VW’s nifty compact 175.8-inch long Taos (9.3 inches shorter than a Tiguan) arrives soon in one of three trims: S, SE and SEL. VW’s IQ.Drive Safety Suite is a $995 option on S and $895 for the SE, standard on SEL. It features forward collision warning for the S, (it’s standard on other trims), lane keeping assist and cruise control with stop and go. On S, it adds a convenience package with a heated steering wheel.
A 158-hp 1.5-liter engine with efficiency tricks hooks up to either an eight-speed automatic (FWD) or seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox (AWD). 4Motion all-wheel-drive is optional on all trims. Pricing starts at $24,190 (S with FWD) and climbs to $26,235 (S with AWD and heated front seats). Top-spec SEL versions top $35,000.
VW’s Taos likely costs slightly more than rivals sporting standard driver assist. All Taos models have alloy wheels, though. Also, the S comes with an 6.5-inch touchscreen MIB (multiple information toolkit). You must choose SE or SEL to get the MIB3 with 8-inch touchscreen, voice control, wireless phone charging, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
All versions get VW’s Digital Cockpit, a video instrument cluster. Select SEL and that video screen (Pro) grows to 10.25 inches. Panoramic roofs are available on SE and SEL—$1,200. Rear suspensions differ: twist beam (FWD) and multi-link (AWD). With 184-lb-ft of torque available at less than 2,000 rpm, the Taos should provide brisk performance. Optional perks such as LED ambient lighting, BeatsAudio and ventilated leather seating surfaces let you raise the bar.
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