Volkswagen already has two compact SUVs with which it competes with models such as the Renault Captur and Ford Puma. Namely the T-Roc (based on the Golf) and the T-Cross based on the Polo. The new Taigo is also derived from the Polo. The VW model range is starting to get remarkably complicated.
What is the Taigo? The wheel arch edges of black plastic and the sloping roof hint at a compact SUV that wants to be a coupé. A car that you buy for its looks. The Volkswagen calls the Taigo itself the sporty counterpart of the practical T-Cross. We hadn’t looked at it that way ourselves yet, but the T-Cross launched in 2019 is indeed angular and handy. Thanks to the sliding rear seat and the folding co-driver’s seat. Abilities that the Taigo does not have, but now we anticipate the negatives.
The Volkswagen Taigo is a car that you buy for its looks. And let’s be honest: thanks to the sloping rear, the black wheel arch edges and the new green paint (Visual Green), the Taigo looks tougher than many of its competitors.
A subtle but important difference with the T-Cross is that you can order the Taigo with the burly 1.5 TSI engine. This four-cylinder turbo engine produces 150 hp and 250 Nm and is mated to a seven-speed DSG transmission as standard. He makes the Taigo fast and mature. If you put the gear selector of the automatic transmission in the ‘S’ of sport and give it full throttle, the compact SUV sprints to 100 in 8.3 seconds. That’s faster than strictly necessary, but that’s what makes it fun. Moreover: if you buy a car for its sporty appearance, then he should also behave a bit like it.
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If you opt for an affordable three-cylinder engine with 95 or 110 hp, you will also benefit from the comfortable suspension comfort. The Taigo sits firmly on the road and rolls smoothly over speed bumps and transverse ledges. The steering is remarkably light, but predictable. As you would expect from a Volkswagen, the driving behavior immediately feels familiar.
Volkswagen provides every Taigo (just like every Polo) with digital instruments. Alloy wheels are also standard. In addition, you get adaptive cruise control with lane assist from the Life version (the current base model) and there are advanced LED Matrix headlights on the Style.
The Volkswagen Taigo does not have the practical advantages of the T-Cross, so a sliding rear seat and the folding passenger seat are missing. There is also good news: the trunk has a hefty capacity of 440 liters. With the seat flat, 1122 liters fit in the back. The double loading floor provides a flat floor over which you can easily slide things forward and you are not bothered by the parcel shelf because it fits underneath.
The sloping roofline takes up headroom. The ceiling is 2 centimeters lower than in the T-Cross. But a bigger downside is the tight legroom. When you sit in the back seat, your knees press into the front seat rather than your crown into the headliner. On top of that, the doorway is small, so taking a seat in the back isn’t tempting in any way. But with which compact SUV is that the case? At the Skoda Kamiq!
As you can read above, the 1.5 TSI petrol engine fits perfectly with the sporty-looking Taigo. Unfortunately, that motorization is 10 mille more expensive than the base model. 10,000 euros!
At the end of January, the Taigo is at the Volkswagen dealer and prices start at 28,590 euros for a manual Life version with 95 hp. A similarly equipped Polo costs 23,890 euros. So you could say that you pay 4700 euros extra for a nicer car with a higher seating position and a larger trunk. A fairer comparison is with the T-Cross, which costs 27,740 euros. Then you are still 850 euros more, but that is manageable.
To buy the 1.5 TSI with DSG tested by us, you must first consult with a financial advisor. Then we are suddenly talking about 38,840 euros. We understand why, because for that 10 grand extra you get not only more power and an automatic transmission, but also the more luxurious Style version.
Looked at soberly, the practical T-Cross is the smarter buy, but I understand that you fall for the looks of the Taigo. No sliding rear seat. The sturdy design requires a relatively powerful engine like the 1.5 TSI. In combination with the seven-speed DSG transmission, the Taigo has a very fine powertrain. Whether that is worth 38,840 euros to you, you have to know for yourself.
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