2023 Volkswagen Taos

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  • Overview

    A grey 2023 Volkswagen Taos SE is angled left.

    As the world continues its obsession with SUVs, a new problem emerged: differentiating one from the other. Automakers stick to the same vanilla styling to achieve mass appeal, which leaves style-conscious buyers wanting more. Thankfully, the 2023 Volkswagen Taos offers an escape from humdrum boxy SUV styling. Favoring bold, athletic contours with a touch of minimalist German stoicism, the Taos dares to go where other SUVs won’t. Built for capability, it has you covered in all weather conditions.

    The 2023 Taos earned an 8.5/10 from the editors at Car and Driver, who called its class-leading fuel economy ratings “exemplary” and the cabin “modern” and “capacious.”[a] In fact, owners enjoy some of the best fuel economy ratings in the category without sacrificing performance and capability. It’s a standout model in the Volkswagen lineup, delivering key SUV must-haves, like a roomy cabin and ample cargo space, capable available all-wheel drive, and advanced safety technology.

    SUV buyers expect high levels of capability and utility, and in that respect, the Taos delivers. With an EPA-estimated 28 MPG city and 36 MPG on the highway, drivers sail past more gas stations than other drivers, and the available 4MOTION all-wheel drive configuration helps tackle wet, slippery roads when the mercury dips.[b] Add to that an array of advanced driver-assist safety technology that makes the Taos a perfect choice for families on the go.

    The simplified three-trim lineup helps buyers sift through their options without the confusion associated with other models with double-digit trims and configuration possibilities. With a low starting price of just $24,155, the Taos ticks the affordability box for cost-conscious buyers.[c] Those looking for premium features will find them in the top-of-the-line SEL trim. No wonder buyers are flocking this exceptional SUV; it’s time to escape the ordinary and embrace all the benefits of owning a Taos.

    158

    Horsepower (hp)

    184

    Torque (lb-ft)

    28/36

    Fuel Economy (city/hwy MPG)

    Starting at

    $24,155[c]

  • Trims

    A blue 2023 Volkswagen Taos SEL is shown from the side parked in front of a modern house.

    All Taos models feature roomy cabin and cargo areas and seating for up to five passengers. With 99.5 cu.ft. of cabin space and up to 65.9 cu.ft. of cargo area, the configurable interior adapts to your lifestyle and serves as a handy hauler for weekend DIYers and road trippers. Standard convenience features across the lineup include automatic headlights, a push-button start, and a soft, leather-like steering wheel wrap.

    The Taos S

    Starting off the lineup is the affordably priced Taos S. It isn’t your typical entry-level base model; with a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen and multiple USB and USB-C charging ports, this trim has technology covered. Volkswagen also includes a standard digital cockpit display, which features an 8-inch screen that’s customizable. It comes in front-wheel drive or 4MOTION all-wheel drive, six airbags, and an available IQ.DRIVE system that activates several driver-assist safety features, along with standard LED headlights.

    The Taos SE

    Moving up to the mid-range Taos SE adds an array of standard upgrades, including larger 18-inch alloy wheels, unique CloudTex seating surfaces, and a wireless charging pad for your smartphone. It also features remote engine start and includes IQ.DRIVE as standard. Keyless entry is standard, and buyers can add a heated steering wheel and rain-sensing wipers as part of the available Convenience package. A larger 8-inch infotainment touchscreen also comes standard on the SEL.

    The Taos SEL

    Looking for luxury? Choose the high-end Taos SEL. SEL models feature a 10.25-inch digital cockpit pro display that offers three views and 21 configurable display options. The SEL also features LED ambient cabin lighting with 10 different color options, which works with the selected drive mode on all-wheel drive versions, automatically changing the mood to match your driving style. A powerful 400-watt, 8-speaker BeatsAudio sound system is included for concert-grade sound.

  • Technology

    The black interior of a 2023 Volkswagen Taos SEL shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

    The Taos takes full advantage of German innovation, with an array of standard and available convenience and safety technologies. Volkswagen Car-Net offers advanced connectivity with your smartphone and smart home devices. Three categories: Safe & Secure, Remote Access, and Hotspot, combine to keep you connected and informed. You can utilize your smartphone as a remote key via the myVW app to unlock and lock doors, perform a remote start on chilly days, and even locate your car if you can’t remember where you parked.

    Car-Net

    Taos trims equipped with navigation can utilize Car-Net to find parking spaces at their destination. You can easily send directions from your phone to the vehicle’s navigation system, including searches for points of interest along your route. Additional Car-Net features include vehicle health reports, which display diagnostic information about your Taos, send maintenance reminders, and even help you schedule a service appointment.

    Car-Net’s Family Guardian Feature

    This feature includes safeguards to protect the new drivers in your household. You can preset speed, boundary, and time limits and keep an electronic eye on your teen every time they hit the road. Speed alert lets you know when a driver exceeds a pre-set speed limit. Similarly, the boundary alert system notifies you when the vehicle travels outside an allowed boundary area. Curfew alert ensures you know when your kid is behind the wheel later than allowed.

    Car-Net's Safe & Secure Feature

    Car-Net's Safe & Secure is a subscription-based service designed to help when things go wrong. It features emergency assistance, a driver-activated direct-connect service that connects you to a specially trained live agent. Automatic crash notification notifies an agent on your behalf when it senses the vehicle has been in a crash. The agent can then send first responders to your location. Taos buyers can also activate the available 4G LTE Hotspot with a data plan that accommodates up to four connected devices simultaneously.

  • Performance

    A blue 2023 Volkswagen Taos SEL is shown from an angled parked in a gravel driveway.

    All three 2023 Volkswagen Taos trims come with a powerful, fuel-efficient, 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Delivering 158 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, the Miller cycle-engineered powerplant delivers tons of low-range torque, which translates to responsive acceleration to highway speeds and up to 5,000 lbs. of towing capability. Front-wheel drive models include an 8-speed automatic transmission, and 4MOTION all-wheel drive versions pair with a dual-clutch 7-speed automatic.

    Fuel Economy

    Fuel economy ratings are among the best in their category. Front-wheel drive Taos models deliver an EPA-estimated 28 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway for a combined 31 MPG rating.[b] Choosing all-wheel drive nets an EPA-estimated 25 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway.[d] Fuel economy is further optimized by the engine’s automatic start/stop feature, which shuts off the motor when the vehicle comes to a stop. Unibody construction creates a lighter-weight frame contributing to the exceptional fuel economy.

    4MOTION with Active Control

    When you select a Taos model with 4MOTION all-wheel drive, you’ll also get a standard Active Control set of drive modes. This feature offers four modes: Snow, On-Road, Off-Road, and Off-Road Custom. Snow mode optimizes traction and prevents excessive wheel spin in slippery conditions, while On-Road is designed for on-pavement driving and shifts drive distribution between the two axles based on conditions. Off-Road is for more challenging terrain off the pavement, while the Off-Road Custom mode allows the driver to customize the steering, engine, and gearbox performance during off-road excursions.

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