The Volkswagen Taos is the newest subcompact SUV in a segment already jam-packed with great models. It looks like a tinier version of its SUV siblings, the Tiguan and Atlas, but this small SUV still offers generous interior dimensions. Even better, it promises excellent fuel economy.
In fact, the Volkswagen Taos is the most efficient small SUV to enter the market, MotorTrend reports. Of course, EPA estimates don’t always translate to real-world driving, and efficiency alone can’t sell a car. Still, the Volkswagen Taos has already made a great first impression.
How fuel-efficient is the Volkswagen Taos?
Equipped with a front-wheel drivetrain, the 2022 Volkswagen Taos gets 28/36 mpg city/highway. Buyers who opt for the all-wheel-drive option can expect to get slightly less, at 25/32 mpg city/highway. The Taos packs a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine capable of 158 hp.
MotorTrend credits the Tao’s variable-geometry turbochargers for the SUV’s great gas mileage. FWD models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while AWD versions have an exclusive seven-speed dual-clutch. MotorTrend hasn’t tested either Taos yet, so how each transmission will affect the vehicle’s performance remains to be seen.
How rivals compare to the Volkswagen Taos
The Nissan Kicks is another highly efficient small SUV, rated for 31/36 mpg city/highway. Its engine is less powerful than the Taos’s, but critics say it’s still engaging to drive. It also comes with a long list of standard features, and the interior is fairly upscale.
The comparable Kia Seltos gets 29/34 mpg city/highway with FWD. The base engine offers sufficient pep, but some critics report a stiff ride. The optional 175-hp engine provides smoother acceleration without a harsh efficiency drop, down to 25/30 mpg city/highway.
Hyundai has two entries in the subcompact class, the latest being the Venue. Its 1.6-liter four-cylinder makes 121 hp and gets 30/33 mpg city/highway. The Venue doesn’t offer an AWD option, but it boasts surprisingly sharp handling with an uncharacteristically comfortable ride.
Hyundai’s other subcompact crossover, the Kona, packs the brand’s most efficient motor, a 147-hp four-cylinder that’s EPA-rated for 27/33 mpg with FWD. The Kona is a consumer favorite for its spritely handling and relatively luxurious cabin. However, it offers less space than some rivals, especially in second-row legroom.
What else can you expect from the latest VW?
The 2022 Volkswagen Taos can seat up to five riders on stylish two-toned cloth upholstery. Synthetic or genuine leather is optional. Measuring 175.8 inches long, it’s one of the lengthiest vehicles in its class and will probably provide generous stretch-out space. As for cargo, it provides 28 cubic feet behind the rear row and 66 cubic feet with the second row folded down.
Even more impressive is the number of features. The base model comes with a digital gauge cluster, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with sharp graphics, and a few useful safety features. Though smartphone integration is surprisingly not standard, the Volkswagen Taos still offers a wireless charging pad.
Other high-end upgrades include a panoramic sunroof, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and 10 ambient interior LEDs. You can add the IQ Drive safety package to any Taos trim. It includes blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, and lane-keeping assistance. Automatic emergency braking and emergency assist are also included.
Starting at $24,190, the 2022 Volkswagen Taos is now the least expensive SUV in the automaker’s lineup. It also comes in two other trim levels, with the top-tier Taos SEL starting around $32,000. MotorTrend estimates the Taos will go on sale this June.