In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Taigo review

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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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. Based on the more upright-looking T-Cross model, the Taigo offers smoother lines and a lowered stance, but still comes with enough space and flexibility to appeal to family buyers.

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 have often been criticised for being the epitome of how to make something less fit for purpose, but also more expensive to buy than the standard model on which they’re based.

Premium manufacturers such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes have applied this strategy to a raft of their own models and achieved decent sales success. Why? 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. 

Upgrading your SUV to a version with a sloping roofline often means losing out on passenger space, boot capacity and overall practicality, but the stylish Volkswagen Taigo manages to largely buck this trend. 

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 1.5-litre TSI unit offers 148bhp. The entry model is paired solely with a five-speed manual gearbox, with the 108bhp version (which is our recommended choice) using a six-speed manual ‘box, or the option of a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. The top-of-the-range 148bhp variant features the DSG auto as standard.

The trim level lineup is equally simple to follow: Life, Style and R-Line. While 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 £23,500, the Taigo is significantly cheaper than other stylish rivals such as the Toyota C-HR and Renault Arkana, although the capable Kia XCeed is similarly priced along with the fun-to-drive Ford Puma.

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