Sometimes, SUVs just don’t live up to the hype. In this case, one popular Volkswagen SUV falls short of Consumer Reports’ expectations. While you might skip this one sport utility vehicle, two alternatives are listed for your consideration. Depending on what kind of features you are looking for, one of the other options might have more to offer.
Skip the popular Volkswagen Taos SUV for now
Consumer Reports looked at all of the SUVs this year has to offer, and the 2023 Volkswagen Taos still had a lot of positive things going for it. It has a roomy cabin for being a smaller SUV and handles well on the road. Volkswagen included some helpful driver assistance features like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking on the base level, but other systems are only available on higher trim levels. Lane departure warning, blind-spot wanting, and lane keep assist are also available but not standard.
Even though the 2023 Volkswagen Taos starts at $23,645, it doesn’t come with as many features as the competition. On top of that, Volkswagen could work to improve the safety scores. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Taos a range of scores, ranging from good to acceptable. In the new automatic emergency braking pedestrian test, the score was only average. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Volkswagen SUV a four-star safety rating. While there isn’t anything wrong with the Taos, similar vehicles offer more for similar money.
Base MSRP Range: $24,155 – $34,535
Subaru’s Crosstrek is a good alternative to this popular Volkswagen SUV
Experts and owners of the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek seem to agree that it is a reliable SUV option. It has a similar price range as the popular Volkswagen SUV above but offers more to buyers. The cabin is roomy enough for adults, and the cargo area has more room than it looks. A raised ride height makes the Crosstrek easy to get into and more capable off-road than the competition.
On top of its good fuel economy, Subaru’s available EyeSight driver assistance system is helpful for drivers. Unfortunately, it isn’t standard for 2023. Buyers have to go up in trim levels or configure the Crosstrek with added packages to get systems like automatic emergency braking and blind-spot warning. With those added features, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety made it a Top Safety Pick winner. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Crosstrek a five-star safety rating.
Base MSRP Range: $23,645 – $36,845
Check out the Kia Seltos instead of the Taos
One thing to know about the 2023 Kia Seltos is that it is bigger than it looks. For a smaller SUV, the Seltos has enough room inside for adults and cargo. Good fuel economy and a starting price of $23,140 add to the allure of this Kia SUV. It has large door openings and is easy to get in and out of, something benefitting families and dog owners.
Kia included many safety features standard on the base Seltos, such as forward collision warning and lane departure warning. Automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and lane-centering assist are also standard. Systems like blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning are included on higher trim levels. This was enough to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick award and a four-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Base MSRP Range: $23,140 – $28,640
The good news is that this popular Volkswagen SUV is still a good option for buyers. If your heart isn’t set on the Taos, the other options might be worth taking another look at. Depending on your priorities, one of these SUVs might make more sense than the others.