The new Volkswagen Taigo is another coupe-SUV/crossover thing

By topgear, 29 July 2021

Latin America's Volkswagen Nivus repackaged as VW Taigo for European market

Volkswagen Taigo Red front

Welcome world, to the new Volkswagen Taigo. Although if you happen to live in South America (or even India), you’re probably a little bit confused right now.

Yes, this does look like the VW Nivus sold in South America, which is practically a coupe-fied version of the VW Taigun sold in India. That’s because essentially it is the Nivus – it’s just been given a new name, some styling tweaks and a new trim level for Europe. Because clearly VW didn't have enough SUVs in its home market already.

The Taigo will actually be VW’s entry-level crossover in the UK (and its first – but probably not last – with a coupe body style) when it lands later this year. It’s based on the same MQB A0 platform as both the Polo and the T-Cross, but will apparently sit in between the two in terms of price.

In case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced tie-go and it’s actually wider, longer and lower than the aforementioned T-Cross. That’s mainly because the rear overhang has been extended to retain some boot space (438 litres) and include the swoopy (and a little bit silly) rear end. Same ground clearance though, apparently, although don’t let the black plastic arches fool you into thinking it’ll go off-road. 

It’s FWD only and there’ll be just two engine options – a 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder petrol and a 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol. The former is available in two tunes with either 94bhp or 109bhp, whilst the latter gets 148bhp. There’ll be manual and auto gearbox options, and VW has all but ruled out a GTI or R performance variant. Probably for the best. 

Volkswagen Taigo interior dashboard
Volkswagen Taigo red rear three quarter

R Line trim is new for Europe though and gives the Taigo plenty of body-coloured trim and fancy gloss black inserts. That sits alongside the Style trim you can also see above, with Life and then standard Taigo trim in descending order below.

Volkswagen says that all Taigos will get the full digital cockpit in some form though, and all come with LED lights as standard as well as a separate climate control panel – hurrah! Wheels are between 16- and 18-inches depending on spec. 

Being based on the MQB platform means the Taigo has access to all of VW’s standard active safety systems, and top spec models can have the impressive Travel Assist cruise control system.

Back home, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) managing director Erik Winter did recently hint that the company was looking to introduce more new crossovers in the near future. And with Volkswagen adapting models initially engineered for developing countries to other markets, SUVs like the Taigo and Taigun certainly seem like pretty strong possibilities. 

What do you think?