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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Taigo review: a stylish coupe-SUV with matching substance

The Volkswagen Taigo is a stylish coupe-SUV that doesn’t compromise on practicality

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

  • Stylish looks
  • Frugal petrol engines
  • Maintains decent passenger space
  • Some cheaper materials in cabin
  • Fiddly touchscreen controls
  • Low speed ride comfort
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The Volkswagen Taigo is based on the more upright-looking T-Cross, but it features smoother lines and a lowered stance. In contrast to its sleek appearance, the Taigo still comes with enough space and flexibility to appeal to family buyers. So, if you’re after a reasonably practical compact SUV, but also want something that reflects your smart, sophisticated side, then the Volkswagen Taigo could be for you. 

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It’s not particularly fun to drive, although it’s certainly easy on the eye and this, combined with the typical VW traits of decent build quality, good levels of standard equipment and reasonable efficiency, mean that it will prove to be a convincing package for some.

About the Volkswagen Taigo

Coupe-SUVs are often criticised for being more expensive than the regular SUVs on which they’re based, even though they are technically less fit for purpose. They may look curvier and more stylish than a traditional SUV, but they’re also less practical as a result. Many examples are also more expensive to buy than the standard model.

Those who are in favour of the coupe-SUV, though, are buying them up in droves. Ever since BMW kicked off the craze with the original X6 back in 2008, several premium manufacturers, including Audi and Mercedes, have applied this strategy to a raft of their own models and achieved decent sales success. 

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So why are these seemingly flawed models so popular? Well, the fickle finger of fashion has a lot to answer for. Not satisfied with your Audi Q5? Try the Q5 Sportback - it’ll change your life. 

This success hasn’t gone unnoticed by the mainstream brands, though, hence the arrival of the Volkswagen Taigo. Of course, buyers with smaller budgets might not have fashion quite as high on their list of priorities when buying a car, so VW has worked hard to keep plentiful passenger space, boot capacity and overall practicality firmly on the agenda.

Offering more kerb appeal than the sensible, solid T-Cross, with which it shares its mechanical makeup, the Taigo crucially doesn’t give up too much in the way of day-to-day usability. Yes, it’s more expensive to buy, although you don’t feel like you’re being short-changed, as you might with some other models. It’s 150mm longer than the T-Cross, too, so there’s ample cabin space, while boot capacity remains pretty generous.

Volkswagen has elected to keep power fairly moderate for the Taigo. A 1.0-litre, three-cylinder TSI petrol engine is available with either 94bhp or 108bhp, while a range-topping 1.5-litre TSI unit offers 148bhp. 

The entry-level 94bhp model is paired solely with a five-speed manual gearbox, while moving up to the 108bhp version  — our recommended choice — gives you the choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. The larger 148bhp 1.5-litre is fitted with the DSG auto as standard.

The trim level lineup is equally simple: Life, Style and R-Line. While the standard kit is fine, you’ll benefit from upgrading to the Style specification, which offers extras such as bigger 17-inch alloy wheels, sports seats, integrated sat-nav, and VW’s 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro instrument display.

Starting from around £26,000, the Taigo is significantly cheaper than other stylish rivals such as the Toyota C-HR and Peugeot 408, although the capable Kia XCeed and fun-to-drive Ford Puma manage to undercut it.

For an alternative review of the Volkswagen Taigo, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...

Frequently Asked Questions
The Taigo is a well-built and stylish coupe SUV that doesn’t sacrifice too much in the way of practicality, so it’s still suited to use as a family car. A range of economical but reasonably powerful engines makes it a decent motorway cruiser, too. The on-board tech is easy to use and performs well, but the touch-sensitive switchgear is frustrating.
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