There is a new Volkswagen, and I’m not talking about the ID.4, though that is also a new Volkswagen. Funny enough for a company that pretended to change its name to Voltswagen for a day (seriously, what the hell was that? Someone please get Volkswagen the vax), this week VW is touting the Taos’s fuel mileage.
That is probably because, and I can’t emphasize this enough, there is nothing interesting about the Taos. The Taos is a Chevy Trailblazer and Kia Seltos and Mazda CX-30 competitor that exists solely so Volkswagen can get a slice of a market segment (compact SUVs in the U.S.) that moves four million vehicles a year.
The Taos is powered by an inline-four that makes 158 horsepower, with no electrified version. VW said Tuesday that it gets an EPA-estimated 31 miles per gallon combined, including 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which it says is “tied for best in class.” The Taos goes on sale in June and starts at $22,995 for the front-wheel drive version, and $24,445 for the all-wheel drive version, and even VW isn’t putting much heart into its pitch.
“We developed the Taos for North America with a balance of efficiency and drivability that we’ve rarely seen from competitors in the compact SUV space,” said Hein Schafer, senior vice president of product and strategy for Volkswagen of America. “We think customers will embrace a fun-to-drive, well-equipped SUV at a very competitive price point.”
The best explanation for the Taos is that VW is building the Taos because it can, as the Taos shares the same platform as the Tiguan and Atlas, and it probably didn’t take much engineering muscle to make a smaller version of those two cars.
And, like with, for example, the Nissan Rogue, this is an uninteresting car that tens of thousands of people will buy. You know, normies. There’s just something funny about Volkswagen going so hard on the ID.4, enough to make car journalists get upset, while also introducing a new car that would not have looked out of place in its lineup two decades ago, save for the optional dual-clutch transmission. Volkswagen really isn’t Voltswagen and this is the proof.