2022 Volkswagen Taos: The Small But Capable Compact SUV

2022 Volkswagen Taos
Photo: Volkswagen

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos proves that size doesn’t always matter.

Just because it’s a compact SUV doesn’t mean the VW Taos doesn’t pack a big punch.

Volkswagen has a big, SUV-shaped gap in its vehicle lineup, and the compact Taos is designed to meet those needs. It’s shorter than the Tiguan but still big enough to handily meet the needs of a four-person family, and a spacious backseat highlights just how important that is. If you’ve been looking for an SUV that’s functional without feeling like a yacht, look no further than this SUV named after New Mexico’s hub of the arts. And with its estimated $24,000 price tag, it’s one of the best deals you can get on the market today. You’ll just have to wait until next summer before it pops up in dealerships.

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2022 Volkswagen Taos

The VW Taos proves that you don’t have to sacrifice leg room and comfort in your compact SUV. Photo: Volkswagen

For the Beginner

Some SUVs are designed for the experienced driver—the mom that’s been easing into driving bigger and bigger cars to accommodate her family, or the off-roader tasked with lugging all the gear and a few friends to the campsite.

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos isn’t that kind of vehicle, which makes it a great option for people moving up from, say, a sedan. Maybe you want something a little heftier for your daily drive, or maybe you’ve just started a family and realize you need more space. It’s a great beginner SUV for anyone who feels intimidated by the connotations of a larger car.

It’s something of a mid-sized compact SUV, coming in around 175 inches long. That makes it smaller than the VW Tiguan but a little bigger than the Mitsubishi Outlander or the Honda HR-V. Because of that, you get plenty of legroom for your passengers and even a fair amount of cargo space behind the second-row seats.

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Volkswagen Taos

Two-tone leather seats lends this compact SUV a luxury SUV feel. Photo: Volkswagen

A Fuel Economy to Be Proud Of

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that make 158 horsepower and 184 lb-feet of torque. Basically, that means your compact SUV will have plenty of get-up-and-go without feeling overwhelming. The vehicle will easily accelerate from a parked position, but it’s not going to knock your socks off. And for an entry-level compact SUV, you don’t need that much raw power—you’ll have more than enough to get the job done, and you’ll be nice and comfortable on even uneven roads.

Those gentle numbers are great for fuel economy, too—but we have to take VW’s word for it right now. There isn’t currently an EPA estimate for how many miles to the gallon this bad boy can take, but VW notes that the Taos’ engine has “a number of high-tech features designed to help produce outstanding fuel economy.”

The 2020 VW Tiguan gets over 30 mpg, and the Jetta—which boasts the original version of the engine inside the VW Taos—gets over 40 mpg. We can expect the new Taos’ numbers to fall somewhere in between.

Related: What You Need to Know About the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Taos

The VW Taos might be a compact SUV, but you’ll still have plenty of storage space. Photo: Volkswagen

Tech and Trims

We don’t have a ton of information about trims, but we do know that there will be three of them for the 2022 Volkswagen Taos: S as the base, SE as the mid-level trim, and SEL at the top. Official pricing has yet to be released, but it’s expected to fall in the range of $24,000 at the base level to $30,000 at the top.

In terms of safety, the VW Taos will feature just about all of Volkswagen’s driver assistance technologies, including:

  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic braking
  • High beam control
  • Parking distance assistance

Among other features. Basically, you can rest easy knowing that your compact SUV is going to treat you right and help you keep your passengers safe.

But Volkswagen understands the importance of the little luxuries, like two-tone seats with cloth or leatherette options, automatic headlights, keyless access, 8-way power drive seat, and heated and ventilated front seats. You’ll be comfortable in your Taos no matter what the weather. That said, the full suite of tech available at each trim level has yet to be fully defined—just expect that, the fancier the tech, the more you’ll be likely to pay.

In addition to that, the VW Taos boasts a digital instrument cluster and an eight-inch touch screen with voice control. If you subscribe to Volkswagen’s data plan, you’ll have access to in-car WiFi no matter what trim level you have. You can also expect SiriusXM radio, wireless charging, wireless cell phone connectivity, and navigation capacities from your infotainment system.

We do know one thing about the SEL trim, though: it’ll add 10-color ambient lighting and an eight-speaker Beats sound system. If you prize the ambiance of your car as much as its driving capabilities, you’ll be in the market for that top trim.

As a reminder, the VW Taos will be available in dealerships starting in the summer of 2021.


2022 Volkswagen Taos

The eight-inch touchscreen includes navigation and SiriusXM radio. Photo: Volkswagen

I'm Elizabeth Blackstock, managing editor of AGGTC, blogger, journalist, novelist, editor, MA/MFA graduate student, wife, motorsport fanatic, and bearer... More about Elizabeth Blackstock