VW Taigo review: Easy to drive but visually unappealing, the supermini crossover coupe might win you over


I wasn’t good at math in school. When I think about it, I wasn’t particularly good at anything except acting for a kind teacher who used to let me go to help my father on the farm during busy times of the year ( to prevent?).

o You will forgive me for wondering at the division. Do you remember the subdivision? Splitting the parts of something into multiple parts.

I was useless at it, but the automakers of this world love it. They will never stop dividing car types into ever-growing niche markets.

I suppose it never has to be because that’s what they do in the business: sell more engines of all different shapes and sizes.

Sometimes I think there’s going to be a different type of car for almost everyone in the audience, such is the expansion of variations on a theme.

Even though it’s the name of the game, I think you can take it a little far at times. I was a bit like that with the Volkswagen Taigo.

You’ll find it halfway down the car division scale between the excellent Volkswagen T-Cross (crossover) and the evergreen Polo subcompact.

The Taigo is Volkswagen’s kind of coupé crossover, if you will. A feat of strength, says the carmaker, who has not yet succeeded in this small car segment.

Others might disagree, but Volkswagen backs its claim by making the car in the first place and thinks people will consider another compact crossover.

The baseline is that the more individual tastes they cater to, the more likely people will be drawn to something niche rather than mainstream. Oh, I do not know. I’ve had one of those weeks where the controversial conservative in me triumphed, and I’m a little less excited about the test car than I expected. A shame.

What is Taigo really about? I’ve asked myself more than once. It’s lower and less visually appealing than the T-Cross, which I happen to think is a great little car with lots of style and functionality – it also has a nice trunk.

And it lacks the presence, purpose and real appeal of the Polo, with which it shares so many underpinnings and materials and techie bits, by the way.

So we have three cars that are based on a substructure, if you will, but are all tuned to a different wavelength.

Not sure if it works that well for the Taigo. I mean I would definitely buy the T-Cross beforehand. However, I would buy the T-Cross before some small crossovers because I like it very much.

So why risk distracting people with an internal “distraction”? Aren’t there already significant challenges from brands like Puma, Seat Arona, Renault Captur and Nissan Juke to grapple with? No, VW doesn’t think so.

So would I buy it before the Polo? That’s the question I’m not going to answer yet.

It really didn’t register a great time on the visual dials. Not like the T-Cross or Puma or Juke.

It looked a bit hunched and actually taller than the Polo, but I don’t think there was that much rear legroom. There is a really big and practical boot.

I rode a lot one week and not so much the second time. And to be fair, the 1-litre 110hp petrol engine version I had in the R trim served me well. Mated to a 7-speed DSG (automatic) gearbox, it did everything I asked of it on a variety of short and long journeys.

The cabin gets a lot of the Polo treatment, so there were no surprises. As you’d expect from a small Volkswagen, everything looked and felt solid.

A big plus: There’s a proper way to adjust the ventilation system, as opposed to the sometimes frustrating touch-and-slide system they have in the Golf.

I don’t know about you, but I think you need simple buttons and dials. No, I won’t go into the whole distraction debate, but it’s telling that it stays at the top of my mind when it comes to the Taigo’s main assets.

The other general plus is how easy, really easy it was to drive and park. When I see how much effort some people have to put in trying to squeeze their car into a parking space, I make no apologies for including this issue in my review almost every week.

So would I buy it over the Polo? Despite my boring reservations so far, I have to honestly admit, hand on heart, that maybe I could do it. Why? Because I might have been a cantankerous conservative for a few days, but I was secretly afraid that it would set me a little off the mainstream. It would be a close decision and I could change my mind at the last minute, but it says a lot about the thinking behind the division that I would even consider it.

VW Taigo fact file

Volkswagen Taigo Supermini Crossover Coupé, 999 ccm, 110 hp, petrol, 135 g/km, entry-level price “R-Line” €31,825, entry-level price “R-Line DSG” €35,480. Equipment, including some options, includes: space-saving spare wheel, sport comfort seats, infotainment system, fog lights, LED front and rear lights, multi-color digital cockpit, air conditioning, black roof rails, driver warning system, pedestrian/cyclist monitoring, adaptive cruise control, 18-inch alloys, rear view camera , panoramic sunroof, wireless smartphone.

https://www.independent.ie/life/motoring/car-reviews/vw-taigo-review-easy-to-drive-but-lacking-in-visual-appeal-supermini-crossover-coupe-may-well-win-you-over-41413697.html VW Taigo review: Easy to drive but visually unappealing, the supermini crossover coupe might win you over

Fry Electronics Team

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