American Volkswagen doesn’t want to say it, but the new Volkswagen Taos (which has been put up for sale) is an alternative to the Golf that Americans just don’t buy. We’ve focused on the golf ever since it was replaced Beetle Back in the late 1970s, when they used to be called rabbits, but no more: we now only like hatchbacks, aka long hatchbacks.Crossovers. ”
This makes the squat-looking Taos ($ 25,040, AWD; $ 22,995, FWD) the right flavor of the decade, aimed directly at Subaru Cross-Road. The latter is the darling of the “Adventure” drivetrain. These people don’t often drive actual dirt, but since Subaru is crushing in major “off-road” areas where Volkswagen also sells well, like New England, Colorado and the Northwest, Taos is a must Volkswagen.
Volkswagen proved its calculations in four main ways:
1. It has more rear room than Subaru. That’s 8 inches more space and knee space in the back seat is 1.5 inches. The Crosstrek is really not comfortable enough for four full-size adults, but Taos really are. And with those folded or straight rear seats, the Veedub also smokes Subaru with up to 60.2 cubic feet of cargo volume in the back of the front seats.
You’ll get more if you buy the front-wheel drive version from the Taos, but Volkswagen knows 60 percent or more of its sales will be for a model that wraps rubber in all four corners.
2. It’s fun to drive. With AWD, Taos gets a seven-speed DSG (dual-clutch) transmission. The Subaru can be had with a manual, but unfortunately it is not a sporty gearbox. The automatic CVT in the Crosstrek is fine, but the DSG is a setup of your own that is more attractive, and can be switched to automatic mode in traffic. The suspension, although not button-down like you’d get from a GTI, resists body roll – and it didn’t groan or creak when we drew the front wheels straight into some custom-made potholes in New York State.
3. Safety technology is cheap. Volkswagen has included LED headlights for all models, but they also have a package called IQ Drive for under $ 1,000. This includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go assistance (so you can crawl in traffic with the system handling the bulk of the routine), blind spot monitoring, lane keeping, automatic forward collision warning and emergency braking.
4. Hmmm. Well, the ground clearance isn’t high enough versus the Crosstrek, at 6.5 inches versus just 8.7 inches, but Volkswagen has already shown more power Basecamp concept This is raised and rolls on more aggressive rubber. VW will definitely introduce that as an in-house upgrade soon, though Bronco Sport, And the Jeep Compass To compete with. Volkswagen has strongly hinted that there may be a GTI version of the Taos in the future. That would be welcome too. The 1.5-liter turbocharged power plant in Taos delivers 184 lb-ft of torque at just 1,750 rpm. But the sturdier and faster Taos may make ex-Volkswagen buyers miss these cars – and let them learn to love the never-ending zeitgeist.
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