1 / 10
- Launched: 2022
- Small SUV
- Surprisingly practical for a style-led small SUV
- Frugal petrol engines
- Decent equipment levels
- DSG gearbox paired with the 1.0-litre engine isn't a happy combo
- Interior isn't as upmarket as you might expect
- You could just buy a T-Cross (or a T-Roc)
On the inside
Cost to run
Prices and Specs
Overall verdict on the Volkswagen Taigo
"The Volkswagen Taigo is essentially a coupe-SUV version of the little Volkswagen T-Cross. It's a model no one asked for but, with its stylish looks and low running costs, could well tempt buyers away from the Nissan Juke or Ford Puma."
Until recently, the coupe-SUV market was mainly catered for by premium brands. BMW has pretty much every niche covered with the likes of the X2, X4 and X6, while you can get coupe versions of the Mercedes GLC and GLE. Of course, there's also the Audi Q3 Sportback, Q5 Sportback... you get the idea.
Out of nowhere, there's been an influx of mainstream coupe-SUVs that no one really asked for. We're talking about cars like the Renault Arkana, Citroen C4 and Mazda CX-30. Sitting in the segment below this is the small SUV we're reviewing here – the Volkswagen Taigo.
Sold elsewhere in the world as the Volkswagen Nivus, the Taigo is based on the Volkswagen T-Cross. That's the brand's smallest SUV, sitting below the likes of the T-Roc and Tiguan in the range. There's not really much of a gap between the T-Roc and Tiguan but, if we've learned anything from the premium brands in recent years, it's that even the most niche of SUVs will sell.
By stretching the Taigo's length by 150mm compared to the T-Cross, it's surprisingly practical for an SUV that's more about style than functionality. With a 440-litre boot, it only loses 15 litres of space compared to the T-Cross, and it's actually more spacious than the Volkswagen Golf.
The interior is well-equipped and feels robust enough, although there are quite a few scratchy surfaces and flimsy finishes. A highlight is the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, while high-spec models get an 8.0 navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Volkswagen Taigo's engine line-up is pretty limited, with buyers offered a choice of 1.0- or 1.5-litre petrol engines. The smaller motor is available with two power outputs (95PS or 110PS) and a choice of manual or DSG automatic gearboxes, while the bigger comes with 150PS and a seven-speed DSG transmission.
The Volkswagen Taigo drives much like its peers – that means it's not as exciting as a Ford Puma, but it's comfortable and confidence-inspiring. We've only sampled it on 18-inch wheels fitted with winter tyres so far but first impressions suggest it might be a little firmer than the bigger Volkswagen T-Roc.
The Volkswagen Taigo is on sale now with deliveries expected from later in 2022. Read our first drive review of the Volkswagen Taigo 1.0 DSG R-Line here.
Comfort and design: Volkswagen Taigo interior
"The Volkswagen Taigo's interior is much like the cabin of a T-Cross or even the Polo hatchback. It's well-equipped and the seats are comfortable, although you don't sit as high as you do in a Volkswagen T-Roc."
The interior finish isn't quite as class-leading as you might expect for a Volkswagen, although it feels like it'll stand the test of time.
In terms of practicality, the Taigo performs pretty well. It has a 440-litre boot, which is slightly bigger than a Nissan Juke's or Peugeot 2008's. There's space for kids in the back (with ISOFIX child-seat mounting points on the outer rear seats), although adults will find their knees digging into the front seats.
Handling and ride quality: What is the Volkswagen Taigo like to drive?
"The Volkswagen Taigo is available with two petrol engines: a 1.0-litre with a choice of manual or automatic gearbox; or a 1.5-litre offered exclusively with a seven-speed DSG auto transmission."
So far, we've only driven the 1.0-litre auto and – much like every other Volkswagen model with the same engine – it suits the car perfectly well. It's eager enough to build speed in and out of town, while it's surprisingly refined for a little three-cylinder unit.
Our main complaint is that the DSG automatic gearbox gets a bit flustered when paired with this engine. If you really want an auto, the 1.5-litre might be a better option. Otherwise, the 1.0-litre manual should be a perfectly good choice.
To drive, the Volkswagen Taigo feels solid and secure, although you're not going to enjoy driving it as much as a Ford Puma. There's plenty of grip, though, and visibility is surprisingly good for a coupe-SUV. There's a rear-view camera available, while parking cameras are fitted as standard across the range.
MPG and fuel costs: What does a Volkswagen Taigo cost to run?
"The most efficient Volkswagen Taigo uses the 110PS 1.0-litre petrol engine paired with the six-speed manual gearbox. Depending on trim level, this officially returns up to 52.3mpg in official WLTP fuel economy tests."
In reality, you won't notice a huge fuel consumption penalty for buying a Volkswagen Taigo with the 1.5-litre engine or DSG automatic gearbox. Both the 1.0- and 1.5-litre engines return up to 47.9mpg when paired with the auto transmission.
The Volkswagen Taigo isn't available with a hybrid powertrain or, indeed, any form of electrification. If you're looking for a small hybrid SUV, we'd recommend the Toyota Yaris Cross as an alternative, while the Renault Captur is available as a plug-in hybrid.
How much should you be paying for a used Volkswagen Taigo?
"Prices for the new Volkswagen Taigo start from £21,960. You'll pay a chunk more than that for one of the more desirable trim levels, while top-spec models are nudging £30,000."
There are three specifications to choose from: Life, R-Line and Style.
The entry-level Volkswagen Taigo Life comes with a suite of driver assistance systems as standard, including Lane Change Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Park Assist with front and rear parking sensors, and more. From the outside, the Taigo Life features 16-inch ‘Everett’ Black alloy wheels, front fog lights, LED headlights and black-finished roof rails. Comfort and convenience features include logo projection lighting from the car’s door mirrors; a multifunction camera; lumbar support for the comfortable front seats; electrically-folding door mirrors with electric heating and adjustment; and a multifunction steering wheel.
The Volkswagen Taigo R-Line builds on Life spec with 17-inch ‘Valencia’ alloy wheels and R-Line exterior styling with bespoke bumpers. On the inside, more R-Line styling cues are present, with a black roof-lining, R-Line badging on the floor mats and an R-Line specific multifunction steering wheel; while luxuries such as ambient lighting; 2-zone Climatronic climate control; an upgraded, 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro dashboard display; and an 8.0-inch Discover Navigation infotainment system, are all fitted. Rear privacy glass is also standard.
Majoring on luxury and comfort, the Taigo Style adds IQ.Light LED matrix headlights with individually controlled modules that are able to automatically switch modes to suit a variety of driving situations. These intelligent headlights are enhanced by a full-width LED bar in the Taigo’s front grille. The Taigo Style also features 17-inch ‘Aberdeen’ alloy wheels, as well as Dynamic Light Assist for the IQ.Light headlights as standard.
Ask the heycar experts: common questions
What is the Volkswagen Taigo?
The Volkswagen Taigo is a small coupe-SUV that sits between the T-Cross and T-Roc in VW's range. It rivals cars like the Ford Puma, Nissan Juke and SEAT Arona.
What's better: the Volkswagen T-Cross, Volkswagen Taigo, or Volkswagen T-Roc?
The Volkswagen Taigo shares a platform with the Volkswagen T-Cross. It's 150mm longer than the T-Cross, though, and just 37mm shorter than the T-Roc. Price wise, it sits neatly in the middle of the T-Cross and T-Roc.
How much is a Volkswagen Taigo?
The new Volkswagen Taigo is priced from £21,960 in Life trim with the 95PS 1.0-litre petrol engine and five-speed manual gearbox. The Volkswagen Taigo Style starts from £25,300, while the R-Line is priced from £26,150.
Volkswagen Taigo cars for sale on heycar