Crossover & Midsize

Is the 2022 Volkswagen Taos the Golf’s Spiritual Successor?

Are typical compact car shoppers willing to view driving from a different perspective? That’s what Volkswagen is betting on with its introduction of the 2022 Volkswagen Taos. This subcompact SUV may just sway the interest of buyers who once would have been in the market for the outgoing Volkswagen Golf, which was discontinued following the 2020 model year.

Some may not see the similarities between the Taos and the Golf at first glance. However, both vehicles offer somewhat equal dimensions and agile handling. While VW hasn’t announced official pricing for the Taos, publications such as Car and Driver estimate it will start around $24,000 – similar to that of the 2020 Golf.

The upcoming 2022 Volkswagen Taos might just be a diamond in the rough, filling a necessary void in Volkswagen’s lineup. Here’s how the Taos compares to the discontinued Golf and why the all-new subcompact SUV is worth consideration. 

Volkswagen has big plans for the small 2022 Taos  

Press image of a blue 2022 Volkswagen Taos in the desert
2022 Volkswagen Taos | Photo via Volkswagen

It’s no secret that the standard Volkswagen Golf is a diminutive version of its performance-enhanced brethren, the Golf R and the GTI. This may just be why Volkswagen chose to keep the Golf R over its more simplistic counterpart.

That makes the 2022 Volkswagen Taos’ job all that much easier. It merely fills the void left by the VW Golf, which represented an affordable, compact commuter vehicle.

SUV sales greatly outweigh car sales, which is one reason why Volkswagen substituted the Taos in for the Golf at the bottom of its lineup.

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos displays more modern styling designed for an American audience. In comparison, the old Golf’s hatchback design seems a bit stale.

The all-new Taos comfortably fits in with Volkswagen’s other models. It features available leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, and a heated steering wheel. Plus, it offers dramatic flair with available customizable ambient lighting and two-tone cloth seats.

Meanwhile, the 2022 Volkswagen Taos is equipped with the cutting-edge technologies buyers expect. Its standard driver-assistance systems include automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning. Buyers can also add the available blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keeping assist systems.

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos delivers car-like handling

Stepping up from a compact car to a subcompact SUV isn’t too much of a challenge. Drivers will gain the advantage of a little extra height. Plus, the driving dynamics are quite similar.

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that kicks out 158 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. That’s a decent power upgrade over the 147-hp 1.4-liter four-cylinder of the 2020 Volkswagen Golf. Both vehicles utilize a front-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission (although this is an available option over the standard manual on the Golf.) Meanwhile, the VW Taos offers the advantage of an available all-wheel-drive system. This drivetrain delivers extra traction on slippery driving surfaces.

One to watch: The 2022 Volkswagen Taos is coming soon

RELATED: Is the 2022 Volkswagen Taos Just a Baby Tiguan?

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos is expected to pack a big punch for such a small SUV. While the Golf will leave a vacancy in the brand’s lineup, the Taos could supersede expectations by outperforming the Golf. 

While the debut of the 2022 Taos is not slated to hit the lot until Summer 2021, this vehicle is certainly worth the wait. As its official release approaches, savvy shoppers would do well to keep their ear to the ground for the additional buzz that’s sure to stir about this model.

Meanwhile, those who just can’t make the climb from car to SUV need not worry. Shoppers will be able to get behind the wheel of the redesigned Golf R or GTI, as well as the all-new Golf Mark VIII.