Volkswagen Taigo: SUV for those who do not like SUVs

Volkswagen Taigo: SUV for those who do not like SUVs

Despite the already very wide range of SUVs, Volkswagen is equipped with a new weapon of precision: the SUV coupe, which tries not to look like an SUV. A successful bet?

“Oh, very nice, that’s a change from the SUV,” says the BMX Rider during the photoshoot that accompanies this test. A BMX rider who adds, “This return to hatchback sedans is good! It’s good, isn’t it?” The young man has undoubtedly found the key to the future success of this Volkswagen Taigo: sold as an SUV coupe, in fact he seems to be trying not to look like a machine of this format …

In fact, SUVs with almost 40% market share are becoming a market in itself. With different formats, body shapes and fashion effects. And to make people think of it, the designers have redoubled their efforts to find the right formula, between “rather crossover”, “rather elevated sedan”, “rather 4×4 format” … And Volkswagen is present in all styles with its brand only through its brand. Touaregem, Tiguan, T-Cross and Barter.

Taigo thus becomes the fifth type of SUV in Volkswagen's offer.
Taigo thus becomes the fifth type of SUV in Volkswagen’s offer. © Antoine Larigaudrie

Great fashion SUV coupe

He currently lacked a fashionable body, an SUV coupe. This somewhat paradoxical formula, introduced by BMW in 2008 with its X6 (shortening the load space, which was nevertheless a key argument for the SUV body), took about ten years to become Fashionable today, especially in the premium segment through increasingly popular models. , like the GLC Coupe from Mercedes, Audi Sportback SUV version or Porsche Cayenne Coupé.

Taigo is characterized by a back path "fast back" which places it in the SUV Coupe category.
Taigo features a stern in the style of “fastback”, which makes it fall into the category of SUV Coupe. © Antoine Larigaudrie

But the SUV market is also endowed with the general dynamics of the car market, what works in the premium is to be extended to lower segments. Renault decided to build the Arkana, a middle-class SUV coupe, originally intended only for the Russian market. With regard to the jackpot (60,000 cars ordered since the beginning of the year, just a few months after the official launch), all general manufacturers are beginning to throw themselves into this specialized product, which is undoubtedly taken over from the SUV. growth.

Brazilian flavors

Instead of working on a coupe version of its existing products or designing a completely new model, Volkswagen looked at its range of models internationally and found the Nivus, made in Brazil. His composite portrait checked all the boxes! Taigo, with a few modifications and modifications, takes over the main lines of this model, originally intended only for the South American market.

Relatively high belt line, large 18-inch wheels, but smooth lines, relatively low roof height (height 1.5 meters, no more), and therefore a really cut rear door, with a volume that remains very correct (438 liters, equivalent to the more classic T -Rocu). A kind of tall, high-legged hatchback, which resembles its format new Citroën C4.

When raised compared to a classic sedan, the Taigo remains relatively low, not exceeding 1.5 meters in height.
When raised compared to a classic sedan, the Taigo remains relatively low, not exceeding 1.5 meters in height. © Antoine Larigaudrie

Good point: really good design

Very attractive design that really innovates in the segment. We have a smooth and relatively attractive machine in a format that remains compact (4.27 meters) and which does not lack attractiveness, especially in this particularly successful color “Red King” (option for 800 euros, but really worth a look). From the very beginning, Taigo clashes and casually turns his head on the street more than once, amidst a number of more classic and “square” SUVs.

Reach level, this Taigo is supposed to be a small notch under the T-Cross and especially the T-Roc, with a more premium mission. But the passenger compartment is really good, very sober, but marked with quality plastics (except for the doors and some dashboard elements, which are harder) and fabric upholstery with particularly good tartan patterns, especially with this R-Line Finish.

Interior of our test model in R-Line design.
Interior of our test model in R-Line design. © Antoine Larigaudrie

Despite the relatively solid base, the seats are very comfortable and the rear seats are very spacious (at least for two passengers, the middle seat is really very small).

The rear seats are very spacious for passengers.
The rear seats are very spacious for passengers. © Antoine Larigaudrie

Comfort and dynamics

The large sunroof brings a lot of light and despite the reduced height above the head, side visibility and quite remarkable brightness are maintained. Infotainment has all the current advances in connectivity and is practical and well made. Also note that its sound quality is first class, especially since Taigo’s sound insulation is particularly elegant.

This state-of-the-art version is equipped with a 1.5-liter supercharged heat engine with plenty of space, combined with a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission. With 150 horsepower and a very decent maximum torque of 250 Nm (available rather at the beginning of the tachometer), the Taigo is dynamic, especially since it is very light compared to competitors in the segment, weighing 1.2 tons. and comfortably sprung. Thanks to its practicality and performance, it is the ideal machine offering the best compromise on how to be cool in the city and very comfortable on the road.

Our test version is equipped with a 1.5-liter full-heat turbo engine combined with a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission.  It has an output of 150 hp and a maximum torque of 250 Nm.
Our test version is equipped with a 1.5-liter full-heat turbo engine combined with a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission. It has an output of 150 hp and a maximum torque of 250 Nm. © Antoine Larigaudrie

Disadvantage: unsatisfactory engine and transmission assembly

Despite everything, the film is a long way from idyll. This is exactly the engine housing assembly. This 150-horsepower version proves to be quite voracious, and under 7 liters per 100 kilometers, it is very difficult to go on mixed city / highway routes, despite the declared WLTP consumption of 6.2 liters. As a result, CO2 emissions are a bit high, 141 g / km, leading to a fine of € 300. Damage to the machine, which is lighter than its competitors …

Not to mention the somewhat curious setting of the transmission, which causes significant steering effects regardless of the selected driving mode (eco, normal or dynamic). Taigo is certainly only with a simple front-wheel drive, but the suddenness of certain starts seems strange. We are interested in whether the wisest 95-horsepower engine would not be the best choice…

A few little things can be a bit annoying, namely the procedure of switching off the lane keeping assistant, which automatically re-engages with each new ride, or the decent quality of some plastics in the interior, or the automatic gear lever. And hold? A parking brake is available.

If the Taiga price starts at 23,380 euros, the options will skyrocket, at 34,605 ​​euros in the 1.5 TSI R-Line version.
If the Taiga price starts at 23,380 euros, the options will skyrocket, at 34,605 ​​euros in the 1.5 TSI R-Line version. © Antoine Larigaudrie

Very predictable success

In short, at first glance we feel commercial success (internally confirmed in Volkswagen, where the numbers of the first order are referred to as “spectacular”). This Taigo is really aesthetically pleasing and has a lot of boxes that ensure a bright commercial future. With the added bonus of relatively low prices starting at € 23,380 (meaning that these options increase prices quickly, to € 34,605 ​​per tested Taigo 1.5 TSI R-Line).

The assembly of the motor and the housing and the slightly high consumption remain disappointing. And basically, even though Taiga’s identity within the Volkswagen line is precisely defined and makes it a very specific product, it’s hard to imagine that the battle for T-Roc and T-Cross is raging within the brand itself. . Inevitably, the model stands out and crushes the others a bit. And it’s a sure bet it’s Taigo.


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