Road test – Volkswagen Taigo

Julie Marshall spends a week with Volkswagen’s latest SUV – the coupe-like Taigo

The Volkswagen Taigo looks every inch the SUV from the front.
The Volkswagen Taigo looks every inch the SUV from the front.

Volkswagen’s Taigo is one of the many SUVs in the German manufacturer’s stable - there are eight of them at the last count.

Taigo, with its smart, coupe-like silhouette, sits near the bottom of the list size-wise fitting in between the T-Cross and the T-Roc.

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Following on are Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg plus a couple of I D electric models.

The stylish interior

SUVs are very popular, accounting for more than 40 per cent of total UK Volkswagen sales in 2021 - 61,656 against 147,826 for the brand as a whole.

At the Taigo launch in 2021 there were three engines, a one-litre, three-cylinder with 94bhp (manual only) a 108bhp version of the same engine (manual or DSG) or a 1.5-litre four-cylinder 148bhp which is only available with a seven-speed DSG.

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We drove the entry-level 94bhp Life, with an on-the-road price from £23,155. Ours was bumped up to £24,390 once the extra kit had been accounted for. This consisted of £380 for the pure white paint, £110 for floor mats and £745 for a flash navigation system which includes internet services, road sign recognition, front-facing camera for distance control and wireless connectivity.

The diminutive three-cylinder engine may, on paper, appear underpowered but we found it perfectly acceptable and incredibly frugal.

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The coupe-like rear view

During a week of mixed motoring we got an average of 48mpg which was pretty impressive given that most of the miles were in slow moving urban traffic.

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It gets up to speed quickly and without fuss and you don’t have to rev it hard or change down a gear to keep it up - even when going uphill.

As mentioned above the entry-level model is only available with manual transmission. The five-speed gearbox is pleasant to use and moves easily through the ratios.

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This engine is also only available in basic Life trim, but when you consider that includes such as air conditioning, automatic wipers, a full raft of safety and security devices, adaptive cruise control and a more than acceptable in-car entertainment system, that is no hardship.

It’s easy to get comfortable as the steering wheel is adjustable for rake and reach and the driver’s seat can be moved around for a good fit.

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The interior is everything you’d expect from a VW. It may not be exactly plush but there are top notch trims, solid controls and a feeling of quality.

As with the majority of new models, traditional controls are largely being replaced by digital ones, accessible from a touchscreen, and the Taigo is no exception. On the entry-level trim however, at least the heating and air conditioning controls are physical which makes adjusting them much easier on the move.

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Everything else is via an 8in touchscreen and there are four USB-C ports - two at the front and two at the back.

Visibility is generally good although the sloping rear end does restrict your view somewhat.

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Leg and headroom is also good throughout as is internal width and, even with a full house, it never feels cramped.

In all, it’s a welcome addition to the Volkswagen SUV family.

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Specifications

Volkswagen Taigo Life

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Price: £23,155 (£24,390 as tested)

Engine: 1.0-litre, three-cylinder direct petrol

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Power: 94bhp

Torque: 129lb/ft

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Transmission: five-speed manual

Top speed: 114mph

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0-62mph: 11.1 seconds

Economy: 51.5mpg combined

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CO 2 emissions:124g/km