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TURNING HEADS AND HEARTS

Volkswagen Taigo 1.0TSI R-LINE

Volkswagen’s latest addition to its SUV line-upturns heads and hearts with its sporty coupé-like looks.

Volkswagen’s SUV line-up continues to grow at pace with the addition of the sporty Taigo crossover to slot between the hugely popular T-Cross and slightly larger T-Roc.

Designed to make a bold statement, the Taigo is a stylish, comfortable, and surprisingly practical option that’s bound to intrigue buyers who are looking to upgrade from the T-Roc, demanding the superb ride and generous rear passenger space that’s baked into the Taigo, while the T-Roc’s higher price point may still elude them.

TOP OF MIND

Although three models comprise the full line-up – each sporting a significant amount of standard spec and tech – we sampled the uncompromising Taigo 1.0TSI R-Line range-topper, which is packed to the hilt with Volkswagen’s most alluring extras.

At the top of this list must be the exceptional intelligent lighting system (optional on the entry-level model) that is at the cutting edge of the brand’s technology portfolio. The IQ.LIGHT LED Matrix system with Dynamic Light Assist is a revelation while driving at night and leaves even advanced LED lighting systems available on some competitors in the dark. 

The Taigo R-Line’s interior is equally impressive and showcases Volkswagen Group’s advanced design superiority to create an extremely comfortable interior that is as solid as it is attractive. The cabin centrepiece is an upgraded version of VW’s 8” Composition Media infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay that we found significantly less glitchy than before. The brand’s superb 10.25” Digital Cockpit Pro system with Active Info Display is equally sublime, keeping all driving, infotainment, and navigation data at the driver’s fingertips via buttons on the steering wheel. Climate control, heated seats, and an optional Beats speaker system (fitted to our test unit) add even more luxury to the cabin.

PUNCHY POWER

Volkswagen has placed its popular 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine in all three models, offering 85 kW (between 5,000 and 5,500 rpm) and 200 Nm of torque (between 2,000 and 3,500 rpm). The engine is mated to Volkswagen’s seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission that excels at keeping fuel consumption levels low, but needs to be prompted somewhat with the steering-mounted paddles for brisk driving in Comfort mode. Naturally, the Taigo can also be driven in Sport mode if you wish, but this influences fuel consumption, and isn’t ideal for highway cruising.

Some might say that describing the Taigo as an SUV is a bit of a stretch, and, frankly, the only clues to its crossover heritage are the slightly raised ride height and elevated driving position. What cannot be denied is the car’s supple ride quality, lack of body roll, and surprisingly pointed road holding ability. On the safety side, the Taigo boasts six airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, and traction and stability control.

ReportbyBERNIEHELLBERGJR|Images©VOLKSWAGENSOUTH AFRICA

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