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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2022 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2022 Volkswagen Taos 1.5T SEL

Vehicle Type: SUV/Minivan Gasoline
 overall score
Category Ranking: 35

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $31,490
Price as Tested: $33,885

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 13.2
EPA City mpg28
EPA Highway mpg36
EPA Combined mpg31

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [O]
  • Advanced Headlights [O]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [O]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [O]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [O]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [O]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [O]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking [O]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

The new-for-2022 Volkswagen Taos, named for the artsy town in New Mexico, is a subcompact model that feels bigger than it is. It’s based on the automaker’s MQB underpinnings that are shared by a number of Volkswagen models, including the Jetta sedan. Only one engine is available for the Taos—a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder (158 hp) mated to an 8-speed automatic in the front-wheeldrive version. Driving responsiveness isn’t the Taos’ strong suit: We experienced turbo lag and surging from the throttle and a lack of tightness in the steering. Fuel economy is good, however, at 31 mpg in combined driving. Inside, the Taos is surprisingly spacious, especially in rearpassenger legroom. Unlike its slightly larger Tiguan sibling, there’s no third-row seat. Folding the rear seat backs down opens up 70 cubic feet of cargo space. Downsides include some cheap-looking interior materials. Overall, though, a long list of standard advanced safety features, including LED headlights with auto high beams, make the Taos a good overall value.
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Ample interior room,especially in the backseat
  • Above-average fueleconomy
  • Many standard advancedsafety features

Weak Points

  • Some hesitation,jerkiness on acceleration
  • Steering feel is light andimprecise
  • Some subpar interiormaterials

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2022
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 3300.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 175.8 / 72.5 / 64.4
Wheelbase (in): 105.9
Number of air bags: 7
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Pirelli Scorpio Verde
Front and rear tire size: 215/50 R18
Max towing capacity (lbs): Not recommended
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 8-speed
Drivetrain type: Front wheel
Engine/motor: 1.5L 4-Cyl. turbo
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 158 @ 5500

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:








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