Why Does the VW Taos Top Edmunds List as the Best Extra Small SUV for 2022?

VW didn’t just dip a toe into the small SUV pool, it went in all the way with the new-for-2022 VW Taos. The Taos slots in as one of the more grown up and luxurious offerings in the extra-small SUV class, and with that it comes with a slightly higher price tag than some of its rivals. But don’t underestimate the Volkswagen, it’s packed with the good stuff, and this year at Edmunds it’s coming out on top.

What is new in the Taos for 2023?

2023 VW Taos in blue on a forest highway
2023 VW Taos | Volkswagen

The Taos was an all-new SUV for VW in 2022, so it already has some up-to-date tech and styling. However, for 2023, VW added some driver assistance features, like a blind spot monitor, and the S version gets fancy 18-inch wheels. The mid-level SEL trim’s sunroof is now standard.

The Taos has good Interior space

2023 VW Taos with seats folded inside
2023 VW Taos | VW

The compact SUV category has a lot of players, and they all have similar interior space. But, the Taos makes better use of it than the others with seats that fold nearly flat and a low lift-over height in back. It can hold up to 66 square feet of goodies in back, and it has a useful 28 cubic feet of space when the seats are up. Edmunds said that the Taos is “one of the most well-rounded and family-friendly offerings in the class.” Overall, it earned a “great” rating from Edmunds.

It has a powerful engine

2023 Taos in blue parked on dirt
2023 VW Taos | VW

Let’s say that power is relative. The Taos has a powerful engine for this class. The Taos’ 158-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder doesn’t sound like it’s a barn burner, and it’s not. But, compared to other SUVs in the class, it’s not bad. The all-new Chevy Trailblazer, for example, makes do with a 137-horsepower three-cylinder engine.

The VW Taos handles well

The Taos, Edmunds said, earned high marks for its impressive corning ability. Sure, it’s no Corvette, but it can handle corners well and narrow streets fine. It did get dinged for its clunky transmission that’s sometimes slow to respond. That transmission tuning robs some of the fun.

It’s stylish, to our eyes

2023 VW Taos interior
2023 VW Taos interior | VW

The Taos, to our eyes, looks good. It has a sort of baby Atlas look to it that makes it look purposeful. Its two-box look is classic SUV. That also means that it won’t look outdated anytime soon compared to its rivals (we’re looking at you, Chevy and Kia) that trade on trends for style points.

It’s inexpensive

The Taos starts at about $25,000 and comes with a lot of features that most of us want. The SE version, at about $30,000, comes with the extras we like, such as heated seats and wireless charging. All-wheel drive adds $1,450 to the price.

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