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; its practicality even earned it an Editors’ Choice award. 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 its assortment of available driver assists and desirable features and the 2022 Taos is a satisfying option in a popular segment.
What’s New for 2022?
The 2022 Taos is a completely new model in VW showrooms. Leading up to its official reveal, we learned about its engine specs and size details as well as its handsome design and available features.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Taos is powered by VW’s new turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It makes 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Front-drive versions feature an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel-drive models 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. We appreciated the engine’s low-speed thrust, the eight-speed automatic’s unobtrusive operation, and the suspension’s composure on even roads during our time with one.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The front-drive Taos is rated at 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, and the all-wheel-drive model is rated at 25 mpg city and 32 highway. We tested a front-drive Taos on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, and it earned an impressive 40 mpg. For more information about the Taos’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, there’s nothing overtly special about the Taos. The design and materials 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.