By now, automakers have introduced enough SUV models to make your head spin. None, I believe, is more appealing than the all-new Volkswagen Taos.
This compact crossover SUV forgoes the segment’s usual rugged pretenses. From its sophisticated styling to its sharp handling and smooth ride, it is clearly tailored for life on city streets.
The modern interior of the top-of-the-line SEL model I tested was stuffed with slick technology, including a 10.25-inch configurable digital gauge cluster, an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, 10-color accent lighting and Volkswagen’s usual high-quality materials. There’s comfortable seating for four and a cargo hold with a healthy 66 cubic feet of stowage.
Where the Taos really shines, however, is the ease with which it drives. The 158-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine feels stronger than those numbers suggest, and its light feel makes it a downright pleasure to drive.
While it’s not designed to take you far off the pavement, you won’t find a more likeable way to get around town.
— Strong fuel economy adds to the appeal.
— Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration is standard.
— Even with available all-wheel drive, this SUV is not rugged.
— Advanced safety features are optional on lower trims.
A car-based crossover SUV as classy as the artsy New Mexico town it’s named after
Base Price: $22,995
As Tested: $35,440
NHTSA/Overall: Not yet rated
28/36 (1.5L turbo/FWD)
25/32 (1.5L turbo/AWD)