2022 Volkswagen Taos Revealed as VW's Smallest and Cheapest SUV for the U.S.

·2 min read
Photo credit: Volkswagen
Photo credit: Volkswagen

From Car and Driver

  • The 2022 Taos is Volkswagen's new subcompact SUV for the U.S. market.

  • Smaller and cheaper than the Tiguan, it will compete with the Subaru Crosstrek and Jeep Compass.

  • The Taos will reach U.S. dealerships in the second quarter of 2021, likely starting around $24,000.

Volkswagen has been steadily building a roster of SUVs for the U.S. market, and the 2022 Taos is the newest and smallest addition to the herd. This two-row subcompact crossover will slot in below the Tiguan in terms of size and price when it reaches U.S. dealerships next year.

The Taos has the same sober, boxy design ethos as the Tiguan and Atlas, which makes it look more mature than many of the zanier-looking small crossovers it will compete with. It is 9.3 inches shorter than the Tiguan, and its dimensions either put it on the large end of the subcompact SUV segment or on the small end of the compact segment, depending on how you look at it. It's similar in size to the Subaru Crosstrek and Jeep Compass, but unlike those models, the Taos doesn’t have an overtly rugged aesthetic and there’s no off-road-oriented trim level available.

Photo credit: Volkswagen
Photo credit: Volkswagen

The Taos is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four with 158 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. This engine, which is capable of running on a modified Miller cycle called the Budak cycle, is targeting high fuel economy numbers and offers a few different drivetrain options. Front-wheel-drive Taos models have a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission, while adding the 4Motion all-wheel-drive option necessitates a switch to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. FWD and AWD models also have different rear suspensions, with a torsion beam in front-drivers and a multilink setup in 4Motion Taoses.

Cargo volume is generous, with 28 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 66 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. And the interior looks to feature a clean design, with VW's new steering-wheel design and logo and crisp display screens.

Photo credit: Volkswagen
Photo credit: Volkswagen

Volkswagen is touting the Taos’ high level of standard equipment, which includes LED headlights, a digital gauge cluster, and two-tone upholstery. Many driver-assistance features are optional, though, as part of a package for the lower S and SE trim levels (the package is standard on the top SEL trim). A 6.5-inch touchscreen is standard, while an 8.0-inch screen is optional. Other options include a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, and a premium audio system.

VW estimated that the Taos will cost around $2500 less than the Tiguan to start, which would put its base price around $24,000. It will go on sale in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2021.

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