The 2022 Volkswagen Taos Is Almost Too Big for Its Class

When an infatuation with SUVs meets the desire for eco-friendliness, subcompact crossovers like the Volkswagen Taos offer a solution. Along with providing incredible fuel efficiency, the 2022 Taos is creating plenty of excitement in several ways.

Volkswagen will release an off-road package, the Taos Basecamp, which has off-road aficionados giddy with excitement. However, even those who stick with the base model can look forward to cabin and cargo space that rivals those in the larger compact class.

How does the 2022 Volkswagen Taos’ size compare to Tiguan’s?

The label “subcompact” is a bit misleading with the 2022 Volkswagen Taos. According to Car and Driver, the additional space in the Taos gives it a significant advantage over the competition — such as the Jeep Compass, Kia Seltos, and Subaru Crosstrek — while catching SUV shoppers’ eye.

The Taos sits on Volkswagen Group’s MQB-based platform, measuring 105.6 inches from wheel to wheel on all-wheel-drive variants and 105.9 inches on front-wheel-drive models. The Taos’ compact SUV sibling, the Tiguan, sits on the same MQB platform with a wheelbase only four inches longer than the Tiguan’s.

Passengers in the Taos will enjoy slightly more elbow room than those in the Tiguan, as the little sibling measures 72.5 inches wide, and the Tiguan stretches the tape to 72.4 inches. But the Taos does an excellent job of using that hair-width difference. Taos riders won’t give up much headroom and legroom to the Tiguan in the front or back seat, either.

Compared to the three-row Tiguan, the 2022 Taos has twice the available cargo space (25 cubic feet AWD/28 cubic feet FWD) behind the rear row but five to eight cubic feet less than the Tiguan with the rear row folded down. Thus, at the upper end of the subcompact class in size, the Taos has great potential to attract consumers looking for a two-row compact SUV.

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos has some exciting features to look forward to

Though size makes a difference when shopping for an SUV, that isn’t the only exciting feature capturing automobile reviewers’ attention. Compact SUV shoppers who step down to the subcompact 2022 Taos won’t be making many sacrifices.

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos has a newly engineered 1.5-liter version of the Jetta’s EA211 1.4-liter turbo-four. As a result, the Taos’ engine produces a respectable 158 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. And it still gets a combined fuel economy of 31 mpg on FWD models and 28 mpg on AWD models.

Though the 2022 Taos doesn’t boast the same agility as the outgoing Golf, its overall handling and noise handling are decent due to a higher center of gravity. In addition, its finishes and more familiar infotainment system — rather than the newer, less intuitive ID.4 — also allow for decent riding and driving comfort.

Volkswagen didn’t skimp on the Taos’ active safety features, either. They include stop-and-go adaptive cruise control with semiautomated assistance, active blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, automatic forward-collision warning, and emergency braking.

But perhaps the most impressive part of the 2022 Volkswagen Taos is the sticker price. The base-model Taos S starts slightly above $24,000, while the SE and SEL start at $28,000 and $32,000, respectively. Not only is that $2,000 less than the 2022 Tiguan and the 2021 Jeep Compass, but it’s also less than a grand more than the 2022 Kia Seltos and 2021 Subaru Crosstrek.

Compact crossover SUV shoppers should consider the Taos

The Volkswagen Taos steps into the gap between compact and subcompact SUVs, allowing small-crossover buyers to pay less without sacrificing many features. Major selling points include a lower sticker price, excellent fuel efficiency, and space rivaling larger models. These perks make the Taos hard to ignore.

RELATED: 2022 Volkswagen Taos: You’ll Pay Up to $900 Extra for These Advanced Safety Features