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Launch Review: Volkswagen Taigo is really attractive and surprisingly practical too

Published Jun 9, 2022

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Launch Review: Volkswagen Taigo 1.0 TSI R-Line

Johannesburg: Just when you thought there were enough options in the Volkswagen stable, it has added another variation. Slotting in between the T-Cross and T-Roc, the Taigo adds another in the SUV/crossover quiver, and the SUV coupé is a looker alright.

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The Wolfsburg manufacturer now sports six vehicles in its T SUV range, starting with the T-Cross, Taigo, T-Roc, Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and the Tourag, so if you’re looking for an SUV, it seems Volkswagen has you covered in every segment.

Based on the Polo platform, there are three levels to choose from, all sporting the same 1.0-litre petrol turbo engine that’s good for 85kW and 200Nm of torque coupled to a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission.

Picture: Mpumelelo Macu.

Propping up the trio is the Taigo Life fitted with LED head and tail lights, digital cockpit, 6.5-inch infotainment system, App-Connect, We Connect GO, front centre armrest, USB-C interface, multifunction steering wheel, foldable exterior mirrors with heating function and 16-inch Belmopan alloys.

The exterior gets black roof rails, a chrome-look crossbar on the front and puddle lights from the side mirrors.

The Taigo Style gets IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights, ambient lighting, front and rear PDC, Dynamic light assist, 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro, an 8-inch infotainment system and 17-inch Aberdeen alloy wheels.

The exterior gets a chrome strip in the rear bumper, a silver diffuser and silver anodised roof rails.

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At the top of the pile is the Taigo R-Line that we drove on the launch, with additional black headliner, stainless steel pedals, privacy glass and 17-inch Valencia alloys, although on the test car we had the optional low-profile tyres on 18-inch rims.

The three-pod engine is a willing partner and is happy to rev freely with smooth gear changes. It will gladly cruise along at the national speed limit and then some without sounding like it wants to climb out the engine bay.

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It takes a while to get used to the smaller rear window but there’s no restriction in your line of sight once the seat has been adjusted to the perfect position.

The suspension is on the firm side but not uncomfortably so. It handles the twisties with ease as well as sudden direction changes when we had to swerve to avoid the inevitable potholes around the Vaal Dam area.

The steering is accurate, providing enough feedback without it being dull, just enough to keep you engaged when you start to play in the corners.

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The low-profile tyres on the 18-inch rims proved fine on smooth highway surfaces but for everyday driving, considering the state of our roads, I’d opt for 17 inches and a higher profile.

That would probably work better if you’re going on a long haul with passengers as well, especially fully loaded in its impressive 400 litre boot.

Even with the sloping roofline, large boot and the driving position set for myself, there was more than enough room at the back for me to be comfortable on a long drive.

The Taigo is the most attractive within the T SUV range. The coupé style makes it stand out from the rest and with decent legroom, safety features and tech, I suspect it will do well when sales figures are released over the next few months.

There’s just one nagging thought though.

If you opt for the R-Line and throw in a few nice-to-haves, you’re heading into a few other options including the Polo GTI. I know they’re on opposite ends of the scale but, still, it is a GTI.

The Taigo comes with a three-year/120 000km warranty, a three-year/45 000km service plan and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. The service interval is 15 000km. Customers have the option to extend the maintenance and service plans up to 10 years/300 000km.

Volkswagen Taigo pricing (June 2022)

1.0 TSI Life 85kW DSG: R429 900

1.0 TSI Style 85kW DSG: R464 100

1.0 TSI R-Line 85kW DSG: R486 000

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