CAR maker Volkswagen has thrived on compromises to please its customers and its latest line up is no exception, but excels nevertheless.
While similar in style to its Volkswagen crossover stablemates, the Taigo actually falls between the shorter T-Cross and larger T-Roc in dimensions and a lot of the space is put to good use with a bigger boot.
Picking through its parts bins it uses familiar 1.0 and 1.5 litre petrol engines, two manual or a DSG automatic transmissions but there are no diesel engines in the range.
Our car was the entry level Life specification but you can move up to R-Line and top Style versions with more power as you pick your way through the list from mid £20,000 to about £30,000 and all are five-door designs.
It gets a digital cockpit for clarity and permits different functions to be easily displayed according to a driver's preference. The accompanying infotainment display operates most secondary features but thankfully there are push-button shortcuts to reduce distractions.
It is compatible with mobile phones operating systems and the VW ID feature so you can work your way through familiar functions.
Volkswagen Taigo users ride higher than in Golf and it has a better ground clearance as well for those who may need it in country areas or wintry roads but it's only front wheel drive.
This entry-level model has a 95ps triple-pot engine of about 1.0-litre but you can specify a 110ps version which comes with six-speed manual or seven-slot DSG automatic. Top models can also be ordered with a four-cylinder 1.5-litre 150ps engine.
The German brand has never been cheap compared to challengers but the Taigo now looks better value for money than some rivals.
It's 1.0-litre and five-speed powertrain was very willing to perform even if it was not road-burning or particularly flexible, but within its limits was easy to drive and very economical over a mixture of main roads and motorways. It could keep up with the flow on main roads, needed careful judgement and anticipation for overtaking and some long motorway inclines would drag down progress and mean a downchange was necessary if loaded.
The little engine fairly buzzed away in an excited manner in a sort of let-me-at-them endearing way and the direct gearchange under a light footed clutch meant urban progress was effortless.
The steering was an excellent balance between effort and execution with good feedback, a compact turning circle and no vibration. Brakes were also smooth and progressive and the handbrake securely held the 1200kg car on our test slope.
Secondary controls grouped on the wheel-spokes, across the fascia and on the central console were well marked and worked with satisfying precision while the digital instruments' panel was always clear, well marked and left nothing to doubt. The central multi-purpose screen was sufficiently large to not struggle to see anything and we liked the short-cut buttons for ease of use.
Heating and ventilation was straightforward, well controlled and abundant with powered windows to back it up and it soon demisted and kept the interior at our desired settings.
Oddments spaces were reasonable but not abundant for a family car, however the boot size, shape and access was excellent and capacity more than doubled if the offset split back seats were folded down.
For driver and passengers the doors opened wide and you did not have to duck heads too much to slip into the seats, which offered excellent support to thighs and back and came with a fairly good adjustment range so head and legroom were good throughout despite the coupe roofline flowing down the back pillar.
In front or the back the interior fit and finish of the car was really good and just enough relief was given to the wrap around facia with its soft dark plastic trim which helps keep down costs.
Riding high generally improved all round vision with a low waistline, slim pillars, good wash/wipe system and very good LED lights. Sensors back up the displays on screen.
Ride comfort was surprisingly good and our Taigo soaked up potholes and ridges without complaint, very little roll around bends, without pitching or dipping evident.
Noise levels, however, were intrusive from that hard working little engine or the road-generated rumbles through the suspension system and it encouraged the driver to carefully pick a path between the roughest bits and to get into a high gear as soon as possible.
This did help the economy as a result even if the package struggled with four aboard.