2022 Volkswagen Taos Highline
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2022 Volkswagen Taos Highline Review

The Taos was launched in the summer of 2021 as a 2022 model. The Mexico-built newcomer – which has close links to SEAT and Škoda models sold in Europe – slots into the Volkswagen range below the Tiguan as a subcompact SUV.

Key Features

  • Classy, high-tech interior
  • Good passenger and cargo space
  • Frugal powertrain

Direct Competitors

  • Jeep Compass
  • Mazda CX-30
  • Nissan Rogue Sport
  • Toyota Corolla Cross

It’s worth noting the considerable range in size among subcompact SUVs. The Taos is noticeably longer than a Chevrolet Trailblazer or Hyundai Kona, for example, but closer in size to a Nissan Rogue Sport, the new Toyota Corolla Cross or the original VW Tiguan.

If you’re cross-shopping the Taos with Kia’s subcompact Seltos, check out our full comparison here.

How much does the 2022 Volkswagen Taos cost?

  • Trendline FWD: $26,695
  • Trendline AWD: $29,165
  • Comfortline AWD: $32,395
  • Highline AWD: $36,695 (as tested here)

2022 Volkswagen Taos | Photo: VW 

All Taos grades are powered by the same 1.5-litre, turbocharged engine. Only the entry-level Trendline is available with FWD; it has an 8-speed automatic transmission and an MSRP of $26,695. Switching to 4Motion AWD and a 7-speed twin-clutch DSG transmission – the template for all other Taos grades – raises the price to $29,165. Both get the Digital Cockpit – an all-digital instrument cluster with an 8-inch screen in front of the driver – and heated front seats.

For another $3,230, the Comfortline adds more driver assistance technologies, wireless smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and leatherette seats. The optional Sunroof & 18in Wheels Package does what it says on the tin, for $1,500.

Range-topping Taos Highline

At the top of the tree is the Highline, as tested here, at $36,695. It benefits from an eight-speaker BeatsAudio sound system, configurable Digital Cockpit Pro cluster with a larger screen, navigation, a panoramic roof and ventilated front seats.

On top of the standard Highline spec, our test Taos came with the two available Highline options: 19-inch alloy wheels ($500) and an Advanced driver assistance package ($1,000).

2022 Volkswagen Taos interior and equipment

2022 Volkswagen Taos | Photo: VW 

Few automakers do a better job than Volkswagen of making the mainstream look premium. Yes, this is the high-end Highline spec, but the interior has that elegance and simplicity that you’ll recognize from other VW vehicles. The contrasting ‘French Roast’ leather trim (Crystal Grey is the alternative) lightens the combined effect of the accompanying Titan Black panels and black dashboard.

The Volkswagen’s full digital instrument cluster is as advanced as anything you’ll see in this segment, or indeed in larger mainstream SUVs. We particularly liked the ability to display a detailed, full-colour navigation map between the main dials, but you’ll need to dig into both the menus and the owner’s manual to find the configuration that suits you best.

The feeling that the Taos is right up to date in the tech stakes is enhanced by the 8-inch central touchscreen for the infotainment functions, which we found easy to use. HVAC controls remain as separate, physical switches. Below them in the centre of the front cabin are two USB-C ports.

2022 Volkswagen Taos | Photo: VW 

The seats offer good comfort and the main controls fall easily to hand, with plenty of scope to tweak both the driver-assistance systems and the contents of the digital display from buttons on the steering wheel. In the back, the Taos’s leg- and headroom are both competitive for the class, while the cargo capacity is excellent.

Performance & driving impressions

It’s not just the Taos’s interior that has a familiar feel. On the road, the shared MQB platform ensures that its driving behaviour has similarities with the Tiguan, Jetta and other current Volkswagen models. That means a tauter ride than the North American average (though never harsh) and precise steering.

The combination of turbocharged engine and twin-clutch transmission occasionally creates a small delay in delivering the Taos’s 158 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque. However, flick the shifter to Sport to hold the gears for longer, and floor the throttle, and the Taos takes off in a hurry.

2022 Volkswagen Taos | Photo: VW 

Official combined fuel consumption is a conservative-sounding 8.5L/100km. In a week of mixed driving, in cold conditions and on Continental Viking Contact 7 winter tires, our Highline recorded an impressive 7.5L/100km. The tires and the car’s Snow mode did a good job of maintaining traction on slippery surfaces, although the Contis did come with a small road-noise penalty.

Verdict & Specs: is VW's subcompact SUV worth it?

The Volkswagen Taos is a strong new contender in a packed subcompact-SUV class. In Highline trim at least, it’s a winning package of classy interior, frugal powertrain and European-style driving dynamics.

Shopping for a used subcompact SUV? In only 2 minutes, you can get pre-approved here and be one step closer.

2022 Volkswagen Taos Specs

  2022 Volkswagen Taos Highline 

Base Price



1.5L turbocharged I4


7-speed dual-clutch automatic



Peak Horsepower

158 hp

Peak Torque

184 lb-ft

Fuel Economy

9.5/ 7.4 / 8.5 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb

Cargo Space Seats Up / Down

790 / 1,866 L

Towing Capacity

Not recommended

Standard wheel size


Basic Warranty (months/km)

48 / 80,000

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