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VW Taos (2021): China SUV built in Mexico for the USA

Volkswagen of America, Inc.
VW Taos (2021)
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F for Volkswagen's model hierarchy in In China, it's complicated. For example with the SUV of the compact and middle class. There is not only the normal Tiguan, but also the previous model (with the name Silk Road) still officially available as a new car. Then there is the 20 centimeters longer Tiguan L, the China counterpart to the local Allspace. In terms of size, the Tayron, which is being built together with joint venture partner FAW, has recently moved in between. And since Volkswagen has two joint ventures in China, there is also the Tharu, which is only four centimeters shorter than the Tiguan but has the same wheelbase.

Taos based on MQB

But that's not all, because the VW Tarek also exists. This is the Tharu, which is also being launched in North and South America and is being given a new name there: Taos. The name is derived from a place in New Mexico that is over 400 years old. Taos originated as a Spanish settlement near Taos Pueblo, the oldest continuously inhabited settlement on the American continent. Volkswagen of America is scheduling the market launch for summer 2021.

The technical basis is - of course - the MQB modular transverse matrix. On the one hand, this defines the dimensions: the Taos measures 4.45 meters in length and the wheelbase is 2.68 meters. On the other hand, the platform determines the range of engines. In China there is the car with the well-known four-cylinder petrol engines with 1.4 and 2.0 liters displacement, which are optionally combined with the seven-speed DSG. The small engines are sure to be adopted in price-sensitive markets such as South America and Russia.

Two transmission options for the 1.5-liter gasoline engine

Visually, the Taos fits seamlessly into Volkswagen's SUV range. It shows clear lines and few frills; the light strip that extends from the daytime running lights integrated into the adaptive LED headlights to the brand logo in the radiator grille is one of the few design gimmicks. Volkswagen of America combines eight exterior colors with four wheel designs; the rims measure 17, 18 or 19 inches.

Volkswagen of America, Inc.
The VW Taos is powered by a 1.5 liter, 160 hp four-cylinder turbo gasoline engine.

On the US market, the Taos is powered by a revised four-cylinder type EA211. The increases in displacement from 1.4 to 1.5 liters. The combustion was optimized according to the Miller principle, the compression slightly increased. The power is specified with 160 HP, the maximum torque with 250 Nm. Front-wheel drive versions are combined with an eight-speed automatic, all-wheel-drive versions get a seven-speed DSG.

Five-seater interior with a large trunk

Incidentally, there is also space for another compact SUV. In the USA, VW sells the Tiguan in addition to the large Atlas, but so far only in the version known here as the Tiguan Allspace. The car measures 4.70 meters and therefore leaves enough space below for a 4.45 meter SUV. In Europe, where there is the normal 4.49-meter Tiguan, things look different. A 4.35 meter long MQB SUV is pushing in from below with the T-Roc.

Volkswagen of America, Inc.
The digital cockpit is standard on board, there is the central eight-inch touchscreen from the middle SE equipment.

In a five-seat configuration, the VW Taos offers a trunk volume of 796 liters, which increases to 1,878 liters with the rear seat backrest folded down Liter grows. The digital cockpit with different display styles is already on board as standard in the basic Taos S model. An electrically adjustable driver's seat is installed free of charge, as is a keyless go system and aTwo-zone automatic air conditioning. The central eight-inch touchscreen of the MIB3 infotainment system, which is positioned separately from the climate control, is available from the middle SE equipment. The extensively equipped driver assistance package always costs extra, even in the top model SEL.

T-Roc and Tiguan too expensive for the USA

And why doesn't VW just offer the normal Tiguan or the T-Roc in North America? Quite simply: They would be too expensive for the markets there; In the past, US buyers in the compact SUV class preferred to resort to Asian competition. A model developed cheaply in China changes the conditions. Incidentally, the Taos is made in Puebla, Mexico.


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