2023 Volkswagen Taos Review: This Truth May SHOCK You… New Video
Though it was a few years late to the party, Volkswagen finally entered the extra-small SUV game when it launched the Volkswagen Taos in 2022. Slotting below VW’s Tiguan in size and price, the subcompact Taos offers attractive styling, handy available tech features and a surprisingly spacious interior.
The 2023 Volkswagen Taos is a well-rounded SUV that offers a gentle ride, responsive handling, good fuel economy and a capable engine. It’s not without its flaws, however. Its interior isn’t as upscale as some competitors, and the transmission can be a little slow to shift.
Because it only launched last year, the Taos enters 2023 with minimal changes. Two previously optional driver assist features for the base S trim — automatic emergency braking and blind-spot warning — have been made standard across the board. Other changes include the addition of a panoramic sunroof on the SEL and the SE gaining adaptive cruise control and lane keeping-assistance as standard.
Subcompact SUVs feed a hunger for space, affordability, and a certain sense of belonging—since almost everyone drives an SUV these days. Among 20 other competitors, the Volkswagen Taos quenches an additional, more recent consumer craving for thrifty fuel economy.
Available in front- or all-wheel drive, every Taos hums along getting exemplary real-world fuel mileage thanks to a stingy, 158-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The Taos doesn’t offer a hitch to tow with, so we’d suggest moving up to the larger Tiguan SUV for that, but there’s plenty of cargo space inside, even with the rear seats in use, to easily handle grocery duty. Beating its EPA estimate by 4 mpg, an all-wheel-drive Taos SEL manages an awesome 40 mpg during a 200-mile, 75-mph highway fuel-economy test loop. Copious amounts of interior plastic help keep the Taos’ price down while making the more richly-appointed Mazda CX 30 cabin feel like a miniature luxury condo in comparison with the VW.
In this video we are reviewing the 2023 Model of the Volkswagen Taos.
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The Taos is powered by VW’s new turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It makes 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Front-drive versions feature an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel-drive models have a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The front-drive and all-wheel-drive Taos also have different rear suspensions, with the former using a torsion-beam setup and the latter using a more sophisticated multilink design. The acceleration difference between the two different drivetrains is negligible, with the front-wheel-drive Taos beating the 4Motion to 60 mph by only a tenth of a second. A set of 17-inch wheels are standard, but 18 and 19-inchers are also available. We appreciate the engine’s low-speed thrust, the eight-speed automatic’s unobtrusive operation, and the suspension’s composure on roads.
In short, while the Taos may not be the sportiest small crossover on the market, it is fun to drive. It offers a gentle ride and responsive steering, and its suspension smoothes out most bumps in the road. There is some light body roll but not a concerning amount.
The interior is one of the best in the class, from the ease of stepping in and out of the large door openings to the generous passenger space. The Taos almost feels like a class size up compared to its competition. Outward visibility is excellent thanks to square windows and good mirror coverage, and you’ll have no issue reaching any of the controls from the driver’s seat.
Some of Volkswagen’s newest infotainment systems have been flops. Thankfully the Taos keeps things a bit simpler, limiting the touch-sensitive buttons. This approach makes a huge difference in usability. Touch controls can be great when they work, but most can’t compare to good ole physical buttons and knobs when you want to minimize distraction.
Every Taos features a slick-looking infotainment system with a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot. A 6.5-inch touchscreen is standard, and an 8-inch version is optional. The system can also be equipped with built-in navigation, an eight-speaker BeatsAudio stereo, SiriusXM satellite radio, and wireless smartphone charging.
Cargo space is where this Volkswagen really shines. Front-wheel-drive models have 27.9 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats and 65.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Those are great figures for a subcompact SUV. All-wheel-drive models lose a bit of space, with 24.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 60.2 cubes with those seats folded down.
The front-drive Taos is rated at 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, and the all-wheel-drive model is rated at 25 mpg city and 32 highway.
The smallest VW crossover is available with a variety of driver-assistance technology, too, including forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking.
This year, every Taos includes standard automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and rear cross-traffic alerts. Adaptive cruise control is a cheap option on the base S and standard otherwise.
Its estimated price starts at around $25,000.
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