Volkswagen already has one of the most extensive ranges of SUVs around – varying from the compact T-Cross right the way through to the upmarket Touareg. But, though there are already six SUVs to choose from, VW is now launching the seventh – the Taigo.
Based on the same platform as the T-Cross, the Taigo is a sleeker, more coupe-like model, and really the first of its kind to go on sale in Europe. While its smart design is ‘new’, there’s a lot of familiarity here, as it uses familiar engines and technology to other VWs.
In terms of size, the Taigo is 15cm longer than the T-Cross, while Volkswagen is promising that – despite its sleeker design – there’s no compromise when it comes to interior space. But is the Taigo worth considering? Let’s take a look.
Despite the Taigo being a brand-new Volkswagen model, it remains conventional with its engine choice, with no electrified versions available, and instead a choice of three petrol models.
Kicking off the range is a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol unit, which is available with outputs of 94bhp or 108bhp – the latter is the version that’s expected to take up the bulk of sales.
But our test car uses the most powerful option – a turbocharged 1.5-litre unit developing 148bhp and 250Nm of torque, all of which is sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. Performance is brisk, with 0-60mph taking a little over eight seconds, though it’s still relatively efficient. Volkswagen claims 46.3mpg, along with 138g/km CO2 emissions.
Ride and handling
Our test car was the top-spec R-Line version, which is angled as the sportier model, yet even with its large alloy wheels, the ride of the Taigo remains comfortable and compliant, even down rougher stretches of road. It’s certainly more comfortable than a Seat Arona or Nissan Juke.
It’s not bad to drive when you put your foot down a bit more, either, with a responsive engine and well-controlled body roll making it not feel too dissimilar from a regular hatchback – likely because it doesn’t really sit all that high off the ground. Visibility remains good too, and one of the few grumbles is that the large door mirrors create quite a lot of road noise, though it’s a minor concern.
If you’re familiar with modern Volkswagen interiors, little about the Taigo’s interior will come as a surprise. There’s plenty of tech on show, with digital dials and an eight-inch touchscreen both included across all versions. The general layout is smart and easy to use, though some of the plastics on the door cards aren’t up to the standard you expect from a Volkswagen.
On a more positive note, the Taigo is not really impacted at all by its sloping roofline, as there’s still plenty of headroom in the rear for adults. At 440 litres, the boot is a great size too, and roomier than that of the Golf, which it also undercuts for price.
The Taigo range includes three trim levels – Life, Style and R-Line.
All get plenty of equipment, with the Life featuring 16-inch alloy wheels, wireless smartphone charging, LED lights and the touchscreen and digital dials we’ve already mentioned.
Style then brings Matrix LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels and a larger 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, with the top-spec R-Line focusing on sporty looks, with its more aggressive bodykit, gloss black accents and part-microfibre seats.
Prices for the Taigo start from £21,960, which is right on the money in this class. Most buyers are expected to stick to the entry-level Life model, and it’s the pick of the range as it still comes generously equipped.
Prices start from £25,300 for the Style and then £26,150 for the R-Line, with prices rising to £29,140 for the more powerful petrol engine.
With so many SUVs already in Volkswagen’s range, it was hard to see what the Taigo could bring that others already don’t. However, it’s certainly a welcome addition, with its stylish looks, strong engines and generous equipment really appealing.
Add in the fact that its sleeker styling doesn’t really impact practicality, and the Taigo is a very appealing option in the bustling crossover class.Enquire on a new Volkswagen Taigo