Volkswagen describes the all-new Taos as “smart, versatile, and ready for the road.” A compact SUV designed to fit between the VW sedan lineup and the larger, all-wheel drive crossovers, the 2022 Taos brings the V-dub nameplate to the miniature SUV segment. However, with competition heating up and classmates more capable than even their girthier siblings, how will the 2022 Taos stack up?

To help you decide whether the 2022 Taos will be your next vehicle, we’ve put together this handy guide. It has all the information we know so far in regards to this up-and-coming model. From fuel efficiency and safety, to trim levels and available options, we’ve got the details. That said, more specifics keep hitting the internet as you read these words. The Taos was originally planned as a 2021 model, but VW pushed it back a year. So stay abreast of all the news regarding the brand new Taos by signing up for VW’s email list. The first models should start appearing on showroom floors by the start of Summer.

Performance Specifications

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos calls upon a single powerplant to move. The turbocharged 1.5-cylinder engine makes 158 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Both front- and all-wheel drive are available. Front-wheel drive models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel drive models upgrade to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The 2022 Taos will seat up to five passengers.

Available Color Schemes and Trims

We expect the 2022 Taos to wear some of the same colors we’ve seen on other VW models. However, there are also reports it will offer the 2022 Taos in three new colors: King’s Red, Matte Pure Gray, and Cornflower Blue.

Volkswagen will trim out the 2022 Taos in S, SE, and SEL models. Base S models will start around $23,000 and include features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlights, two-tone cloth upholstery, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone climate control, and 17-inch wheels.

Stepping up to the SE and SEL models allows you access to ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, 18-inch wheels, leatherette or real leather seating, an eight-inch touchscreen, and a premium sound system. Look for more specifics on these trims on Volkswagen’s website.

Safety Features

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have not yet rated the 2022 Taos. That makes sense, since it’s a brand new model that isn’t even out yet. There are obviously no previous models to use as a safety baseline.

That said, Volkswagen will reportedly offer plenty driver assistance technologies — most of which are delegated to higher trims. Standard equipment will probably not include much more than a back-up camera and all the necessary airbags and sensors. The IQ.DRIVE package, however, includes such features as automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality. In addition, you can also add parking distance control and auto high-beams. Keep your eyes on Volkswagen’s website for more details on safety features as we approach the Taos’ official release.

Fuel Efficiency

Motor1 reports the new 1.5-liter engine will be shared by both the 2022 Taos and the 2022 Jetta. While this offers the manufacturer ease of optimizing and streamlining powerplants, we can use the unofficial Jetta fuel efficiency numbers to make an educated guess about what customers could expect on the 2022 VW Taos.

With a reported 33 city and 44 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon, the 2022 Jetta certainly performs well when it comes to fuel efficiency. However, it’s still a more compact vehicle than the 2022 Taos. When we compare those figures to the slightly-larger 2022 VW Tiguan, with a bigger 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, we can more clearly define the low end of these figures. These numbers come out to 20-22 city and 27-to-29 highway MPG, depending on whether you choose front- or all-wheel drive.

Therefore, we’d expect to see the 2022 Taos fall somewhere between 25-to-30 city and 30-to-40 highway MPG. Again, those are rough estimates based on information available at the time of writing this review. Volkswagen hasn’t released their estimated mileage numbers yet.

What Others Are Saying

Glance too quickly at a Taos and you might mistake it for a Tiguan or an Atlas. A high waistline complemented by floating interior pillars is shared among these three models. Though the latter two are larger than the compact Taos, it’s easy to spot the shared parentage between the trio of SUVs.

Volkswagen created the Taos to fill a niche many large manufacturers are scrambling to enter their own models into. As Jalopnik points out, “Americans purchased four million compact crossovers in 2019, and VW wants in on that ridiculously easy action.” Interestingly enough, Forbes reminds us that the Taos was “specifically developed with the U.S. market in mind.” Johan de Nysschen, the COO of Volkswagen, even references the “relatively high hood line,” which “offers a subconscious sense of safety” for American drivers.

Indeed, there are quite a few things that do appeal to American customers when it comes to the 2022 Taos. Kelley Blue Book points out the “comfortable ride and solid handling” the compact SUV offers, which “feels peppier than one might expect.” Experts at TheCarConnection appreciated how the “large outboard windows make it easy to see in all directions.” There are certain tried, tested, and true elements of the VW formula that made their way into the “handsome if a bit cautious design” of the Taos.

That’s not to say the smallest VW crossover obtained a perfect score, though. Some reviewers hoped VW would take a bolder approach to the Taos’ design. Others complained slightly about only having basic standard safety features on the base model. It stands to reason that VW might need a bit more refining before this compact SUV really makes its mark.


The Taos definitely has to fight for space in the miniature crossover segment. Competitors include such heavy hitters as the Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Kia’s Seltos and Soul, the Hyundai Kona and Venue, Jeep’s Compass and Cherokee, Nissan’s Rogue Sport, and the Subaru Crosstrek. Mazda’s CX-30 won the favorite pick of Edmunds’ reviewers as well. Though VW has stepped up its game in terms of interior materials and overall look and feel, there are a few competitors that do those things just a bit better. The Trailblazer certainly commands curb appeal. If you’re going off-road, the Crosstrek and Jeep siblings are practically essential.

The Last Word

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos gets its name comes from “the idea of big things coming from small packages.” While some hoped for more of an entrance from VW’s newest compact SUV, it’s hard to deny the appeal of the Taos. It comes with a nifty list of features and an attractive starting price. Add in all-wheel drive and the ability to cart up to five people, and the Taos becomes a viable alternative to the hum-drum minivans of yester-decade. Don’t just take our word for it. Visit your local Volkswagen dealership today to find out more about the new Taos. When they arrive, take one out for a test drive. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you experience.


Rebecca Henderson has a Master's in German and a Bachelor's in Creative Writing. She alternates her time between writing and working on a variety of motorized projects. Most recently, she and her boyfriend have been building a custom drift trike. Rebecca believes that language, love, and a life worth living are only the first ingredients to happiness.