New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers

Volkswagen has revealed its new Taigo small SUV, a compact coupe-like crossover aimed at lifestyle buyers. Although full UK pricing hasn’t been confirmed, the new car will be positioned between VW’s existing T-Cross and T-Roc SUVs on price, which means it could start from around £20,000 when it goes on sale in the UK towards the end of this year.

Four trim levels have been outlined, but it's not yet decided what the UK line-up will look like once sales commence ahead of deliveries in early 2022.

The Taigo is based on VW’s South American-market Nivus SUV, but the brand has “technologically adapted the car for Europe”, equipping it with much more advanced kit and adding a Europe-only, sporty R-Line trim to the line-up.

As a result - and depending on trim level - the Taigo will be available with features usually found on larger, more premium cars, such as VW’s IQ.Light LED adaptive matrix headlights and IQ.Travel Assist semi-autonomous cruise control.

A digital dash and an infotainment system up to 9.2 inches in size running VW’s latest MIB 3.1 operating system will be available too.

Volkswagen Taigo: engines and powertrains

As the Taigo is based on the VW Group’s MQB A0 platform, which underpins the Polo and T-Cross and T-Roc SUVs, it will use a similar range of engines.

The brand’s 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit will make up the bulk of the line-up, with 94bhp and 108bhp variants on offer - the former mated to a five-speed manual as standard and the latter a six-speed manual. A seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic will be offered on the 108bhp TSI 110 as an option. The most potent engine option will be a 1.5 TSI four-cylinder turbo unit, producing 148bhp.

VW hasn’t confirmed 0-62mph times for the different powertrains but has announced that top speeds will be 113mph, 118mph and 131mph respectively.

Despite the Taigo’s sportier looks the brand has already confirmed that there won’t be a performance-focused model in the future, even though the Polo GTI powertrain would fit in the Taigo’s body.

VW confirmed that while there’s no plan to electrify the Taigo for now, mild-hybrid tech could be implemented at a later stage if customer demand was great enough.

Volkswagen Taigo: design, trim levels and equipment

The Taigo’s look is defined by its sportier, fastback-style rear end with its sloping rear hatchback. A full-width light bar at the rear links the light clusters, while the LED headlights and deep front bumper mean the Taigo is the sportiest looking car in VW’s small SUV line-up. It’s helped by sharp creases down the car’s flanks.

There’s a big focus on personalisation too, with VW offering the Taigo in a green colour unique for the model called Visual Green. This can be specced with a Visual Green design pack that brings a green insert for the dash and contrast green stitching around the cabin.

Four trim levels have been outlined, although it's not yet confirmed whether all of these will be part of the UK line-up. The base car will be fitted with a high level of kit as standard, including a digital dash, a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system featuring smartphone connectivity, LED headlights and colour-coded heated electric door mirrors. Front Assist with autonomous emergency braking plus lane assist will also be fitted as standard.

Life trim sits above this, offering features such as puddle lights and more chrome-effect trim at the front of the car, as well as another USB-C charging point, 16-inch alloy wheels, different upholstery and the option of a panoramic roof.

The range structure then moves in two divergent paths; Style trim has a focus on “visual elegance” and offers features such as the IQ.Light LED matrix headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors and tweaked bumper designs.

A larger 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro dash, an upgraded eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and different interior trim all feature. There’s also even more potential to personalise the look of the car with different design packs.

R-Line sits alongside Style trim and offers a similar level of standard kit, but with a greater focus on sporty looks. New R-Line badging features, as well as a different body kit to give the Taigo a more aggressive look, plus wheels up to 18 inches in diameter.

Both Style and R-Line trim are available with an optional 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with the two larger set-ups also featuring an Online Connectivity Unit that opens up more connected car features and services to owners.

IQ.Drive Travel Assist semi-autonomous adaptive cruise control will be available as an option and will keep a set distance from the car in front, plus keep the Taigo in its lane on the motorway, at up to speeds of 130mph

The Taigo is slightly longer and slightly wider than the brand’s T-Cross SUV, but with a more sloping roof rear headroom could be impacted compared with its boxier sibling.

However, the car’s 438-litre boot means the Taigo should offer a strong level of practicality. The T-Cross offers up to 455 litres of space, so it’s not too far down on its sibling when it comes to load volume.

Check out our list of the best small SUVs and crossovers to buy now...

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