I recently had a chance to drive the new VW Taigo, which joins VW’s extensive SUV line-up. They are the T-Cross, T-Roc, Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg. To give you a better understanding, the Taigo, pronounced “tie-go”, is part of VW’s A0 SUV segment, alongside the T-Cross and T-Roc. It is also the company’s first compact SUV coupé.

It will come in three different lines, the Taigo Life, Taigo Style and top of the line Taigo R-Line. The entry-level gets you things like 16″ wheels, a digital cockpit, 6.5″ composition colour radio, app connect, black roof rails, LED headlamps, leather steering wheel. The Style has 17″ wheels, leather steering wheel digital cockpit pro, 8″ composition media radio, IQ Light LED matrix headlights, ambient and surround lighting, chrome roof rails. The rest of this post is about the R-Line model.

Quick Look: VW Taigo 

  • 1.0L TSI R-Line DSG
  • 85kW and 200Nm of torque
  • 7-speed automatic DSG
  • 0-100km/h in 10 seconds
  • Top speed: 200km/h
  • 40L tank; 5.4L/100km
  • 440L boot capacity

The compact SUV coupé launched in June this year, and I’m sure you’ve already seen coverage and reviews about the vehicle. As always, I’m going to give you more of a personal take, which is my top 5 features about the car, including tech highlights. But before I get into that, here is a list of extras fitted on the test car:

  • Heated front seats
  • Beats sound system
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Comfort package: Rear View Camera, Keyless Access & Park Assist
  • IQ Drive Package: Lane Keeping System, Forward collision warning with Autonomous Emergency Braking System & Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Discover Media infotainment system: Wireless App-Connect, Inductive Charging, Voice Control & Navigation System
  • Black styling package with 18-inch black Misano alloy wheels
  • Driver Assistance Package including Park Assist

Price as standard: R486 000 + extras worth R85 500 = R571 500.

My top 5 features from my short time with the VW Taigo

1. The design

The Taigo is the first of its kind SUV coupé from VW. If you don’t like the boxy look of the T-Cross, this is why you’d choose the Taigo. I think it looks good, but it’s also flatter and longer, and has a raised seating position. The Taigo is a longer than the T-Cross, but not as wide and tall. They are very similar in size though but the T-Cross has more power at 110kW compared to the Taigo at 85kW. It has a very distinct shape. I also loved the optional Black Style package on this model and colour, which gives it black accents and 18″ Misano alloy wheels.

VW Taigo

2. Digital Dash

We’ve seen the modern interior of the new Golf, and the Taigo is no different. Almost everything inside is digital and touch panels. The R-Line has the Digital Cockpit Pro 8-inch screen that is customisable to your liking – my fav, and then a new infotainment system. The model we had featured the optional 8-inch Discover Media display. Down to the climate control, all the panels you see are digitised for touch so you slide your finger to adjust it, including fan speed, etc.

3. Tech conveniences

I love cars that let me pair my phone wirelessly for CarPlay, and the option to charge wirelessly. It’s useful when I’m using my phone as a GPS to get somewhere without worrying about losing too much of power.  The convenience of wireless charging is great but it should not be something you can rely on when your power is low, then you should have a cable.

Speaking about cables, the Taigo only has USB-C ports. There are two in the front, with the optional inductive smartphone charging cradle, and two in the back for the passengers. If you have an older iPhone that doesn’t have a USB-C end, you will need an adaptor or use the 12V socket with a USB-A port. Apart from that, there are enough storage sections in the car for keys, remotes, cables, placing phones, etc.

It also has VW’s DataPlug that turns the vehicle into a “connected car”, which I’ve reviewed here. I love it because it provides stats for the car, and rates your driving. If you’re obsessed with data like me, you will love it.

4. IQ Drive, Park Assist and Autonomous Braking

Okay, I’m cheating a little here by adding a bunch of technologies under one subheading but more so because they are smart technologies to aid you. I love cameras on a car that can help as an extra set of eyes. The IQ Drive system has something called Travel Assist to somewhat help with automated driving, which works with adaptive cruise control and lane assist. It will maintain speeds, lane and distance from the vehicle ahead, and works for speeds between 30-200km/h.

Park Assist is for those who have trouble parking, and the nice thing about it is that it has a dedicated button on the centre console. The car will steer for you, while you accelerate or brake as needed. I tried to test it in my yard but it didn’t make sense with the space available to me, plus I am confident in my parking. This works for parallel parking or alley docking.

Another great optional feature that kicks in is autonomous emergency braking, which uses the front radar sensor. It will monitor the distance of the car in front of you and it beeps loudly. I’ve had it kick in without realising I need to be aware. Also if you don’t brake hard enough in time, the car will add that extra braking pressure. It’s an excellent safety feature. But you also get notified when the distance to the vehicle ahead is too short.

5. Boot space and panoramic roof

These days, buying a car has to serve more than one purpose. Usually if you live in Gauteng, you want to go on road trips and getaways a couple of hours out and who knows what roads you come across, not to mention comforts on the drive. It sits 5 people, and with two USB-C charging ports at the back, a pano roof, I think traveling out of town would be comfortable in the Taigo. It has a 440L boot that is pretty good for its size, and the seats recline.

VW Taigo Pricing

The Taigo is priced as follows:

Taigo Life 1.0 TSI 85kW DSG R429 900
Taigo Style 1.0 TSI 85kW DSG R464 100
Taigo R-Line 1.0 TSI 85kW DSG R486 000

It has a 3 year/120 000km warranty; a 3 year/45 000km service plan and service intervals are at 15 000km. It costs less than the T-Cross.