2023 Volkswagen Taos Performance

Volkswagen Taos Performance Rating

2023 Taos Performance

As Volkswagen's entry-level SUV, no one expects the Taos to shred tires and set top speed records. The opposite is true; most of those getting behind the wheel of a new Taos will expect good fuel economy and enough performance for the daily city run. The good news is that the Taos offers a balance of good performance and economy. The small-capacity turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine produces decent power in either FWD or AWD configuration. Our 1.5T SE tester came standard with 4Motion AWD system, something we highly recommend for anyone who experiences winter weather. It's worth the additional outlay.

Despite only packing 158 horses under the hood, the FWD model will still manage a 0-60 mph run in the mid-seven-second range in independent testing. That makes it easily quicker than the Honda HR-V. VW doesn't make any claim regarding towing capacity, however.

Our AWD tester was relatively quick to accelerate but the seven-speed DSG struggled to keep up at times. Once cruising speed is achieved things are fine but the normally peppy 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder was revving a little hard all the way to its 6,400 rpm redline. It was also a little too loud.

2023 Taos Performance Photos

2023 Volkswagen Taos Rear View CarBuzz 2023 Volkswagen Taos Gearbox Controls CarBuzz 2023 Volkswagen Taos Engine CarBuzz
2023 Volkswagen Taos Rear View
2023 Volkswagen Taos Gearbox Controls
2023 Volkswagen Taos Engine

Engine and Transmission

The Volkswagen Taos makes use of a direct-injection turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine codenamed EA211 that produces 158 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. In the case of the Taos, the intake valves are closed earlier in the induction stroke to improve efficiency and lower fuel use. The variable turbine geometry also means smoother power delivery, although we did notice a lack of low-down urge. The power figures might not look all that impressive, but the Taos is more than able to keep up with traffic and is a capable highway cruiser, but it will start to feel slightly lazy when fully loaded. FWD models are mated to an eight-speed automatic that is reluctant to offer downshifts, while AWD variants get the more advanced seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that delivers quick and precise shifts.

2023 Volkswagen Taos Performance Specs:

Volkswagen Taos TrimsVolkswagen Taos EnginesVolkswagen Taos HorsepowerVolkswagen Taos TransmissionsVolkswagen Taos DrivetrainsVolkswagen Taos MPG/MPGE
S1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas158 hp @ 5500 rpm7-Speed Automatic
8-Speed Automatic
28 MPG
31 MPG
SE1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas158 hp @ 5500 rpm7-Speed Automatic
8-Speed Automatic
28 MPG
31 MPG
SEL1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas158 hp @ 5500 rpm7-Speed AutomaticAWD28 MPG

2023 Taos Gas Mileage

Buyers in this segment are after safety, affordability, good tech, and low fuel costs, and when it comes to gas mileage, the Volkswagen Taos certainly does not disappoint. In FWD guise, the Taos, with its turbocharged 1.5-liter four-pot, will manage a respectable 28/36/31 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles.

The AWD car will see those numbers drop to 25/32/28 mpg. The Subaru Crosstrek AWD with the 2.0-liter engine and automatic transmission returns 28/33/30 mpg, which is better than the Taos AWD. Slotting between these two is the Kia Seltos 2.0-liter automatic AWD that manages 27/31/29 mpg. In our week with the Taos, we were able to match VW's claims.

The FWD Taos is equipped with a 13.2-gallon tank and has a maximum range of approximately 409 miles. The AWD gets a slightly larger 14.5-gallon fuel tank, which sees the maximum range in the same region of around 406 miles.

2023 Volkswagen Taos Fuel Capacity

Volkswagen Taos TrimsSSESEL
Volkswagen Taos Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)25/3225/3225/32
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