Volkswagen is increasing its crossover lineup with the compact 2021 VW Taos. Though it’s immediately recognizable as a Volkswagen with loads of styling cues shared with the Tiguan and Atlas Grand Sport, the Taos will get VW’s new horizontal LED lighting strip throughout its grille on the range-topping SEL (see the ID.4) plus quite a lot of pseudo rugged styling prospers on each trim. These embrace black plastic decrease cladding and fender flares, raised roof rails, and alloy trim on the entrance and rear bumpers that mimic skid plates. In addition to serving as an apparent level of distinction with the extra conventional, family-friendly Tiguan, this extra rugged look is the telltale signal that the Taos was designed particularly for the North American market the place outdoorsy-themed fashions just like the Subaru Crosstrek and Toyota RAV4 Adventure are booming. 

Volkswagen’s versatile MQB structure underpins the Taos, which stretches 175.Eight inches from finish to finish, 72.5 inches broad, and 64.Four inches tall. For context, it is about 9.Three inches shorter than a Tiguan, and solely a pair inches longer than the rising checklist of “in-betweener” crossovers that bridge the hole between subcompact and compact decisions. These embrace the Kia Seltos, Chevy Trailblazer and Jeep Compass. Its cargo capability is per these, too, as there’s 28.1 cubic toes with 5 adults on board and 66.Three cubes with the second-row seats folded flat. Again seat legroom is 37.9 inches. 

From the motive force seat, horizontal strains on the dashboard emphasize the crossover’s width, and the essential format seems to be acquainted should you’ve seen the newest Volkswagen Jetta. A 6.5-inch touchscreen is normal on the bottom Taos S, whereas the SE SEL get an 8-inch unit working Volkswagen’s newest MIB3 infotainment system. Each Taos additionally will get an all-digital instrument panel measuring both a typical Eight inches or 10.25 inches on the range-topping SEL.

Different normal options embrace two-tone fabric upholstery, automated headlights, and a push-button ignition. An in-car Wi-Fi connection is included, too, although staying related on-the-go requires a knowledge plan. Motorists in a position to spend extra can unlock options like leather-based upholstery, heated and ventilated entrance seats, rain-sensing wipers, a navigation system, plus a wi-fi machine charger.

Volkswagen notes that the Taos is “accessible” with the IQ.DRIVE package deal of digital driving aids, together with ahead collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-keeping help, blind-spot warning, and adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go functionality. In fact, “accessible” implies that these options are non-compulsory, whereas most rivals a minimum of embrace ahead collision warning and automated braking as normal tools. 

As we have already reported, the Taos makes use of a fuel-sipping evolution of the Jetta’s 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. Enlarged to 1.5 liters and modified to run a modified Miller cycle, the brand new four-cylinder produces 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It spins the entrance wheels through an eight-speed automated transmission in its normal configuration, whereas the non-compulsory 4Motion all-wheel-drive system brings with it a seven-speed dual-clutch automated in addition to a extra subtle multi-link rear suspension. The front-drive Taos has a torsion beam on the again.

Regardless of the rugged look, the Taos should not be thought-about for something however the lightest of off-road responsibility. Volkswagen did not specify floor clearance, nevertheless it would not look particularly lofty. The corporate did point out, nevertheless, that it’s nonetheless contemplating a extra succesful trim degree alongside the strains of the Toyota RAV4 Journey or Jeep’s Trailhawk trims.

In-built Puebla, Mexico, together with the Jetta and Tiguan, the 2022 Volkswagen Taos will arrive in showrooms in the summertime of 2021. Consumers will initially have three trim ranges named S, SE, and SEL, respectively, to select from. Pricing info shall be introduced nearer to the crossover’s on-sale date, however Volkswagen indicated throughout a presentation to journalists Friday that we will anticipate it to begin round $3,000 lower than the Tiguan, give or take a couple of hundred {dollars}. That will put the beginning worth round $22,000, and subsequently inline with the Kia Seltos, Subaru Crosstrek and Jeep Compass. 

As for the title, the Taos follows the Tiguan and discontinued Touareg as Volkswagen crossovers with T names which can be troublesome to pronounce (Atlas is the non-T outlier). Whereas the Touareg was named after a nomadic North African individuals and Tiguan is the mixture of the phrases “tiger” and “iguana” (severely, that is not a joke), the title Taos is borrowed from a picturesque small town in northern New Mexico and is pronounced like “home.” 

Ronan Glon and James Riswick contributed to this report.