2022 Volkswagen Taos: Small SUV with Confident Handling

By  | 
Tony Maples Photography


Every car manufacturer wants to compete in each of the several segments offered by the auto industry. Taos has become a significant competitor in the small SUV segment with the new hatchback Taos. Taos gets its name from the beautiful, scenic town in New Mexico.

Though spacious, and offering good mileage, the Taos has obviously presented some unimpressive interior design and poor acceleration (0-60 mph 8.5 seconds). Standard driver aids are scarce as well. But the most challenging fact is the $34,280 Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, which seemed a little expensive to me since it didn’t have a power lift gate or standard sunroof.

The front wheel drive 5-passenger 4-door SUV power is derived from an engine that has 1.5 Liter turbo16-valve DOHC. The engine provides 158 hp with 5,500 rpm, and 184-lb-ft torque with 1,750 rpm, and is married to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Taos delivers an average 31 mpg, making it somewhat competitive with the Nissan Leaf.

The all-wheel drive engine adds to the driving dynamics of the vehicle. Taos is solidly built with some interior soft-touch material, but not on par with its price. The thick-rimmed tilt steering wheel that is leatherette and telescopic complements the contoured trim and hard, shiny plastic dashboard panels.

22 Taos cabin

Photo: Courtesy of VW

The width of Taos is 72.5 inches that allows for cabin comfort, yet there is not an available third row of seating.

There is a 10.3–inch instrument panel and an 8.0 inch touchscreen, which was a too little small for me.

The Climatronic dual-zone automatic climate control with second row vents did a great job when Texas had several days of record high temperatures. It cooled immediately and quickly allowed for a cool and pleasant cabin.

Ambient lighting, automatic headlights and Apple Connect smartphone integration system are all standard.

Taos rests comfortably on 20-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires. My test Taos was wrapped in Tour Blue Metallic, which blended well with the Dark Beige Leatherette interior.

22 Taos trunk (1)

Photo: Courtesy of VW

Taos is comfortable to drive and has gentle manners and attitude plus excellent duel mileage. Cargo space is competitive (25 cubic feet) in the segment.

Despite the slow acceleration, steering is relaxing and makes Taos easy to drive.

Vehicle Stats

Wheelbase: 105.9-inches.

Length: 175.8-inches.

Width: 72.5-inches.

Height: 64.4-inches.

Curb Weight: 3,294 lbs.


Four year/50,000-miles (whichever comes first) New Vehicle Limited Warranty includes powertrain.

Seven year/ 100,000-mile Limited Warranty against Corrosion.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or [email protected].