2022 Volkswagen Taos article review highlights:
- 2022 Volkswagen Taos ($22,995 – $31,490)
- Surprisingly nice and comfortable – Road Show
- Pros: Sporty handling, tons of cargo space, impressive tech
- Cons: Average acceleration, no steering-wheel paddle shifters
Welcome the brand-new 2022 Volkswagen Taos to the VW party. This compact SUV serves as a reminder to never judge a book by its cover. As the smallest Volkswagen SUV, it incorporates massive surprises, including an abundance of cargo space, advanced tech, and comfort.
The Taos is smaller and more affordable than the Volkswagen Tiguan. It has a reasonable price to compete with compact rivals such as the Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V, and Mazda CX-30. Best of all, the Taos doesn’t skimp in value.
Volkswagen has a significant competitor on the road. While lower trims may lack luxury refinement, the lower price provides a fair trade-off. VW didn’t cut corners, but there are a few strengths and weaknesses to consider.
Which Volkswagen Taos trim is best?
There are three 2022 Volkswagen Taos trim levels:
The entry-level Volkswagen Taos S ($22,995) comes with plenty of standard features such as 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, roof rails, digital instrumentation display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, onboard Wi-Fi, and a four-speaker stereo.
With the Volkswagen Taos SE ($27,245), you gain 18-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, washer jet nozzles, hands-free keyless entry, hands-free power liftgate, remote start, simulated leather seat trim with cloth inserts, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.
It also includes heated seats in the front, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, wireless phone charging, satellite radio, a six-speaker stereo, forward collision warning, active blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The Taos SE is seen as the best trim level because it includes luxury upgrades with a modest price bump. Higher quality items replace plastics and cloth materials, and the extra convenience features add to the daily driving experience.
Last but not least, the Volkswagen Taos SEL ($31,490) adds black 18-inch alloy wheels, an illuminated grille bar, automatic high-beam headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, and leather seats.
A larger digital instrument display, a navigation system, rear parking sensors, and an eight-speaker premium Beats sound system is also included. This is the model we reviewed.
If you opt for the Taos SEL with AWD, you gain 19-inch alloy wheels and ventilated front seats. While it’s a little expensive for a compact option, the ventilated seats, illuminated grille, and premium audio system provide a sense of luxury refinement.
How does the 2022 Volkswagen Taos drive?
This compact SUV is bringing the heat. The Volkswagen Taos is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four engine with 158 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.8 seconds.
But you have to use launch control to achieve this speed, and that’s probably not something you’ll do in daily traffic. It has an acceleration that’s on par with rivals such as the Subaru Crosstrek and Kia Seltos, but it leaves the Jeep Compass in the dust.
The Taos features responsive handling and corners well with accurate steering. There isn’t much body roll at all. The drawbacks involve wanting a little more power for straightaways and merging into traffic.
Power surges with the seven-speed transmission can be noticeable at lower speeds, but we wouldn’t consider it to be jerky.
If you opt for all-wheel drive, then you gain Normal, Sport, and Eco driving modes. AWD is also paired with a dual-clutch that’s hesitant to upshift. We really missed paddle shifters because they could provide a sportier and more responsive experience.
How comfortable is the VW Taos?
The 2022 Volkswagen Taos surpasses expectations when it comes to comfort with large, well-padded front seats. While the passenger seat seemed to lack adjustment controls, it does lean back pretty far. The driver’s seat features more adjustment controls to find the perfect seating positions.
Plus, the backseat offers more passenger space than competitors like the Jeep Renegade. Two adults can fit comfortably without having their knees hit the back of the front seats. There are vents in the rear, so the dual-zone climate control works quickly and efficiently to keep the entire family comfortable.
While the suspension is a little firm, bumps are only noticeable over more significant impacts. The Taos provides a smooth ride and a quiet interior. You can hear the engine while quickly accelerating, but the cabin is well isolated.
The VW Taos did seem to struggle on gravel roads. Vibrations were sent through the cabin, but the model we tested didn’t have all-wheel drive. The AWD models have a multi-link suspension that probably feels more composed.
Also, the VW Taos gets an impressive EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and up to 36 mpg on the highway. Our figures matched this estimate.
Does the 2022 Taos have a nice interior?
Lower trims of the 2022 Volkswagen Taos do include hard plastics. But they are replaced with higher quality materials on upper trims. It has an attractive layout with soft-touch materials, and leather is included with the SEL model.
While the layout is simple, it’s highlighted by contoured trim pieces and contrasting colors provide a refined yet sporty attitude. The interior feels durable, functional, and easy to clean, while other compact options can seem a little flimsy.
The low liftover height makes loading cargo more convenient. The wide door openings make it easy to enter and exit the vehicle. Plus, the large windshield, windows, and panoramic sunroof provide tons of visibility and natural light.
How is the VW Tao’s tech?
The tech in the 2022 VW Taos is relatively impressive compared to other Volkswagen models such as the Atlas or Tiguan. This is because the Taos incorporates physical buttons while other models only have touchscreens. Base models come with an 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster and a 6.5-inch touchscreen.
Higher trims offer a 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 8.0-inch touchscreen. The system felt a bit laggy when it came to navigation, but wireless Apple CarPlay was much faster and a little more intuitive to use.
Adjusting what stats appeared on the digital gauge cluster was tricky at first, but it didn’t take long to learn the system. Two phones can be connected at once, and it’s easy to switch between devices. The SEL includes three USB-C ports, a wireless charger, and a 12-volt outlet.
The Beats audio system provides crisp, well-balanced sound. With the ambient interior lighting and massive panoramic sunroof, you can create a relaxing environment while stuck in traffic or waiting to pick up someone.
How much cargo space does the Volkswagen Taos have?
The 2022 Volkswagen Taos features class-leading cargo space. There are 27.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats with up to 65.9 cubes total. The rear seats have a 60/40 split and almost lay flat. It took a minute to find the release levers on the back of the seats, and no fuss was involved with folding them down.
Storage for personal items could be improved. The center console isn’t very wide, but it’s pretty deep. There are large front door pockets, and the cupholders have a neat anti-tip design to prevent spills. Because the Taos has more space than competitors, there is more room to install child seats.
The VWs Taos’ towing capacity hasn’t been released. It’s expected to be able to tow between 3,500 to 5,000 lbs.
How safe is the VW Taos?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) are still performing crash safety tests. We will have to provide an update when they release the official results for the 2022 Volkswagen Taos.
With the optional IQ Drive package, you get:
- Forward collision mitigation
- Active blind-spot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Lane centering assistance
- Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go
- Emergency assistance
How reliable is the VW Taos?
It’s a little early to provide the 2022 Volkswagen Taos with an official reliability ranking. It’s brand new and hasn’t been put through the paces yet. Consumer Reports provides a predicted reliability rating of two out of five, which is below average. This ranking is based on the scores of other Volkswagen SUVs.
Two recalls may have impacted its score. One was due to a fuel leak that could cause the engine to stall and increase fire risks. The second recall was related to engine stalling. The engine control unit on models equipped with AWD was stalling as the SUVs came to a stop.
MotorBiscuit gives the 2022 Volkswagen Taos an expert rating of 7.9 out of 10
The editors at MotorBiscuit awarded the 2022 Volkswagen Taos with an overall rating of 7.9 out of 10. While the VW Taos delivers a smooth and sporty ride, the transmission could react a bit faster. The potential for performance enhancements such as paddle shifters on the steering wheel is there.
Rivals like the Kia Seltos and Jeep Renegade might feel nervous as the VW Taos delivers advanced tech and plenty of cargo space for families. However, we’re still waiting for official safety and reliability rankings.
Overall, the VW Taos feels confident with a vibrant personality. The SE trim includes features like wireless phone charging, which is typically reserved for top-of-the-line trims. We hope to test a model with AWD soon to see how the upgraded suspension and dual-clutch transmission compare.