination fee.

Other Taos models are the SE (from $27,545) and SEL (from $31,790).

VWAGY from Volkswagen,
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new 5-seater compact SUV looks like a Junior Atlas, and it’s 9.3 inches shorter than the Tiguan.

The new Taos (it rhymes with “house”) is powered by an excellent new engine, a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that develops 158 horsepower and a good 184 lb-ft of torque at just 1,750 rpm. An advanced Miller-cycle powertrain with a variable-geometry turbine, the Taos powertrain is more powerful and fuel-efficient than the 1.4-liter turbo used in the Jetta sedan.

Front-wheel-drive (FWD) Taos models are equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive (AWD) Taos 4Motion models, which use an electro-hydraulic mid-clutch pack that can send up to 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels, get a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Check the KBB Fair Buy Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Volkswagen Taos. The competitors of this new small VW SUV are numerous. Among them, the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Hyundai HYMTF,
+2.81%
Tucson and Subaru FUJHY,
+0.63%
Crosstrek, to name a few.

The 2022 VW Taos

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2022 Volkswagen Taos Price

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos has a starting price of $23,295, plus a destination fee of $1,195. This is for the Taos S with FWD. A Taos S with 4Motion AWD starts at $25,340.

As a mid-range SE model, a front-drive 2022 VW Taos starts at $27,545, which rises to $28,995 with 4Motion AWD.

At the top of the range, the Taos SEL starts at $31,790 (FWD) or $33,345 (AWD). The only option available on the SEL is the $1,200 panoramic sunroof.

The well-equipped 2022 Volkswagen Taos SE 4Motion driven by KBB had an MSRP of $32,680. The FWD SEL we also sampled (which had the $1,200 panoramic sunroof) was $34,185.

Driving the 2022 Volkswagen Taos

We sampled two 2022 VW Taos models — a front-wheel-drive SEL and a midrange SE with 4Motion AWD.

The front-wheel-drive SEL impresses with its energetic engine. When turning right into the Taos at a stoplight, the 1.5-liter turbo’s plentiful low-end torque makes it easy to squeal the inside front tire on take-off.

The boost comes quickly and the 8-speed automatic shifts smoothly and on schedule. There are no paddle shifters, but the gear handle can be pulled rearward for an upshift or pushed forward for a downshift.

The 2022 VW Taos

volkswagen

The handling is also impressive. This Taos feels sharp in turns, where it exhibits minimal body roll. It’s a low-slung compact crossover, so it looks more like a car or station wagon from the driver’s seat than an SUV. At the same time, it is a quiet and comfortable road cruiser with a spacious interior and a generous cargo compartment. The view through the windshield is good, but the field of vision from the rear view mirror is a little pinched by the rear window.

The Taos SE with 4Motion starts off with a bit more dignity as all four wheels put the power to the ground. The 4Motion AWD system offers snow and off-road settings, as well as three other driving modes: Eco, Normal and Sport. Sport offers quicker throttle response, heavier steering and more aggressive shifting.

The new VW Taos is a feisty machine that feels composed from the driver’s seat, thanks to a suspension that features struts up front and either a torsion beam (FWD) rear axle or a multi-link rear arrangement ( AWD). Plus, there’s excellent front legroom for taller riders and adult-friendly rear seats.

On the other hand, the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is not our favorite. It’s slow to select the right gear when you want to come out of a corner. While putting it in Sport mode helps, we think we’d rather have a Taos 4Motion equipped with the standard 8-speed automatic, which is quicker to respond and feels more refined.

Interior comfort

The new VW Taos has a sober but elegant interior with fabric (S), CloudTex (SE) or leather (SEL) upholstery. VW’s digital gauges are standard and the standard 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment can be upgraded to the latest MIB3 infotainment system which includes an 8-inch screen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Considering the compact size of the Taos, interior space is excellent. A 6-foot-2 person can easily fit behind a driver of the same height, even when the Taos has a sunroof.

Overall interior volume, at 99.9 cubic feet, is only 1.6 cubic feet less than the Tiguan. Behind the rear seat, there’s 28.1 cubic feet of luggage space in the new VW Taos, which increases to 66.3 cubic feet when the second row is folded down.

If you order a Taos with 4Motion, cargo volume drops slightly, to 24.9 and 60.2 cubic feet, respectively, thanks to the slightly higher rear cargo floor needed to accommodate the differential and multi-link rear suspension.

While we like the styling of the Taos’ interior (and especially the SE’s durable CloudTex seat fabric), the hard plastic used on top of the dash and in the door panels feels substandard. It appears to be an area where VW has gone out of its way to keep the Taos from infringing on the Tiguan’s price. Either way, both of these SUVs are new for 2022 and both come from VW’s plant in Puebla, Mexico.

Exterior Styling

For its first foray into the not-quite-subcompact crossover space, Volkswagen has created a Taos that fits right in with the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs. The overall proportions of the new Taos are good, and the short overhangs will help in off-road situations.

Built on VW’s MQB platform, the Taos is a very conservative design, but it looks good with its square wheel arches, long wheelbase and stable stance. 17-inch alloy wheels are standard, but 18 and 19 are available.

When this new VW compact SUV is viewed from the rear, it’s easy to see the Taos script prominently displayed on the tailgate. VW says we should expect to see more of this type of badging on future models.

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Favorite features

VW digital cockpitA fully digital instrument panel is standard on the 2022 Volkswagen Taos, but the SEL model has a larger, fully configurable 10.25-inch screen with three views. Our favorite is the full-screen navigation, which turns the entire instrument cluster into a handy, eye-catching map.

Travel assistance
Available on S and SE models but standard on the Taos SEL, Travel Assist enables partially automated driving up to 95 mph. Activated by a button on the steering wheel, it uses adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist to keep the Taos safely in its lane and a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.

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Standard Features

The standard equipment of the Volkswagen Taos 2022 includes turbo engine, digital gauges, Wi-Fi, Apple AAPL,
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CarPlay/Android Auto, push-button start and automatic LED headlights.

The Taos S has cloth upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels, black roof rails, black mirror caps, 60/40 split rear seats, 6.5-inch infotainment screen and seat manual driver. If you order 4Motion AWD on your Taos S, it will come with an all-weather package including heated front seats, side mirrors and windshield washer nozzles.

On the Taos SE you get CloudTex upholstery, 18-inch alloy wheels, silver roof rails, body-color side mirror caps, an 8-inch infotainment screen, wireless smartphone charging, a electric driver’s seat, heated front seats and a blind spot. monitoring with rear cross traffic alert.

At the top SEL level, the Taos features 18-inch (FWD) or 19-inch (AWD) alloy wheels, leather upholstery, LED projector headlights, BeatsAudio 8-sound system speakers, a heated steering wheel and front and rear parking sensors.

The Taos SEL also comes with the IQ.Drive safety suite, which includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, as well as lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control. Active high beam and park distance control are also available in the SEL, which is the only new Taos with a light bar on its grille, like VW’s new electric ID.4.

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Factory Options

There aren’t many options on the new Taos. We recommend the IQ.Drive S package over the Taos S. For just $995, it includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and rear traffic alert.

The Taos S can also be ordered with a convenience package that includes automatic high beams, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a heated leatherette steering wheel.

18-inch black alloy wheels are a $395 option on the Taos SE, which is also available with the IQ.Drive safety suite and a similar convenience package.

The Taos SE and SEL are both available with a large panoramic sunroof for $1,200.

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Engine and transmission

The all-new aluminum-block engine in the Volkswagen Taos is a gem. The 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which uses the fuel-efficient Miller cycle, produces 158 horsepower. That’s over 11 horsepower more than the Jetta’s 1.4-liter turbo, and there’s 184 lb-ft of torque at just 1,750 rpm.

VW engineers went to great lengths with this engine, using not only high injection pressures and increased compression, but also revised turbocharger vanes and friction-reducing plasma cylinder liners to create a group Powerful yet highly efficient powertrain.

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Front-wheel-drive (FWD) Taos models with VW’s 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder and 8-speed automatic transmission are EPA rated to deliver 28 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined. All-wheel-drive (AWD) models use a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and return 25 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined.

The FWD Volkswagen Taos has a 13.2 gallon fuel tank and a range of over 450 miles. The AWD VW Taos has a larger 14.5 gallon tank and a similar range.

1.5-litre turbocharged inline-4
158 horsepower at 5,500 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 rpm
EPA City/Hwy Fuel Economy: 28/36 (FWD), 25/32 (AWD)

This story originally took place on KBB.com.

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