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New Volkswagen TAIGO Breaks New Ground.

New VW TAIGO Breaks New Ground.

The new VW Taigo compact SUV-Coupe has joined Volkswagen’s growing model line-up as a credible rival to the likes of the Ford Puma, Toyota Yaris Cross, Renault Captur, Hyundai Kona and Opel Mokka. In terms of size, the Taigo fits between the Volkswagen T-Cross and T-Roc, and it is essentially a compact SUV with a sporty sloping roofline, with plenty of style and character on offer. With only marginally less space than the T-Cross on which it’s based, the Taigo successfully combines style and space. Volkswagen says the Taigo is very nearly as practical as the T-Cross. The Taigo has a boot capacity of 440-litres – a drop of just 15-litres compared with the T-Cross, and just 5-litres less than you get in a VW T-Roc.

Petrol Powerplant.

The Taigo is only available with a petrol engine, and front-wheel drive is standard. The sole powerplant is a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder unit, which is shared with the T-Cross and other cars within the Volkswagen Group. The Taigo 1.0 TSI with 95bhp is only available as a 5-speed manual and comes in entry-level ‘Life’ trim. This trim variant is also available with a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission, but the power output is increased to 110bhp. This higher-powered unit is standard in mid-spec ‘Style’, and top-spec ‘R-Line’ trim variants, both of which are available with a choice of 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG transmission. ‘Life’ trim comes with lots of standard equipment, including 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, multi-colour digital cockpit, black roof rails, Front Assist, Hill Start Assist, Lane Change Assist, and extended & predictive pedestrian/cyclist protection, while ‘Style’ trim benefits from larger 17-inch ‘Aberdeen’ alloy wheels, as well as clever LED matrix headlights, comfort seats, Travel Assist, Park Distance Control, and chrome interior detailing. Range-topping R-Line trim is the sporty option in the range, and includes such features as 17-inch ‘Valencia’ alloy wheels, R-Line specific bumpers, rear privacy glass, R-Line seat trim covers, black headliner material, ambient lighting, and brushed stainless steel foot pedals. The Taigo’s Infotainment system features an intuitive and responsive 8-inch touchscreen, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto coming as standard across all trim levels.

Impressive Build Quality.

The Taigo’s interior bears more than just a passing resemblance to the T-Cross (and, in turn the Volkswagen Polo upon which the T-Cross is based), and this means the car has impressive build quality, with interior panels, switches and other cabin hardware fitting together seamlessly. The driver and front seat passenger have generous amounts of head and leg room available, while rear seat occupants benefit from ample amounts of knee and leg room, along with a decent amount of space under the front seats for their feet. A deep storage space in the centre armrest, along with door bins that can hold a large bottle of water, means that small electronic items (and the likes) can be hidden away from prying eyes when the car is left unattended.

Five-Star NCAP Rating.

Because the Taigo shares much with the Volkswagen T-Cross – and therefore with the Volkswagen Polo – it doesn’t have its own Euro NCAP safety rating. Instead, it has inherited the Polo’s score, giving it a full five stars. Particularly strong is the adult occupant protection score, which hit an impressive 94%. The Taigo gets autonomous emergency braking as standard, and this allows the car to brake automatically if the driver fails to respond to a hazard, while its lane-keeping assistance system works in union with the adaptive cruise control to help keep the car on track in a single lane.

Test Car Details.

My VW Taigo R-Line 1.0 TSI was fitted with the Volkswagen Group’s slick 7-speed DSG automatic transmission for ease of drivability when driving in congested traffic through urban areas. With 110bhp and 200Nm of torque on offer, the car accelerate to 100km/h from a standing start in 10.9 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 191km/h (where permitted). The 3-cylinder petrol engine works well with the DSG transmission, but there is also the option to change gears manually by using the standard paddle shifters behind the steering wheel if the driver should so wish. On the road, the Taigo behaves in a balanced, well controlled and composed manner, and the well-judged suspension soaks up bumps in the road quite well. The car feels safe, and predictable on twisty back roads, with plenty of grip through sharp corners. Additionally, the car’s raised driving position ensures good visibility when driving, with plenty of adjustment options for the driver’s seat and steering wheel. The Taigo’s excellent engine offers excellent fuel efficiency too, with a fuel return of 5.9l/100km (48mpg) possible on a WLTP combined driving cycle.

Verdict & Pricing.

The all-new VW Taigo combines its commendable SUV characteristics with the sportiness of its coupe-styled sloping roofline to maximum effect. The Taigo’s handsome looks are complimented by a high quality cabin, excellent practicality, generous equipment levels and a frugal petrol powerplant. I think the Taigo is a great addition to Volkswagen’s model line-up, as the demand for SUVs continues to dominate the market. Over the years, the Volkswagen Group has become highly respected worldwide for producing quality vehicles, and the Taigo has the potential to be a big success for the VW brand. Pricing starts from €28,995 with the car I tested priced at €37,140 (excluding delivery & related charges).

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