Volkswagen dropped the official name for their U.S.-bound small SUV Thursday, but it’s not quite what we thought it would be. The teaser above in fact shows the Volkswagen ‘Taos’, named after the small town in New Mexico.
While it’s not the ‘Tarek’, as I previously reported, it does nevertheless follow Volkswagen’s naming scheme for its compact SUVs. This one will slot below the Tiguan and Atlas in the North American market. Global markets have the T-Roc and the Touareg (VW replaced the latter with the Atlas here), so this car will be the new entry-level model for U.S. customers.
The small/subcompact SUV arena is a competitive one, if not quite as hotly contested as the space the Tiguan currently occupies. In this section of the market, the Volkswagen Taos will square off against the Jeep Compass, Nissan Rogue Sport, Kia Seltos and Mazda CX-30, among others. Despite the different name, we do still expect the Taos to build upon the ‘Tharu’ that VW sells in the Chinese market, with different styling and powertrain options.
Unlike some of the others in this space, however, the Volkswagen Taos will almost certainly feature a 4Motion all-wheel drive system, at least as an option.
As for when we’ll know about that with certainty, Volkswagen did announce a reveal date of October 13. More technical details will be available then, as well as when the Taos will actually go into production for the North American market. Pricing may not emerge until closer to the market launch in 2021. That said, we expect the German automaker to price its entry-level SUV somewhere in the low-$20,000 range to start, to keep it competitive against its rivals. The Tiguan starts at just over $26,000 including destination, so it stands to reason the Taos will be a few thousand dollars less expensive.