Southwest Vibes: Volkswagen Names New Subcompact Crossover SUV 'Taos'
The Taos name comes from a town in the state of New Mexico.
A few weeks ago, we reported that Volkswagen (VW) will be unveiling the latest addition to its North American lineup, a subcompact crossover SUV (CUV), on October 13th, 2020. This week, VW announced that it has picked a name for its new subcompact CUV, and that name is 'Taos'. The name 'Taos' comes from a town in New Mexico. The SUV market already includes some other Southwestern-themed names, mostly from Hyundai (the Santa Fe and Tucson). Slotting below the compact Tiguan, the Taos will be VW's entry-level CUV. VW has also unveiled some of the specifications of the all-new 2022 Taos, and has even allowed some journalists to drive a pre-production prototype of the Taos (pictured above), which does NOT include any badging, and still included a camouflaged interior. Read on to find out more about VW's new North American Taos subcompact CUV. NOTE: Any and all pricing discussed in this article includes a mandatory destination fee, but does NOT include any applicable taxes, or other fees.
Looking at the pre-production 2022 Volkswagen Taos prototype, the Brand's new subcompact CUV combines the exterior styling of the compact Tiguan, as well as the midsize three-row Atlas and two-row Atlas Cross Sport, which means that it fits right in with the VW CUV family. Up front, the prototype sports full-LED front head and fog lamps with signature LED daytime running lamps (DRL's) integrated into the front headlamps. The front grille and front headlamp design are similar to that of the facelifted 2021 VW Atlas three-row midsize CUV, while the front bumper features a unique design with integrated air curtains. Looking from the side, the Taos' styling echoes that of the Tiguan, with a similar side profile. The rear of the Taos bears a resemblance to the Tiguan as well, which means that it may be a bit difficult to tell the Taos apart from its VW CUV siblings. As mentioned, the prototype Taos doesn't include any exterior badging (just a cutout for the VW emblems on the front grille and rear tailgate). The front grille is also darkened, but is likely to be finished in chrome on the production model that we'll see in a couple of weeks.
VW has also announced the engine that will be powering the all-new 2022 Taos, and that engine, while originally perceived to be the same 1.4L "TSI" Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) gasoline unit from the Jetta compact sedan and Golf compact hatchback, will actually be an all-new 1.5L "TSI" Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) gasoline engine that will be unique to the Taos, but is an evolution of the 1.4T unit in the Jetta and Golf. VW says that the 1.5T I4 gas engine in the Taos will produce 158 horsepower and 184 lb. ft. of torque, which is 11 more horsepower and just as much torque as the 1.4T unit in the Jetta and Golf. While Front Wheel Drive (FWD) models will use a traditional eight-speed automatic transmission sourced from the Jetta, the '4MOTION' (All Wheel Drive, or AWD) models will sport VW's seven-speed Dual-Clutch (DCT) automatic transmission.
In the prototypes driven by journalists, the all-new 2022 VW Taos' interior was covered up, as is the norm with pre-production test vehicles, and therefore, there aren't many details (or any pictures) available of the interior. We expect an interior design similar to that of the Jetta compact sedan, with the latest-generation VW touchscreen infotainment systems, and cloth, VW "V-Tex" perforated leatherette, and possibly even Napa perforated luxury leather-trimmed seating surfaces to be available, depending upon the trim level selected. We will see photos of the Taos' interior during its October 13th, 2020 debut.
While pricing hasn't yet been announced for the all-new 2022 VW Taos subcompact CUV, the compact 2020 VW Tiguan starts at $24,945 for a base 2.0T S model with Front Wheel Drive (FWD), and climbs to $38,975 for a loaded 2.0T SEL Premium R-Line model with the '4MOTION' All Wheel Drive (AWD) system. We expect pricing to range from the low-$20,000s to the low-$30,000s for the all-new 2022 VW Taos. VW will likely build the all-new Taos at its American assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport, and American-Spec Passat are also produced. The 2022 VW Taos faces steep competition in the subcompact CUV market, with vehicles such as the Buick Encore and Encore GX, Chevrolet (Chevy) Trailblazer and Trax, Ford EcoSport, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Jeep Renegade, Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-3 and CX-30, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Outlander Sport, Nissan Kicks, Subaru XV CrossTrek, and Toyota CH-R. Are you excited about the all-new 2022 VW Taos subcompact SUV? Let us know in the comments down below, and stay tuned right here for more information as it becomes available!