Keen readers will know that the compact SUV market is booming. With so many options to choose from – including many from Volkswagen – the Taos comes in at a very competitive starting MSRP of $22,995. Stepping in as the replacement for the base Golf in the United States, the new vehicle has big shoes to fill.
Under the hood, all trim levels – S, SE, and SEL – will receive the same 158-horsepower (118-kilowatt) turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. While fuel economy figures remain unavailable, the closest comparison in Volkswagen’s lineup would be the Jetta’s turbocharged 1.4-liter unit, with a respectable 30 miles per gallon in the city, and 40 mpg on the highway.
The Taos will come as standard with front-wheel-drive, but customers will have the option to spec a 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. While the FWD models will be paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the AWD vehicles will receive a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch unit.
On the inside, Taos offers Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit instrument cluster as a standard. Buyers will also get the German automaker’s Car-Net facility, with in-car Wi-Fi capabilities when subscribed to a data plan. Music lovers will be happy to hear that the SUV can be optioned out with an eight-speaker BeatsAudio sound system. For seamless car-to-phone integration, the MIB3 infotainment system – available with the mid-level SE trim – allows VW wireless App-Connect for compatible devices.
Details remain sparse, but the compact SUV is set to reach U.S. dealerships in June of 2021. Until then, feel free to check out our very own Brett T. Evans’ take on pre-production examples of the German automaker’s newest and smallest SUV.