Launch Report: Volkswagen Taigo brings coupé styling to B-SUV segment

12 August 2022


Volkswagen’s (VW’s) Taigo offers buyers something different in a competitive market. The carmaker has borrowed other from other areas to add more choice to the B-SUV segment with a coupé-styled model. Despite being not much bigger than the brand’s Polo, it offers much in terms of practicality and driving experience.

As VW’s fifth SUV model, the Taigo has to do a lot to stand out against its siblings. It has the right underpinnings to do so, sharing a platform with the T-Cross and a proven track record as the Nivus in Brazil. The vehicle comes with a high level of standard equipment, and its styling ensures it stands out, without sacrificing comfort.

The coupé design, with its sloping rear roofline, provides the Taigo with a unique selling opportunity in the B-SUV segment. The overall styling is sharp and bold. From the wide front grill and vertical fog lights to the sharp indented lines running the length of the car, Volkswagen has given the vehicle a sporty stance. The full-width rear light bar breaks up the back of the car nicely, as well as giving improved visibility for those following.

Inside, the roofline does not compromise rear-passenger headroom thanks to a slightly lowered bench seat, meaning the Taigo can house four adults with ease. The 440-litre boot is also larger than most of its rivals, making it very practical for its size.

The Taigo is available with a one-litre engine, with two power-specifications and the option for a DSG automatic gearbox. There is also a 1.5-litre version available as either a manual or automatic. The smaller engine works adequately enough, although it does suffer from higher fuel consumption as it needs to work that bit harder. It is also rather noisy when accelerating.

Mixed interior offering

Drivers can benefit from a digital cockpit, with an eight-inch instrument display as standard and options to upgrade to a 10.5-inch. This sits nicely behind the steering wheel and can provide a wealth of information to the driver, including the potential for satellite navigation, reducing the need to glance at the 10.25-inch infotainment screen in the centre of the dashboard. Climate controls are on a separate panel, with buttons on lower-trim versions while in higher-spec models, these are touch-intuitive sliders, which can be difficult to operate. The premium multi-function steering wheel and faux-leather contour give the interior an upmarket look.

This being said, there are plenty of hard plastics around the interior of the Taigo, especially on the door linings. These take away from the first impression when looking at the inside, although they are harder wearing.

Rear visibility is also limited thanks to a larger C-pillar. Rear passengers may also find the long central tunnel restricts legroom, especially those sitting in the centre, while the bench design of the rear seats does not feature an armrest.

As part of an extensive range of VW SUVs, the Taigo has many models within its own brand to compete with, and this can cause problems when drivers look at all the options available. It only offers petrol engines as well, while rivals can provide a wider range of powertrains, including hybrid and battery-electric vehicles.

Overall, the Taigo offers consumers another option in the SUV market, with a small but slick look, and pricing on par with its rivals.

The Autovista Group dashboard benchmarks the Volkswagen Taigo in Austria, France, Spain, and the UK. The interactive launch report presents new prices, forecasts residual values, and offers SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.

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