All-new subcompact crossover. In 2022, the Volkswagen Taos arrives, taking the subcompact crossover space once occupied by the recently enlarged Tiguan. This tiny crossover battles in a highly competitive segment that focuses on safety and value.

While the Taos has the value angle locked down with its great standard tech, it leaves a lot to be desired in the safety department. Find out how the Taos stacks up to the competition below.

Surprisingly roomy cabin. Inside, the tiny Taos is surprisingly spacious, offering 37.9 inches of rear legroom, which is plenty to fit a pair of adults. This beats the Ford Bronco Sport (36.9 inches) and even the larger Toyota RAV4 (37.8 inches).

There’s also plenty of cargo room at up to 27.9 cubic feet with the rear seats upright (FWD) and 65.9 cubes (FWD) with the rear seats folded. With the seats upright, the Taos beats the Trailblazer by 3 cubes. The Taos loses a little cargo space with all-wheel drive, falling to 24.9 cubes with the seats upright – one cubic foot larger than the Compass – and 60.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Well-equipped, but some odd feature packaging. The 2022 VW Taos has a wide range of premium standard features, including an 8-inch digital cockpit display, LED headlights and taillights, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, two USB-C charging ports, keyless start, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Buyers can add even more high-end features, but notable oddballs are the cooled front seats, which are only available with all-wheel drive.

These standard features put the Taos in line with the more premium offerings in the class, like the Kia Seltos and Ford Bronco. Where the Taos shines is next to the Mazda CX-30 and Jeep Compass. The CX-30 has a large screen, but its lack of a touch interface leaves you fumbling with a clunky rotary knob. The Jeep Compass is down a notch with its standard 7-inch touchscreen.

No automatic emergency braking. No safety scores are available yet, but the Taos already has one big flaw. It lacks standard automatic emergency braking. The Kia Seltos, Ford Bronco, and Mazda CX-30 all have this standard. Buyers can move into the IQ.Drive S package that adds active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and automatic high beams but no AEB. Strangely enough, this package does add a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather-trimmed shifter.

Buyers seeking the ultimate in compact crossover safety should look to the Bronco, which is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and comes standard with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and automatic high beams.

Final thoughts. The 2022 Volkswagen Taos is a well-rounded crossover with loads of standard premium features. However, its lack of standard automatic emergency braking stands out in a class that’s so focused on safety.

The Taos also lacks punch from its 158-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Buyers seeking a more potent crossover should look to the peppy 250-hp Mazda CX-30 Turbo

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