The Volkswagen Taos, a big idea in small SUVs

More than half of the new vehicles sold in the United States so far this year have been SUVs, a trend that hasn’t been seen in decades. It’s easy to see why; SUVs typically have more space, more capability and often as much performance as their owners can use. And while SUVs have a reputation as larger vehicles, more buyers now want those same attributes in a package that takes up less room.

That’s the concept behind the all-new Volkswagen Taos, a new compact SUV that’s smaller than the Tiguan, and affordable like the Jetta. With power, space and tech that’s competitive with the class, the Taos improves on the small SUV formula at an entry-level price.

“Taos is our fifth new addition to the Volkswagen SUV family in just four years, and we’re thrilled to keep finding new ways to help meet the needs of American families,” said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “Taos will bookend our compact SUV offering, giving buyers all the style, technology, and drivability that Volkswagen is known for at an even more affordable price.”

From the front, the Taos continues the Volkswagen modern design approach that’s clean and classical, without extraneous lines that would date its look. All trims come with LED headlights and the higher-end trims add an illuminated line in the grille, just like the ID.4 electric SUV. You’ll see some Tiguan influence in the C-pillar from the side of the Taos, and the rear has touches of the Tiguan.

The Taos is 175.8 inches long—9.3 inches shorter than the Tiguan—with a wheelbase of 105.9 inches; it is 72.5 inches wide and 64.4 inches tall. Passenger space is a roomy 99.5 cubic feet, just 1.6 cu ft less than the two-row Tiguan, with 28.1 cu ft of luggage space behind the second-row seats and 66.3 cu ft with the second row folded, a generous amount by class standards.

Volkswagen Taos

of

Power comes from a new 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which uses some advanced engineering like a variable-turbine geometry turbocharger to make 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, along with outstanding fuel economy. Front-wheel-drive models use an eight-speed transmission, while 4Motion all-wheel-drive models use a seven-speed DSG® transmission. A choice of 17-, 18- or 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels (later availability) put the power to the road.

The modern cockpit offers a style that surpasses what’s typically available in the segment. Start with the instrument cluster, where the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit comes standard, behind an available heated leatherette steering wheel. Next to it sits the available central 8-inch touchscreen with voice control, which can hook into the available premium BeatsAudio sound system. The seats come in two-tone patterns available in every trim and have available heating and cooling options. Volkswagen Car-Net comes with every Taos, enabling in-car WiFi capability when you subscribe to a data plan.12 The MIB3 infotainment system with wireless charging and wireless App-Connect for compatible devices is available from mid-level trims.3

The IQ.DRIVE® suite of driver assistance technology on every Taos model features Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Braking (Front Assist), Active Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist), Adaptive Cruise Control with a Stop and Go feature, Travel Assist and Emergency Assist. High Beam Control (Light Assist), the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), and Park Distance Control are also available.4

The new Taos is expected to arrive on American streets next summer, and even with all the other SUVs on the road, it will be a standout.