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2022 Volkswagen Taos Review by Larry Nutson

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2022 Volkswagen Taos Review

By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

Volkswagen has a new model in its lineup. It’s the entirely new 2022 Taos subcompact utility vehicle (UV). Actually, the Taos replaces the Golf hatchback in VW’s lineup. However note, the GTI and Golf R will continue.

Taos seats five, has decent cargo space and is offered in front-wheel or all-wheel drive in S, SE and SEL trims. It’s VW smallest UV---shorter than the VW Tiguan by 9.3 inches.

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Riding on VW’s MQB platform, which is the same as the Golf, Taos is powered by a 158-hp 1.5-L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Front-wheel drive with an 8-speed automatic or all-wheel drive with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic (DCT) is available on all trims.

EPA fuel economy ratings for front-drive models are 31 mpg combined, with 28 city mpg and 36 highway mpg. All-wheel drive models are rated 28 mpg combined, with 25 city mpg and 32 highway mpg.

The Taos uses a strut-type front suspension but has different rear suspension setups for the all-wheel and front-wheel drive models: AWD models have a multilink layout while FWD versions get a torsion beam.

The 4Motion all-wheel drive feature Active Control, which allows the driver to select specific vehicle profiles based on driving conditions. It has four settings: Onroad, Snow, Offroad, and Custom Offroad. 

Taos is loaded with tech including a suite of the latest standard and available advanced driver-assistance safety (ADAS) features. VW’s Digital Cockpit is fitted as standard, along with the next-gen Car-Net telematics system, offering five years of Remote Access services at no additional charge and in-car Wi-Fi capability.

Wireless charging, wireless App-Connect for compatible devices, SiriusXM with 360L, BeatsAudio premium sound system, keyless entry, and heated front seats are available.

MSRP for the Taos S starts at $22,995 for front-wheel drive and $25,040 with 4Motion all-wheel drive. Destination charge is $1,195.

Taos is 175.8 inches long. Front-wheel drive models have 27.9 cu ft of luggage space behind the second-row seats and 65.9 cu ft with the second row folded down. All-wheel drive models have 24.9 cu ft of space behind the second row and 60.2 cu ft with the seat folded.

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I drove an SE with all-wheel drive ($28,695) for a few days of evaluation. The power train delivers good all-around performance with decent acceleration from stop as well as mid-range merging and passing. The 7-speed DCT in combination with the turbo engine were well in sync. I like that a DCT provides a more sporty drive compared to a traditional automatic. Ride is comfortable and overall handling is confident and well balanced.

On the outside the Taos has good proportions, better than some other too-tall small utility vehicles. VW didn’t slope the roof a lot making for good interior space. LED headlights and LED taillights are standard.

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The interior is surprisingly roomy, quiet and comfortable. Interior materials and finishes as well as controls and dials are very much like other VWs with a high level of functionality. The rear seat has lots of space and when combined with the rear cargo area you might think Taos is a much larger vehicle.

More facts and figures on the 2022 Volkswagen Taos can be found at

Every 2022 Taos comes with a transferable four years or 50,000-miles bumper-to-bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty and Carefree Maintenance Program for two years or 20,000 miles.

VW has introduced a Basecamp accessory package for the Taos. Custom body cladding elements include aggressive front and rear fender flares with integrated splash guards, lower door side plates and a front grille Basecamp badge.

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I see the new Taos showing up in many high school parking lots driven by upper class students. I also see the Taos very well suited for big-city urban residents who want a compact size vehicle on the outside for easy maneuvering in a crowded city and yet a roomy vehicle inside for out-of-town weekends. Coincidently, a neighbor who parks in the same garage as I has a new Taos that he bought for these very two reasons.

Like Taos, New Mexico, the VW Taos is worth a visit.

© 2021 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy