The VW Taigo is here to fill a gap in the German manufacturer's range. Based on the VW Nivus – which was made for the South American market – this car is aimed primarily at lifestyle car owners. It will be initially be made available with a petrol-powered engine only. The SUV differs from others on the market at the moment because of its lower roofline that means it has a coupé-style look. In fact, the Taigo has five doors and a fairly conventional tailgate design at the rear. Despite this, VW's clever aesthetics means that the car conveys a sporty character when viewed from the outside.
The Taigo is based on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB A0 platform, which is the same as SEAT Leon, the Skoda Superb and the Golf Mk7. Entry-level owners can expect a 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with two main variants on offer. These provide 94 bhp and 108 bhp respectively. There is a five-speed manual version but it is also possible to purchase a six-speed manual if you opt for the more powerful version. The other alternative is a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic. The top of the range option is a 1.5 TSI four-cylinder turbo which can produce up to 148 bhp. This is the fastest of the lot with speeds of 131 mph being possible. An entry-level Taigo, on the other hand, can only get up to in the region of 113 mph, so despite the sporty looks, this small SUV isn't really the powerful beast you might expect at first glance.
It is probably fair to say that the Taigo is clear, simple and even elegant in terms of the interior design but there is nothing in it that truly stands out. Of course, some owners will consider the conventional nature of the design to be a good thing but given how distinctive it looks on the outside, this is a bit of a shame. An 8-inch display is offered as standard but you can get a 10.25-inch one if you want to upgrade. A smaller screen runs the infotainment system with basic integrations for phones and so on. VW offers its Life trim level as standard with the Taigo.
The Taigo is sportier looking than just about everything else in the VW range considering the size of the car. It has a fastback-style rear with a sloping hatchback. What's more, the car comes with a lightbar that runs over the full width of the rear. This integrates nicely with the back-facing light clusters. At the other end, the LED headlights sitting over the deep front bumper also help to add to the sporty look. This is assisted by some smart looking creases that run down each side of the car, too. As for alloys, you get a choice of 16 or 18 inches which depend on your chosen trim level.
Contactless app access and USB connections mean the Taigo is at home with modern drivers' needs. If you want a sporty looking car that also offers lots of boot space, then the Taigo's 438-litre capacity should appeal. However, the sloping roof limits space for taller passengers in the back.
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