Trucks & SUVs

Volkswagen’s New SUV Has a Lot Going for It

There’s a new Volkswagen coming, and for those loyal to the brand, this new subcompact crossover may be a game-changer. With a proper public introduction this October, the VW prototype is already creating a substantial amount of buzz among critics.

A few are already offering a review of their first drive experiences with this new Volkswagen. And based on their opinion and the expectations of what we know so far, this little SUV already has a lot going for it.

Coming in 2022, to a dealership near you

Volkswagen has a new small SUV geared up for launch next summer or fall for a 2022 model year introduction. The Volkswagen Taos is slated to compete in the super-crowded subcompact crossover segment.

The Taos, pronounced similarly to “mouse,” is looking for its piece of the 60% share of VW’s brand sales in the U.S. market. The official debut for this exciting new contribution is October 13, and the first-drive reviews are already hitting the news feeds.

Size and where the 2022 Volkswagen Taos fits into the lineup

Volkswagen had a gap in its lineup, and the 2020 Taos will fill that gap nicely. The VW officials say the Taos will measure 11 inches shorter than its bigger Tiguan brother. And coming in with a smaller stature than the Tiguan, yet still more size and capable function than the Golf, the Taos is a strong subcompact contender. It’s slightly longer than the Kia Seltos and Nissan Rogue Sport, according to CNET.

It’s still too early to unveil all the details

There is still a lot that is unconfirmed about what this 2022 Volkswagen Taos will offer. But many, like Car and Driver, already speculate it will be priced in line with its competitors, within the $20,000 to $22,000 baseline. And the predictions are that the Taos will use the same trim tiles as other VWs, including S, SE, SEL, and R-Line.

The critics’ first drives and first impressions

All predictions aside, a few critics have already had a chance to take this prototype VW for a spin. The CNET Road Show team really enjoyed the first drive with the Taos, as did the Car Connection critics with theirs.

But sneak peek drives of prototypes means not every aspect of the vehicle is available. For example, the Car Connection driver couldn’t really see the interior quality. The CNET driver sampled his still wrapped in exterior coverings. For both of these first drive testimonials, however, the verdict was the same. This new Volkswagen has a lot going for it already.

It might be hard to offer official endorsements and reviews based on short-term, prototype experiences. But the CNET critics felt confident enough to say a few good things about the 2020 Volkswagen Taos. The headroom and shoulder room feels ample, and the ride quality seems to be precisely tuned for comfort.

The CNET driver does deduct a few points for steering lacking in the feedback department. But the big perk for this new crossover is just how quiet it is on the road.

This Volkswagen SUV has a new engine, too

RELATED: Volkswagen Just Made Stick Shift Lovers Very Happy

Spec predictions are that the 2022 Volkswagen Taos will come one engine variation. Fans can look forward to testing out a new 1.5-liter turbocharged I4, which is in the same family as the 1.4-liter EA211 version that VW uses in the Jetta models.

This newer and a tad larger engine will also have coated cylinder liners and a variable turbocharger. The officials at Volkswagen say this new engine will give the 2022 Taos 158 hp along with 184 lb-ft of torque. So this subcompact SUV will be more powerful, by about 11-hp. Initially, the first Taos models to go on sale will be front-wheel drive, although the all-wheel drive variants are expected to land later, as well.

You may have to wait before the 2022 Volkswagen Taos becomes available for sale. But you, like the critics, can certainly start getting excited now. From the sounds of those first drive experiences, the Taos already has a lot going for it.