Behind the striking appearance and advanced technological stuffing of the new Volkswagen Taos, there is a long-familiar car. His twin brother has been on sale for over a year.
If cars were people, then Volkswagen Taos could easily try on the role of the hero of Indian melodrama. It seems to have its own original and very striking appearance, a comfortable interior with a good finish and good sound insulation. But driving Taos will certainly evoke a sense of déjà vu, and if you look closely at the profile of this car, you will definitely get the feeling that you have seen it on the roads more than once.
This compact crossover is like a character in Indian cinema, who was once born into a family with a twin brother, and then, by some incredible coincidence, life separated them.
And globally it is. Taos is built on the all-Volkswagen MQB platform and was developed in the bowels of VAG design centers in parallel with another compact crossover – Skoda Karoq. But Taos was originally conceived as an affordable SUV for emerging markets like Brazil, India and Russia.
The model was later introduced to the North American market, but there it is offered in two specifications: standard and long wheelbase. VW Taos arrived in a short-wheelbase version, which shares most of the components and assemblies with the Czech counterpart. If you look at the profile of a Volkswagen, then even with the naked eye you can see that it has exactly the same door panels and roof. And in general, the entire body structure completely repeats the power cell of the Czech SUV.
In addition, crossovers have a common aggregate base, and the main differences are reduced only to a different design of the front end, stern and some interior details. The Taos has similar engines to the Karoq. The base engine is a 1.6-liter “aspirated” MPI with 110 hp, which can be combined with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Up a notch is the 1.4 TSI supercharged car with an eight-speed automatic transmission (front-wheel drive only).
The top modification Taos is equipped with the same 150-horsepower turbo engine, but here it is already combined with the new seven-speed “robot” DQ381 and certainly 4MOTION all-wheel drive transmissions based on the Haldex clutch.
That is why Taos so easily registered at the joint venture of Volkswagen and the GAZ group in Nizhny Novgorod, where it will be assembled on the same line with the Skoda Karoq.
Both models still exist practically without direct competitors. Mid-size crossovers from Korean brands like the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson are significantly more expensive and rather compete with the older VW Tiguan and Skoda Kodiaq. And in comparison with Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster and even Geely Coolray, these cars look more solid and much more expensive.
Their only real competitor is the Korean Kia Seltos, which, although it shares the platform with the “Creta”, is, however, more and richer equipped. In addition, the new Geely Atlas Pro can be recorded as rivals of the German and the Czech, but the Chinese is still offered only in the maximum performance. And such a car with a complex hybrid engine and an immodest price is unlikely to be in demand among conservative buyers. So Taos now has a good chance of winning a significant share in this market segment.