The compact SUV market is exploding in popularity right now, with many new entries emerging on the scene to tale their respective slice of the broader sales pie. Volkswagen is poised to make a surgical strike on the segment with the 2022 Taos. While it has been a while since its unveiling, Volkswagen has formally revealed pricing for the Taos, and it’s clear that it’s aiming to put the squeeze on some of its rivals.
Making A Name For Itself
The 2022 Taos is replacing the Golf lineup here in the U.S. (enthusiasts can still buy the GTI and Golf R), and with the outgoing hatchback making a cult following for itself over the years, the Taos has a lot riding on its shoulders. Thankfully, pricing will be firmly in its corner with a base “S’ model starting at $24,190. That includes the $1,195 destination fee, with four-season buyers having to pay a slightly higher $26,235.
But far from being a penalty box, the base Taos actually comes with a commendable amount of standard equipment. That includes 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and even a digital driver cockpit instrument cluster. All-wheel-drive models have winter weather in mind and add heated seats, mirrors, and even heated windshield wiper nozzles. In contrast, S models do not get access to Volkwagen’s full suite of driver assistance tech, an optional $995 package bundles in adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and even automatic emergency braking.
Meanwhile, the mid-level SE starts at $28,440 ($29,890 for all-wheel drive), and Volkswagen expects this model to be the volume-focused seller in the lineup. Perhaps that’s why this trim is where buyers can find the bulk of the option packages. That includes leatherette seats, remote start, and keyless entry. This richer model does not get standard adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist with these two items being bundled in an $895 package.
Last but not least is the range-topping $32,685 SEL ($34,240 in all-wheel-drive guise) which is pretty much fully equipped. Buyers looking to soak in the sky can add an optional $1,200 sunroof but other than that, this flavor of Taos is pretty much loaded to the gills with equipment. That should please tech-savvy customers though the SE’s lack of standard adaptive cruise control is noteworthy since there are some rivals in that trim’s price range that get it without tacking it on as an optional extra.
What Is In The Crosshairs Of The Taos?
Looking at what models the Taos is targeting in its quest to achieve SUV supremacy and it’s pretty obvious that the lines are significantly blurred. Volkswagen itself has appeared to position the model as an entry that’s straddling the line between small and mid-size SUVs. On the one hand, it’s supposed to be an alternative to the Chevrolet Trailblazer and the Kia Seltos. Still, at the same time, the pricing ladder strays into territory occupied by the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4.
We look forward to spending time with the Taos in the future to see if it’s indeed worth the sum of its pricing ladder. But if your a customer looking to add one to your garage, Volkswagen claims that the first models will begin rolling out to dealerships in June, with the whole dealer network being covered over the next few months.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.