It will compete within the thriving compact SUV segment.
We picked the new Volkswagen Taos compact SUV as one of the most important new vehicle launches in the market and now, the German automaker has unveiled the crossover that slots in below the bigger Tiguan. It's no secret that this corner of the market is booming, with VW confirming it to be the largest US vehicle segment with four million compact SUVs sold here last year.
The Taos wants a piece of that considerable pie, and it gets off to a promising start by being instantly recognizable as a member of the VW family. "Taos is our fifth new addition to the Volkswagen SUV family in just four years," said CEO Scott Keogh.
The visual ties to bigger VW SUVs like the Atlas Cross Sport are noticeable, with a confident front fascia and a familiar LED light signature. The full-width LED light bar running through the grille is a notable styling feature. Along the sides, a prominent character line echoes the Tiguan. There are squared-off wheel arches and wheel sizes range from 17- to 19-inches. LED headlights with an adaptive front-lighting system and a panoramic sunroof are available.
In terms of size, the Taos comes in at 9.3 inches shorter than the Tiguan, yet passenger space only works out to 1.6 cubic feet less than its bigger brother. It's 72.5 inches wide and has a height of 64.4 inches. A roomy 28.1 cubes of cargo space can be found behind the second row of seats.
The interior is typically Volkswagen with a premium look and clean lines. All versions receive two-tone upholstery, a subtle touch that hints at the more youthful appeal of the Taos. Standard equipment includes push-button ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat. A configurable instrument cluster - dubbed Volkswagen Digital Cockpit - is standard, along with Wi-Fi capability.
An eight-speaker BeatsAudio sound system and ambient lighting with 10 different colors come equipped to upper trims. The IQ.DRIVE suite of driver-assist technologies is available on every derivative with features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and forward-collision warning.
Volkswagen previously released information on the new SUV's powerplant and this hasn't changed. It'll be motivated by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 158 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. With front-wheel-drive versions, an eight-speed automatic is used, but 4Motion all-wheel-drive models will employ a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. This means it isn't as powerful as the similarly-sized Mazda CX-30, especially the new turbocharged CX-30. Three trim levels - S, SE, and SEL - will be offered within the Taos lineup.
With that trusted badge and the honor of being the most affordable VW crossover upon launch, the Taos should do very well indeed. It will arrive in the summer of 2021 and, before this, pricing will be announced.