Volkswagen Taigo

Life 1.0 95ps

Volkswagen Taigo, 2022, front
Volkswagen Taigo, 2022, front, parked
Volkswagen Taigo, 2022, nose, parked
Volkswagen Taigo, 2022, side, parked
Volkswagen Taigo, 2022, rear, static
Volkswagen Taigo, 2022, dashboard
Volkswagen Taigo, 2022, rear seats
Volkswagen Taigo, 2022, boot
Volkswagen Taigo, 2022, boot

JUST when you thought it was standing room only in the never-ending line of SUVs, here comes another one.

But this petite crossover from the VW stable is one worth taking notice of. Don't make the mistake of dismissing this compact coupe-style five-door as a purely style-driven motor aimed at the fashionistas.

Despite its rakish lines and diminutive length it can carry almost as much luggage as the boxy T-Cross and T-Roc. Based on the Polo, its added height allows room for four adults to travel comfortably.

There's an array of colours to choose from but we didn't feel the review car's plain white paintwork really did it justice.

As with its SUV brothers, the Taigo range kicks off with a 1.0litre three cylinder petrol. Starter model is a 95ps, three-cylinder, followed by a 110ps version available only as a DSG automatic.

We plumped for the basic Taigo which unusually gets a five speed manual gearbox. Despite the lack of a sixth cog, the little hatch really gets a wiggle on reaching 62mph in just over 11 seconds.

The three-pot engine hums along happily and freely with bags of torque that means you don't need to bother with too much gear-changing. Not that swapping cogs is a chore. On the contrary, the five speed box is slick and feather-light.

In fact the Taigo is one of those cars that truly like to be pushed. Fortunately the ride, handling and general level of roadholding are of a high enough standard to make press-on driving satisfying despite the limited horsepower.

The cabin very much follows usual VW format with plain but logical and well made switchgear, an eight-inch central screen and a few traditional knobs to adjust heating and a few everyday essentials. A great idea not digitalise every single control.

Another welcome feature is the traditional handbrake situated between the seats and an ignition key that slots into the ignition in old-school style - so it does rattle around the car or get mislaid in a jacket pocket.

Safety features include lane change assist, adaptive cruise control and park assist, plus front and rear parking sensors.

Leg and shoulder room is more than adequate for four. Those taller than six-foot may find rear headroom a tad limited. The boot which is wide and regularly shaped, with an adjustable floor level, can swallow up 445 litres of luggage, better than most small crossovers. Naturally, rear seats flip down and split to expand carrying capacity.

There are ample generously-sized pockets and bins for clutter as well as space for water bottles.

Even when pushed hard, the Taigo 1.0 returns around the 40mpg mark and if you chug along more gently 50 to 55mpg is easily within reach. With emissions pegged at 124g/km tax is kept pleasantly low.

FAST FACTS

Volkswagen Taigo Life 1.0 95ps

Price: £22,450

Mechanical: 1.0-litre, 94bhp, 3 cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via manual gearbox

Max Speed: 114mph

0-62mph: 11.1sec

Combined MPG: 51.4

Insurance Group: 13

C02 emissions: 124g/km

Bik rating: 29%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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