Volkswagen Taigo review
With decent interior space, the Volkswagen Taigo is a solid option in the compact crossover market, but it’s not the most stylish.
What's not so good
Find out more about the Volkswagen Taigo
The Volkswagen Taigo is the firm’s latest SUV-style model, and is a coupe version of the popular T-Roc. It’s like deciding to go for a shorter haircut but going for the same basic design.
You get the same face as the Polo hatchback alongside some additional trim pieces to make it more aggressive and like a crossover, while there’s now a lightbar connecting the headlights like most newer VW models.
It’s got a sleek side profile, ending with a small spoiler on the roofline. You also get some SUV-style cladding around the wheel arches and additional detailing around the back. ‘Taigo’ is also written out under the number plate and rear lightbar. Meanwhile, roof bars add to its SUV feel. You can also choose from multiple two-tone paint options on the mid- and top-spec models.
It doesn’t have the most exciting cabin, but you’re able to get a 10-inch touchscreen alongside a digital instrument display – the latter of which comes as standard. You also get climate controls with proper easy-to-use dials right out of the box, but higher-spec models get the annoying sliding touchbar setup introduced in the latest Golf. This doesn’t work very well.
Still, there’s decent space up front and visibility is okay – even if the rear window is a bit small. That said, adults passengers will find the second row a bit tight for space. The roof slopes slightly so taller people will struggle to get completely comfortable, while legroom is also a bit limited.
You get 438 litres of storage capacity in the boot and the load lip is quite small. You can fold the seats down to be mostly flat and open up even more storage space, too. The Taigo’s boot is larger than the Kia XCeed’s, but with its additional sink under the floor, the Ford Puma has 456 litres to offer.
VW has changed its trim line-up across its models, so with the Taigo there’s only three you need to choose from – Life, Style and R-Line. You get decent equipment levels across all three trims, with R-Line giving you the sportiest finish both inside and out.
With a decent level of kit throughout the line-up, the sweet spot is the Style trim with the 110hp petrol engine and six-speed manual.
You get a choice of two engines, both of which are petrol. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder comes with two power options – 95hp or 110hp – while the four-cylinder 1.5-litre is only offered with 150hp. You can have manual or automatic transmissions across the line-up, while the top-end power option can only come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Choosing the 110hp will give you more than enough power to work with, while the six-speed manual transmission is smooth and easy to use. The automatic is okay, but just be wary of it being jerky on getaway.
When you get out on the road, the Taigo feels stable and secure – but if you’re after an exciting and invigorating experience, you may want to look elsewhere. The suspension soaks up the majority of bumps on the road well, with only the largest ones making an impact on the cabin, especially on the 17-inch wheels.
Around town, the Taigo has light steering to make going in and out of traffic very easy. It’s compact enough for most spaces too, even the smallest ones in car parks. Then out on the motorway, it’s very easy to live with, as there’s only a slight wind whistle from the roof rails and wing mirrors. Tyre noise can be intrusive on larger wheels though.
Even though it isn’t the most exciting, the Volkswagen Taigo is a capable compact crossover that is on the more affordable end of the market. Some of the finishes might not be the best, but the overall quality is more than good enough for most.
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With its compact footprint, the Taigo is surprisingly practical, only lagging behind alternatives by a fine margin. Taller adults might struggle for space in the back, though.
Even though it’s on the smaller end of Volkswagen’s scale, the Taigo has a decent amount of space for passengers. Up front, there’s good headroom and adjustment allows for good legroom too.
For taller people, the rear seats aren’t the best. With the sloping roofline, headroom is compromised a bit, while legroom can be a tight as well. The middle seat is also not a great option for adults, as the transmission tunnel makes for little room for your feet. Your head will likely brush the roof lining here, too.
Average-height adults and teenagers should have enough space in the back though. It’s just a shame there’s no fold-down armrest in the middle.
In the front, storage spaces are large enough for most. There’s a space behind the gear lever for your phone, while the two hexagonal cup holders are big enough for most cups or bottles. Saying that, the central armrest can slide over them, so you may have to choose between a comfortable place for your arm and a refreshing drink.
You get decent door bins in the front, while the ones in the back are rather small – although you can still fit a bottle in them. There are seat pockets too for books or devices, which can be charged by the 2 USB-C ports in the back.
With the Taigo, you get a space of 438 litres in the boot, which only lags behind the T-Cross by five litres – which is pretty impressive considering the sloping roof. That figure is also close to many of its main alternatives, such as the Ford Puma, Kia XCeed and Mazda CX-30, with only the Puma out of those having a larger boot.
Folding the 60/40 split rear seats down opens up a decent amount of space, with the seats folding close to flat. There’s no lip between the seats and the boot floor either, meaning you can slide items through to make the most of the space.
It’s not the most exciting car around, but the Taigo is comfy and easy to live with.
You get the choice of three power choices, supplied by two petrol engines. The entry-level 1.0-litre three-cylinder can come with 95hp and 110hp, with the lowest power only offered with a five-speed manual transmission. The 110hp unit can be paired to a seven-speed automatic or a six-speed manual.
Choosing the top-end power option, a 150hp unit, you get a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol that’s paired to a seven-speed automatic only – and performance-wise that’s the fastest version of the Taigo. The sprint to 60mph from standstill takes 8.3 seconds, while it has a top speed of 131mph.
However, the engine most will be more than happy with is the 110hp 1.0-litre. In terms of efficiency, it can return 51mpg when paired to the six-speed manual, while it can do 0-60mph in just over 10 seconds – more than fast enough for most.
The good thing about the Taigo is that it doesn’t feel unwieldy or difficult to handle, as Volkswagen has made sure that it’s composed through the corners on a twistier road. The suspension is a bit firmer to ensure there’s limited body roll, but that doesn’t mean the Taigo is uncomfortable. It isn’t the most exciting though, and even switching the sportier drive mode on can’t change that.
Cruising around in the Taigo is easy enough, as only the tyre noise on larger 18-inch wheels really makes an impact on the cabin. The wing mirrors and roof rails don’t whistle too much, which is always a bonus.
In and around town the Taigo feels compact and easy to navigate, with the light steering helping make parking very easy as well. There’s decent visibility as well, although the rear window is a bit small.
As standard, you get front and rear parking sensors, lane keep assist, traffic jam assist and autonomous emergency braking – which if you go for the automatic transmission works alongside the adaptive cruise control system.
Although you can get a colourful green trim, most of the cabin options are a bit plain and dull, and can feel a bit dark.
Volkswagen Taigo colours
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.