Volkswagen has a lot of excellent contenders in its big passenger car range. And many of them are absolute bestsellers, with the Golf on top, but with the Tiguan and T-Roc also ranking very high in the sales lists. Now VW adds another one to its stable, a compact SUV Coupé this time.
A compact car, with its 4,27 meters. But mind you, that’s 16 centimeters longer than the T-Cross, and 3 centimeters more than the T-Roc. We found it roomy, very practical in everyday use, zesty, fun to drive and frugal. With the VW build quality on top. Does it then deserve its place within the VW line up? It certainly does…
Gives you the typical VW precision quality feel…
Stepping into this Taigo one enters VW world. And we are not only talking about the digital dashboard, the excellent, firm seats, the head- and legroom for even for the tallest among us, we talk about precision. Indeed, the steering feels light and has this feeling of exactness, like when you touch the controls of a Leica, or feel the wheel and ride of a Porsche. Immediately, from the first meters, you feel the quality of the platform and suspension. Built to go, steer precise. Fast. Indeed, the platform is meant for high Autobahn speeds. And all this handling quality is built in this car for the people. Just so wonderful. This is not to say that other makes don’t have cars which perform equally well or are just as safe. But here one notices it more.
You feel it in your hands, in your fingertips, in the seat of your pants. But that is not all. The stability at high speeds is accompanied with mechanical unfussy silence and low wind noise. Yes, gentlemen, it is built for it. It’s as simple as that. On top of that, the Taigo is quite comfortable, and is not afraid of winding roads either.
Zesty 3-cylinder power
VW keeps it simple on the engine front. 999 cc in three cylinders means good fuel efficiency, excellent pulling power and lower revs. We tested the 110 Hp version, developing 200 Nm of torque at a low 2000 rpm. For performance aficionados there is a 1,5 litre four cylinder version available with 150 HP, but the 1 litre version is more than lively enough. In our test car, it was coupled to the 7 speed DSG. This transmission adapts wonderfully to the engine’s characteristics.
In the R-Line equipment version we drove, we could select the drive modes Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual, but kept it in Comfort most of the time. When you accelerate in this mode from standstill with half throttle, the gearbox will change as early as possible to third gear, and will then really let the engine pull its best from then on, using the torque rev range optimally.
Performance leaves noting to be desired. 0 to 100 km/h is reached in 10,9 seconds, top speed is 191 km/h. The acceleration in the intermediate speed ranges is impressive: 60 to 100 km/h costs barely more than 6 seconds, from 80 to 120 km/h costs some 8 seconds. The engine is silent, unobtrusive even when revved, inaudible and vibrationless up to high cruising speeds.
With economy to match…
Consumption, certainly with a petrol engined car, depends greatly on your (urban) driving style. No trouble at all to reach anything between 5-6 liters/100 km, with a lighter foot and some anticipation. VW quotes for WLTP consumption 5,4 liters, with CO2 emissions being 123 g/km.
Cockpit with VW typical user friendliness
The interior and dashboard are well finished, the materials are certainly not cheap, nice soft materials on top of the dashboard and a leather steering wheel to enjoy too.
The touch controls of heating and ventilation take some getting used to, but as we said lately in our test of the Lexus UX 300e, we refrain from criticizing this, as owners have months if not years to get the hang of this.
The instrumentation is digital, the display is clear and can show a wide range of information alongside your speedo, including power output, fuel efficiency and even full width map on the larger screen. It also sports Apple Car play and Android Auto, in tune with the times… The Taigo has a decent-sized glove box, door bins that can swallow a large bottle of water, a deep cubby in the central armrest and a space for your phone in front of the gearstick, which doubles as a wireless charger.
Your urban friend…and roomy too.
The Taigo also offers good visibility, offering large rear windows. Just the high waistline in the back limits rearward visibility, but every Taigo has front and rear parking sensors as standard and a rear-view camera is available on higher trim versions, as in our R-Line equipment level.
The Taigo offers plenty of headroom and seats that slide a good way back for lots of legroom, even the width is impressive, and you and your front-seat passenger are quite comfortable..
Rear head and legroom is generous too, with also an impressive standard luggage space of 455 liters.
The Taigo does not come very cheap however, and we should suggest that you also take a long look at the equipment levesl, as the standard level already offers quite a lot…
The Taigo astonished us with its practicality, its all-round character, being masterfully at home in town, on winding roads and long motorways.
A city car which offers room and performance as well as comfort to steal your hearts as an excellent Gran Turismo. Being responsibly frugal too, of high quality and built to last… certainly, watch this Taigo, it will make its mark…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Photographers’ note: In photographing the Taigo, we used two camera’s from our mirrorless camera collection: the handy and very capable Fujifilm X10 and the latest addition to our stable, the flagship Fujifilm X100F.
The X10 has a Fujinon F: 2 28-112 zoom lens (35 mm equivalent) and the X100F has a superb F: 2 23 mm fixed lens, which is about 35 mm considering the cropped sensor. It has an equally superb processor, coping with the most difficult lighting situations.
I used both cameras in aperture priority mode. (AV). The harsh late spring sunlight made lighting circumstances difficult, as it created sharp contrasts… Fortunately, the photos taken with the Fujifilm X10 were taken under a slightly overcast sky.