2022 Volkswagen Taos achieves EPA-confirmed 31 mpg; base prices start at under $23k

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos is the German carmaker's newest compact SUV. Surprisingly, the new Taos is a fuel miser despite having a standard 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. VW unveiled the front-wheel-drive Taos achieves an EPA-estimated 28/36/31 mpg on unleaded fuel, better than its closest rivals like the Audi Q3 and Mazda CX-30.

"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 EPA confirms that 2022 Taos buyers can save up to $750 in fuel over five years with the front-wheel-drive (FWD) model, while Taos AWD can save as much as $250 in the same period. The VW Taos with 4Motion AWD and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission achieves 25/32/28 mpg, better than the national average for small new crossovers with AWD.

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos is available in three trim models: S, SE, and SEL. VW's 1.5-liter turbocharged four-banger with direct injection is standard across the range. Producing 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, FWD models get an eight-speed automatic gearbox to maximize fuel economy. Meanwhile, AWD variants get a sportier seven-speed dual-clutch tranny.

The base VW Taos has a standard 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster (Volkswagen Digital Cockpit Display) and a modest 6.5-inch infotainment screen. Other standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated side mirrors.

The mid-tier 2022 Taos SE has a larger 8.0-inch infotainment screen, wireless charging, and wireless app connectivity. The top-of-the-line Taos SEL has a 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro touchscreen, 10-color ambient lighting, and a Beats audio system. The SEL also gets an array of safety tech like autonomous braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams, among many more.

Riding on VW's MQB platform, the 2022 Volkswagen Taos is 175.8-inches long and has a generous 105.9-inch wheelbase. And even though Taos is 9.3-inches shorter than a VW Tiguan, it offers 99.5 cubic feet of interior room and 28.1 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats. Folding down the rear seats gives you 66.3 cubic feet of storage space.

The 2022 VW Taos will arrive at US dealerships this June. Base prices start at $22,995 for Taos FWD, while AWD models start at $24,445.