Drive Notes: 2024 Volkswagen Taos SEL


This week I was testing the 2024 Volkswagen Taos SEL.

VW’s small SUV is built on the brand’s well-used MQB platform. That was evident in the pros and cons I experienced, as you’ll see.

This one was an SEL trim with all-wheel drive. Underhood sits a 1.5-liter turbo four making 158 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. If you opt for all-wheel drive, you get a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission.

Without further ado, here are your pros and cons for the 2024 Volkswagen Taos.


  • I’ve bagged on Volkswagen for having steering that’s too artificially light in the past, but here it had appropriate heft.
  • For a crossover, the Taos’s handling moves are somewhat athletic.
  • VW didn’t overdo the haptic touch stuff here — there were still knobs for volume and tuning and the HVAC controls.
  • The ride was a nice mix of sport and stiff, never too soft.
  • The overall interior packaging was well done.
  • There was decent leg- and headroom in the second row, but only if the front seat wasn’t slid too far back.
  • The $35,000 (including fees) price tag doesn’t feel unreasonable.
  • The fuel-economy numbers are solid, especially the 32 mpg on the highway.


  • There was some low-speed driveline lash while pulling away from stop signs and stop lights that really put a damper on the experience.
  • The stop/start system could be slow to re-fire when the light turned green.
  • The infotainment touchscreen is kinda small.
  • Like I said, rear-seat room seemed plentiful, but sliding a front seat fully back cuts into the legroom something fierce.
  • A power liftgate is not available, at all, on the Taos. That may sound like a so-called first-world problem, but it really does matter when dealing with groceries and it does seem like a feature that should be available on the SEL trim, especially with the starting price of $33K. Especially since there is a panoramic sunroof.
  • The engine had low-end grunt but seemed to run out of steam a bit at higher RPMs.
  • There’s an auto shut-off feature. Handy for saving fuel, but annoying when you’re in line for the car wash, vehicle in park, and you take your seatbelt off for comfort — and then it shuts down. Not fun on an extremely hot day with the A/C now being taken away from you. I get why these features exist, but this one was a bit quick on the trigger.
  • While most interior materials felt price appropriate, some cheaper plastics on the top of the doors annoyed me.

Overall I liked the Taos a bit better as an enthusiast’s crossover than the similarly-sized and priced Hyundai Kona I drove the week before. That said, the Hyundai was a bit nicer in terms of material quality and probably a better overall all-around package. Still, if you want a small crossover that feels like a tall Golf/Jetta, the Taos is your ride. If not for the driveline lash (the Hyundai also had some low-speed clunkiness, to be fair) and some of the cons listed above, I’d be a stronger advocate for the Taos. As it is, most of my beefs are small and would be easy enough to live with — or for VW to fix at the next refresh date. The Taos does a lot well, especially in terms of driving dynamics, it just needs a bit of tweaking.

[Images © 2024 Tim Healey/]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Source link