Automobile

2022 Taos gives VW a Jeep Compass fighter

With the introductions of the Taos next month and the ID4 EV last March, VW’s lineup now has five crossovers to offer American consumers — compared with 2017, when it had just the Tiguan and the high-priced Touareg.

The results are telling. Crossovers are now about 64 percent of the brand’s sales, and Keogh said it would take the profits from “8 or 9 Passat” sedans to equal what the brand makes on just one of its Atlas three-row crossovers.

“We’ve finally chosen to meet the American market and give consumers what they’re looking for,” Keogh said.

The Taos, which will be built in Puebla, Mexico, is based on the same MQB modular global architecture as the Tiguan, and it will share a number of components.

At 9.3 inches shorter than the long-wheelbase Tiguan sold in the U.S., the Taos is 175.8 inches long, 72.5 inches wide and 64.4 inches tall, riding on a 105.9-inch wheelbase. It comes standard with LED projector headlights, a fully digital instrument cluster and a 6.5-inch infotainment touch screen. An optional 8-inch touch screen runs Volkswagen’s most advanced infotainment system. With the second-row seats up, the Taos has 28.1 cubic feet of cargo room. When the back seats are lowered, cargo room expands to 66.3 cubic feet.

The Taos, unlike the refreshed Tiguan that VW will bring to dealerships in the fall, doesn’t have an optional power rear hatch, nor does it have the refreshed Tiguan’s upscale haptic steering wheel buttons or capacitive touch climate controls.

What it does have is better gas mileage and a price point — the Taos will start at $24,190 including delivery — expected to be at least $2,500 cheaper compared to the 2022 Tiguan. Keogh said VW would offer an entry lease price of $199 per month on the Taos.

The 2022 Taos is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four engine — the same as in the Jetta sedan — that produces 158 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission in front-wheel-drive versions or a seven-speed automatic when equipped with available all-wheel drive.

Base versions of the Taos will come standard with 17-inch wheels, while higher trims will be equipped with either 18- or 19-inch wheels.

Taos “is a classic VW for a new era,” Keogh told reporters this month. “It’s practical, with surprising tech features.”

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