I noticed yesterday that Volkswagen had announced a new smallish SUV for the UK market, the VW Taigo. If you saw some pictures and thought, huh, that’s handsome, but haven’t I already seen that? Isn’t that a Taos or Tiguan or Teramont or something? No, buddy, it’s actually called a Nivus in China, but for the UK, VW decided to name it something starting with T, because confusion is fun. What’s also fun is this: can you identify the vehicles in VW’s baffling global array of crossovers?
I’m not sure what exactly it is about VW, but they seem to love to make a lot of stuff. They make a ton of different engine types, for example, and they also love to make things really bewildering, name-wise, like what they do with Jettas in China.
Also, it feels like VW over-bought the chrome letters T, I, G, N, O, and S so they want to work those into as many models as possible when it comes to names.
More recently, Volkswagen has found that its SUVs and crossovers are selling well, so they’ve developed an incredible number of them to sell around the world.
What makes them so baffling is that they all generally look pretty much the same; I think VW’s current design language is handsome and works well, but it’s also pretty rigid, so you end up with many, many SUVs with the same general look about them, just varied a bit in size.
And the size variation is absurdly granular; this isn’t like they have large, medium, and small SUVs, they have models that differ by tiny amounts. This new Taigo, for example, is about 168 inches long. A T-Cross is about 167 inches, as is a Tacqua and Taigun, and the Taos is a bit bigger, at 175 inches, but the Tiguan is only around two inches longer, and both the Tayron and ID.4 are only three inches longer at right about 180 inches, and so on.
Somehow VW has an SUV lineup that lets you pick what size vehicle you want within a handful of inches. Maybe that’s good? Is their market research so refined that they know that there’s under three inches of length that dictates what’s acceptable in one country and not another?
They’re selling three separate versions of SUVs with a fastback design, all within like three inches of one another in length. Three different models of these! They don’t look all that different! Three!
Wait, if you count the Taigo/Nivus it may be four.
I’m impressed and baffled. I really don’t understand why this set of vehicles can’t be reduced down to, say, five: a small one, a medium one, a big one, a fastback one, and an electric one. These just aren’t that different from each other, really.
So, let’s play a game: I’ve grabbed profile images of every VW SUV and crossover for sale new somewhere in the world today, and put them all in a graphic. I’ll give a list of the names, and see if you can figure out which is which.
Because there’s at least one super-easy one (the tiny and very cool Crossfox still sold in Peru), I’m gonna add some made-up names to the mix, just to keep it exciting.
Okay, here’s all the SUVs and crossovers:
..and here’s the list of names (some models have multiple names because, remember, VW loves it when you’re confused, and so do I, so there are a few fakes in there):
New Tiguan Allspace
Atlas Cross Sport
I think that’s all of them. I mean, plus the fakes. If you want the answers, you can see them here.
Not that I don’t think each and every one of you is absolutely brilliant, but if anyone gets more than half of these right, I’m going to be amazed.