Slick SUV makes its mark

Volkswagen Taigo

By Bill McCarthy

The VW range, just like sibling Audi, is wide, not least with its range of SUVs. The latest, the Taigo, sits between the smallest T-Cross and the larger T-Roc and joins the Tiguan, ID.4, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg in the line up.

It’s a tough market as it is not only up against similar VW models but others like Nissan, Peugeot, Mini, Skoda and SEAT.

VW describes the newcomer as an SUV Coupe, because of its sleek silhouette.

It scores with its eye-catching styling, choice of two engines, three trim styles and generous stowage areas.

It certainly has individual styling, a crossover with a design aimed at younger buyers. 

It is built on VW’s MQB platform and maintains a streamlined profile despite sitting higher off the ground. It features a dramatic sloping roof design and will wide light bar to the rear, which is all nicely set off with roofbars and smart  alloy wheels,

Despite being the entry level, still not cheap at £21,960, specification includes the now familiar customisable digital cockpit and central screen, which controls the third generation of Modular Infotainment Toolkit (MIB3). 

This enables the use of a variety of online-based functions and access to streaming services.

Move up the grades to Style and R-Line and the goody pack gets bigger.

Despite being the base model, the Life includes front fog lights, LED headlights, inductive smartphone charging, a multifunction steering wheel and electric folding and heated door mirrors.

The interior itself is typical VW solidly built and reassuringly durable with a mixture of soft touch and some admittedly harsher plastics. Controls and switches are logically placed and despite modest proportions, four adults are seated in comfort.

It also features a one-litre, 95PS three cylinder petrol engine. A 110ps version is also available, as is a more sporty four-cylinder 1.5-litre 150PS engine.

The gutsy three pot one litre engine is not exactly designed for pace, more economy and delivers that in spades with a realistic 50 mpg achievable.

Despite its relatively modest power, it still delivers the throaty growl associated with three cylinder engines and, mated with a five speed manual box, pulls well through the gears. The sprint to 60mph is more of a rapid jog at around 11 seconds, but still adequate enough for most circumstances.

It performs particularly well around town and the other half was particularly impressed with how easy it was to drive, she loved the slick gear changes and the manoeuvrability.

That’s not to say it is not a capable motorway cruiser. Which it is.

Despite sitting relatively high off the road, it handles well and feels well planted enough on corners, while the suspension rides well over even the worst of our roads.

SUVs are practical beasts and despite its modest dimensions, the Taigo offers plenty of stowage space with an impressive 440 litre available, which opens up substantially with the split rear seats folded.

Having achieved the Euro NCAP five star safety rating, features include a full range of airbags, front and rear parking sensors, emergency brake function, and the lane departure warning system as standard. 


Factfile

Volkswagen Taigo Life 

Price: £22,275

Mechanical: 95PS, 999cc three cylinder engine driving front wheels via five speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 114mph

0-62mph: 11.1sec

Combined MPG: 50.5

Insurance Group: 13

C02 emissions: 124g/km

Warranty:  3yrs/60,000 miles

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