Read Caroline’s Volkswagen Taigo review for everything you need to know about buying Volkswagen’s new compact crossover in Ireland.

Volkswagen has expanded their compact car line-up with the arrival of the new Taigo. It joins the likes of the Polo and the T-Cross, but offers something a little different to each.

While the Polo can be praised as one of the best small hatchbacks on the market today, the T-Cross and Taigo are Volkswagen’s response to market demand for compact crossovers and small SUVs.

But while the T-Cross carries some more traditional ‘square’ SUV styling (and I mean ‘square’ in the best possible way!), the Taigo sits a bit higher in the Volkswagen range and offers a stylish SUV-coupé design.

The new Volkswagen Taigo goes on sale priced from €28,995 and is available in three trim levels: Life, Style and R-Line.

The Volkswagen Taigo R-Line is on sale now
The Volkswagen Taigo R-Line is on sale now

What’s so special about the Volkswagen Taigo?

The Taigo looks good. All the charismatic design cues of a modern crossover are here, like the cladding around the wheel arches. It also sits higher off the ground than a hatchback.

The elegant sloping coupé-inspired roof line towards the rear of the car is also unique among small crossovers. Inside, there’s a higher driving position behind the wheel that’s popular with buyers at the moment.

Taigo Style (from €32,035) and R-Line (from €33,345) models look the best with silver roof rails and more stylish 17-inch alloy wheel designs, as well as the option of 18-inch. The Taigo R-Line on test is the sportiest looking of them all with 17-inch ‘Valencia’ alloy wheels as standard, as well as sportier bumpers and rear privacy glass.

LED headlights come as standard for a modern appearance on the road, with Style and R-Line models getting more advanced Matrix LED units.

Power comes from Volkswagen’s well-proven 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine, which is available with 95hp (Life only) or 110hp. There’s the option of a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed DSG automatic.

The interior of the Taigo
The interior of the Taigo

Inside the Taigo

The Taigo has a straightforward interior for a small crossover. All the controls are logically laid out and the cabin is solidly built, if a little dull in design. Some compact crossovers like the Renault Captur and the Peugeot 2008 have more stylish cabins.

Still it features a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, as well as a full digital driver display, which keeps the cabin feeling modern.

Standard features include a leather wrapped steering wheel, air conditioning, multifunction steering wheel, lane assist and front assist. Though the Taigo Style adds more salubrious features like front sports comfort seats with lumbar support, front and rear parking sensors, parking camera, ambient lighting, adaptive cruise control and a glossy 8-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The top of the range R-Line model has a sportier ambience with special R-Line seat covers, stainless steel pedals and a black headliner.

The Taigo will seat five and despite being a compact vehicle does offer a reasonable amount of legroom and headroom for rear seat passengers. The 440-litre boot is also an excellent size, while the rear seats split fold 60:40 and there’s also a two-position boot floor as standard.

The Taigo is available with a petrol engine
The Taigo is available with a petrol engine

Driving the Volkswagen Taigo

The Taigo is built on Volkswagen’s MQB platform and is powered by a simple petrol engine, no matter which version you go for. With 110hp it feels lively enough, with plenty of power for driving on larger roads like motorways.

On test was the 1.0 TSI with Volkswagen’s 7-speed automatic gearbox, however it’s not the smoothest combination in the Taigo. Still the Taigo is competitive when it comes to fuel consumption for a small petrol crossover.

It’s easy to handle on the road with light steering and a well-judged suspension making it comfortable on longer journeys too. It’s not the most fun to drive small crossover but its mature road manners give it broad appeal.

Did you like it?

In recent years, Volkswagen has transformed their line-up with a plethora of new SUV models like the T-Cross and the T-Roc. Now the Taigo falls somewhere in between. It is very stylish to look at, though inside it does feel a little more old-fashioned than more modern competitors.

More expensive to buy than the T-Cross, and not far off the slightly larger T-Roc, the Taigo does occupy a bit of a middle ground without adding much to the Volkswagen range other than a slightly sleeker ‘SUV coupé’ appearance.

Still it’s a well-built compact crossover with a simple line-up and practical cabin, and that is enough to keep it in the running.

Stylish good looks for the new Taigo
Stylish good looks for the new Taigo

Model tested: Volkswagen Taigo 1.0 TSI R-Line
1.0-litre turbo petrol
Power: 110hp
Torque: 200Nm
Top speed: 191 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 10.9 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€210 per year


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year