Images of the 2022 Volkswagen Taos fail to convey how far VW has come in building a successful crossover for the U.S. audience.
The 2022 Volkswagen Taos has completely changed my opinion of the direction of Volkswagen’s U.S. offerings. It impressed me to the point where I had to find minor things to nitpick. On top of that, I think the ride and quality are not only extremely competitive, but better than (most) other VW products.
Volkswagen kept it simple with the powertrains and trim packages. The 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 158 horsepower and 184 lbs-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive (FWD) versions will feature an eight-speed automatic transmission, all trim levels can be FWD. All-wheel-drive (AWD) models have a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. FWD Taos’ get a torsion-beam rear suspension, while the AWD gets a multilink rear suspension.
Current competitors from Toyota, Nissan and Honda will struggle to match the overall performance of the Taos. On top of that, it the Taos undercuts the base model, AWD Nissan Rogue Sport S ($26,610) and Chevrolet Trail Blazer LS AWD ($24,795). It is on par with the value leaders from Honda and Kia.
With that being said: the 2021 Volkswagen Taos is more than a match for the aforementioned.
Can you tell that I like the 2022 Volkswagen Taos? Check out the pricing:
The Taos S starts at $22,995 and $24,040 for the AWD version. You get standard features like a digital cockpit, 17-inch wheels, 6.5-inch infotainment screen and the basic standards of infotainment connectivity.
You can opt for the $995 IQ Drive package which gives you blind-spot monitor, front assist, rear traffic alert, lane-departure assist with ACC (stop/go cruise control). That package also includes emergency assist and travel assist. It’s a fairly comprehensive package, one that I recommend.
The Taos SE starts at $27,245 and $28,695 for the AWD model. The SE AWD was the one we chose to drive for the video shoot and for driving impressions. Our model had the $1,200 panoramic sunroof, $895 IQ Drive and the $395 18-inch black painted wheels.
The top-of-the-line SEL starts at $31,490 for FWD and $33,045 with AWD. You get the 18-inch wheels standard on FWD models, and 19-inch wheels if you get the AWD model. The largest digital cockpit and infotainment screen are standard, as is leather seating. The only option appears to be the sunroof package.
Sitting in, and driving the Taos:
My reviews tend to heavily feature the driving experience, over everything else. When a vehicle proves boring, I focus on other things. Fortunately, the 2022 Volkswagen Taos is a joy to drive. After filming the video, I did find the seven-speed dual-clutch to have a bit of a rubber-band feeling in heavy traffic.
There is a bit of turbo lag as well, so you will notice it at first, especially in traffic.
Once you shake things up, the little crossover truly shines. It has an extremely competent chassis, on that’s stout in hard corners, and compliant on the highway. The suspension setup is (in my estimation) best-in-class, and the engine power is quite good – despite the lag.
Steering isn’t as limp as many competitors. It goes where you point it, and you have a good idea what the front wheels are doing. The seats are just right, even for my large tush. On top of that, backseat comfort and space are outstanding. I am large, and around 6’1″ – and I can comfortably sit behind myself.
All the seating surfaces are comfortable, and the max cargo space of 51.63 cubic feet of maximum cargo space is good, but it trails many of its competitors.
Only a few other flaws
As I mentioned before, in stop-and-go traffic, the Taos’ dual-clutch was a bit elastic in its response to power. It sometimes felt like it had to wind up to get power, or to was being fed too much power. That was just in heavy traffic, and a light foot takes care of the surge of power.
I think Volkswagen should have added more options for interior storage space. Also, the IQ Drive safety bundle should be standard. Nissan (among others) gives you their safety system standard.
As much as I adore the exterior design, the fake rear exhaust tips irritates me, no end. I know that VW does this with a lot of their vehicles, but I still dislike it. It’s kind of insulting to people’s intelligence, and it takes away from the overall personality of the Taos.
The bottom line for this crossover is this: with the departure of the Volkswagen Golf from our shores, the Volkswagen Taos is now their most engaging small vehicle. I like driving it more than the Atlas, and the previous generation Tiguan. Sure, a Jetta GLI is much more fun, but this baby has utility, (optional) AWD and tons of comfort baked in.
I bet it would make an excellent choice for Colorado winters.