The all-new 2022 Volkswagen Taos has made its debut and will slot below the bigger Tiguan; offering signature Volkswagen driving dynamics, in a smaller package with a lower price tag.

Built on the MQB platform shared by the Atlas and Golf, it comes with a single powertrain will be available to all variants – a 1.5-litre direct-injection EA211 TSI engine making 158 hp and 249 Nm.

The Taos is available as a front-wheel or 4Motion all-wheel drive. The front-wheel drive models are fitted with 8-speed automatic transmissions while the all-wheel drive gets a 7-speed dual clutch transmission.

All Taos models with 4Motion all-wheel drive feature Active Control, which allows the driver to select specific vehicle settings based on driving conditions. It has four settings – On-road, Snow, Off-road, and Custom Off-road.

Dimensions wise, the front-wheel drive measures 2690 mm in wheelbase, it’s 1842 mm wide and 1636 mm tall. The all-wheel drive model is a tad more compact, with a 2682 mm wheelbase. All-wheel drive models have a multilink layout at the rear while front-wheel drive versions get a torsion beam.

On the outside, the Taos comes with LED lighting with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) available in the higher variants. An illuminated light line is also available, stretching outward from the logo as on the ID.4 electric SUV. Roof rails are standard, with 17- to 19-inch wheels options. In the higher variants, a panoramic roof is also available.

As for the inside, while the Taos may be an entry-level compact SUV, the equipment list is anything but. It boasts the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit with a fully digital 10.25-inch instrument panel, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto through the Volkswagen MIB touchscreen infotainment system.

A 10-colour ambient lighting system works in sync with the Driving Mode Selector; in Normal Mode it projects a white light, red in Sport Mode, and blue in Eco Mode.

In the higher variants, the Taos comes with an 8-inch display and wireless charging and multi-phone pairing. So available is the BeatsAudio sound system with 8-speakers, a 400-watt amplifier and a subwoofer.

The Taos also comes with the enhanced Volkswagen Car-Net feature that allows for remote start and remote lock to name a few from the owner’s smartphone.

With the Car-Net feature, users can also locate nearby parking lots and monitor their vehicle’s status such as fuel level, mileage, and door lock status. The Car-Net feature also offers in-car WiFi and even allows users to search for the best deals from insurance companies.

Other interesting features include the Curfew Alert which notifies the owner if the vehicle is driven beyond the set curfew and Valet Alert which warns the owner if the vehicle is driven more than 300 metres from the valet drop-off location.

As for driver assistance, the Taos comes with IQ.DRIVE for semi-autonomous driving capabilities. This includes features such as adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning, blindspot monitor, and rear-cross traffic alert.

The Emergency Assist feature helps slow the vehicle to a gradual stop in its own lane if the system detects zero driver input on the steering wheel following multiple warnings. Other features available includes Park Distance Control, Maneuver Braking, and Light Assist.

Prices for the Taos starts from USD 22,995 (approx RM95k) for the front-wheel drive models to USD 25,040 (approx RM103k) for the 4Motion all-wheel drive models.