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On a recent trip to the Taos Ski Area in New Mexico, one SUV stood out in the parking lot: a 2022 Volkswagen Taos. Why not drive a Taos in Taos? It makes sense to have this compact SUV in this tourist town.

The Taos makes sense in Taos

A dark gray VW Taos SUV in the parking lot of the Taos Ski Valley.
A 2022 VW Taos in Taos, N.M. | Dan Mafyfield, MotorBiscuit

For those who haven’t been to Taos, New Mexico, it’s a beautiful town that is covered in snow most of the year. While people have lived in the area for thousands of years, it gained prominence in the early 20th century as a refuge for artists. The VW Taos was launched in 2022 and with all-wheel drive and compact size, it can thread the tight horse-trail-like roads of the town and attack the steep hills in winter.

What is Taos Ski Valley?

The Taos Ski area in the summer.
Taos Ski Valley |

The Taos Ski Area is an amazing place for winter sports, and nice in the summer, too. You can explore 110 trails, however, most of them at this steep mountain in Northern New Mexico are expert-rated and they mean it. One look at the mountain in the winter and a beginner skier would think twice. However, most skiers can find a spot at this Alpine-like resort that will fit their skill level.

My trip to Taos Ski Valley was in the summer and most of the shops, cafes, and hotels are open. Rates are cheaper in the summer, too, and there are dozens of hikes you can take to Alpine-inspired chalets that are beautiful even when they’re not covered in snow.

Is the Volkswagen Taos all-wheel drive?

Front angle view of blue 2023 Volkswagen Taos, highlighing its release date and price
2023 VW Taos | Volkswagen

You can add all-wheel drive to the Taos for $1,450, and AWD adds a multilink rear suspension for a smoother ride, too. The Taos won an Editor’s Choice award from Car and Driver where it was recognized for its roomy cabin and fuel efficiency. It gets up to 36 mpg on the highway, which makes it a great SUV for a road trip to Taos.

What does VW Taos compare to?

These safe new suvs with the best safety packages
The Mazda CX-30 SUV in blue | Mazda

The Taos competes with several small five-passenger SUVs like the Mazda CX-30 and the Chevy Trailblazer and Honda HRV. The Taos looks more like a traditional SUV compared to the Mazda CX-30. The CX-30, however, offers many of the same options as the Taos but with a punchy 2.5-liter engine that makes it feel much more sporty.

The Trailblazer is less expensive than the Taos, yet offers all-wheel drive, and a spacious interior. However, it’s small three-cylinder engines are underpowered compared to the Taos. While it looks tough, it doesn’t really have the off-road chops to back up its looks.

Is the VW Taos bigger than a Tiguan?

Dashboard and front seats in 2023 Volkswagen Taos, highlighing its release date and price
2023 VW Taos | Volkswagen

The VW Taos is smaller than the VW Tiguan. The Tiguan may be a compact SUV, but you can order a third row fortwo extra passengers. The third row, however, is only available in the front-wheel-drive version. The Taos is VW’s smallest SUV, but its styling makes it look like the larger Tiguan.

How much is the VW Taos going to cost?

Rear angle view of red 2023 Volkswagen Taos, highlighing its release date and price
2023 VW Taos | Volkswagen

The Taos is completely new for 2022 and slots in as VW’s compact SUV. It comes in S, SE, and SEL trims that range from about $24,000 to more than $33,000. It offers a suite of driver’s aids, like cross-traffic alert and lane keep assist, and a roomy cabin.


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