Shoppers are clamoring for affordable crossovers and SUVs, and the new 2022 Volkswagen Taos is yet another entry to choose from. While it’s smaller than the compact VW Tiguan, the subcompact Taos has a surprisingly roomy back seat and a sizable cargo hold. Taking design cues from both the Tiguan and the mid-size VW Atlas, it’s not as stylish or rugged as rivals such as the Mazda CX-30 and Chevy Trailblazer, but the smallest and least expensive VW SUV is still handsome. The Taos also boasts a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and can be equipped with all-wheel drive. Add the fact that it offers an assortment of driver assists and desirable features and the 2022 Taos should be a satisfying option in a popular segment.
What’s New for 2022?
The 2022 Taos is a completely new model that should start to appear in VW showrooms in the spring of 2021. Leading up to its official reveal, we learned about its engine specs and size details. Now, we have even more information about its handsome design and available features, but we’re still waiting on final pricing.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The 2022 Taos will duke it out with other subcompact crossovers, such as the Subaru Crosstrek, that start in the mid-$20,000 range. While we expect the cheapest model to begin at about $24,000, that price is purely speculative since VW hasn’t released any official information. As with most other models in the company’s portfolio, the lineup will follow the S, SE, and SEL model structure.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Taos will be powered by VW’s new turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It makes 158 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Front-drive versions will feature an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel-drive models will have a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The front-drive and all-wheel-drive Taos also have different rear suspensions, with the former using a torsion-beam setup and the latter using a more sophisticated multilink design. A set of 17-inch wheels are standard, but 18- and 19-inchers are also available. While we’ve had the opportunity to drive a prototype Taos, the event didn’t give us much insight into the tiny crossover’s performance. However, we appreciated the engine’s low-speed thrust, the transmission’s unobtrusive operation, and the suspension’s composure on even roads.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Neither the EPA nor Volkswagen have announced fuel-economy estimates for the upcoming Taos. Once those ratings are reported—and we have a chance to put one through our extensive testing regimen—we’ll evaluate its real-world mpg on our 75-mph highway route.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, there’s nothing overtly special about the Taos. The design and materials look to mimic the modern aesthetic found on other VW models. A fully digital gauge cluster is fitted to every dashboard and the standard two-tone seats are covered in cloth. However, leatherette and leather upholstery are both available, too. There’s no shortage of popular options, either. The Taos cabin can be equipped with customizable ambient lighting, an eight-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, and a panoramic sunroof. The Taos boasts 37.9 inches of rear-seat legroom, which is only 0.8 inch less than the two-row Tiguan. The Taos also has 28 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seatbacks and 66 cubes with them folded flat.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every Taos features a slick-looking infotainment system with a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot. A 6.5-inch touchscreen is standard, and an 8.0-inch version is optional. The system can also be equipped with built-in navigation, an eight-speaker BeatsAudio stereo, SiriusXM satellite radio, and wireless smartphone charging.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2022 Taos hasn’t been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The smallest VW crossover will be available with a variety of driver-assistance technology, too, including forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking. Key safety features include:
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Volkswagen currently provides an above-average limited warranty and below-average powertrain coverage. However, the company does include complimentary scheduled maintenance that aligns with Toyota.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for two years or 20,000 miles