The Volkswagen Taos and its larger counterpart, the Tiguan, belong to Volkswagen’s line of fresh, high-value crossover SUVs equipped with just enough power and flexibility to handle most of your commuting needs. Whether you’re setting off on a lengthy road trip, taking the kids to school, or riding up to a public park for a night of camping, you’ll not be disappointed by either car, but which one offers the better deal?

Volkwagen Taos

Volkswagen Tiguan

The Exterior

The Volkswagen Taos and Tiguan 2022 refreshes share design cues that nod back to the larger, older Atlas SUV lineup yet each vehicle retains a visual identity that adds to its unique aesthetic.

The Volkswagen Tiguan sports a sharp design. Everything from the hood to the grille and lower air-intake to the side accents and rear has been improved upon, featuring sleek transitions and aggressive silver accents. It has a curb weight of 3,765 lbs, and 7.4 inches of ground clearance on its base front-wheel-drive S trim.

The Taos sets itself apart by leaning even further into the modern Volkswagen aesthetic. It has a broad lower air intake that replaces the lower bumper, aggressive accents, and hard-plastic wrappings around the car. The Taos has a curb weight of 3,175 lbs and ground clearance of 6.4 inches.

From the exterior, the biggest hint at how different both vehicles are is their length. The Tiguan measures 109.8 inches at the wheelbase and 185.1 inches nose to rear. The Taos has a slightly tighter wheelbase of 105.9 inches and is nearly 11 inches shorter less than the Tiguan.  Most of the extra length and weight come from the storage space.

The Interior

True to its external measurements, the Tiguan is the more spacious of the two SUVs in every way. It dominates in headroom, legroom, shoulder room and offers a third seating row– something very few cars in its price range offer, but that’s only with front-wheel trims.

On a regular five-seat Tiguan, you get 37.6 cubic feet of cargo, and 35.9 cubic feet more if you collapse the passenger row. The Taos is by no means lacking in cargo space either. With a 28.1 cubic feet rear cargo space on the front-wheel trim and a total of 66.3 cubic feet, it offers some of the best storage capacities in its category. However, that’s 10 cubic feet less than the 73.5 the Tiguan offers.

Volkswagen spared no expense on the interior of either car. The seats, on higher trims, are made from two-tone perforated leather and the dashboards are hardened plastic. All seats on the Tiguan come heated, and cars SE trim and upwards feature remote start. The Taos mirrors the ignition offering but does not come with heated seats.

The Infotainment system is another way in which both cars differ. Base models of the Tiguan and Taos offer 6.5 inches and capacitive touch control features and support Apple Carplay and Android Auto, but on their highest trims,– SEL– the Taos lags with its 8.0-inch screen to the Tiguan’s 10-inch screen. Both cars offer advanced driving aid, adaptive cruise control, and a smart emergency braking system.

Performance

The Volkswagen Tiguan is decidedly the better performer. It runs on a Turbocharged 2.0 Liter, 184 hp engine, running on an 8-speed automatic transmission. On Four-wheel configurations, you get better handling, tighter corners, and better responsiveness from the engine. Optional towage is available on trims SE and up, and the Tiguan can tow up to 1500 pounds with its engine.

The Taos, by comparison, sports an underpowered 1.5 liter, 158 hp engine running 7-speed automatic DCT transmission. The Taos feels a bit sluggish compared to its competitor but pushes out a respectable performance and pleasant experience on a more powerful 4-motion (4-wheel) trim.

Fuel Economy

One important area, the Taos has the Tiguan beat is EPA. It is rated for 31 mpg. The fuel economy on the stockier Tiguan is unimpressive in comparison considering its engine, size, and competitors. It is rated for 26 mpg.

Warranty

Volkswagen attached their legendary warranty package on both the Taos and Tiguan. It reaches up to 7 years or 100,000 miles for corrosion. On the cheaper plans, you can get maintenance for up to 2 years or 20,000 miles, Roadside Assistance for 3 years or 36,000 miles, and Drivetrain for 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Cost

The Tiguan is the more expensive of the pair, starting at $26,000, while the Taos is listed for $22,995. Both cars offer three distinct trims and 4-wheel and front-wheel variations of each, however, the Volkswagen Tiguan does offer a super-exclusive SE R-line Black FWD and 4 Motion trims, in addition to the standard SE 4Motion. The highest trim of the Tiguan and Taos cost $36,565, and $33,045, respectively, before transportation.

Verdict

While both cars fall squarely into the Crossover SUV category, The Taos and Tiguan are for very different types of people. The Tiguan is perfect for families or individuals who need the extra two seats or the additional 10 cubic feet of trunk space. Everyday users will be a better fit for the cheaper, compact Taos. The fuel economy and trim offerings are also factors to consider.

All in all, either car will suit you just fine and is guaranteed to meet most of your transportation needs.

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