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VW's new SUV-coupe looks stylish - shame about its name

The new Volkswagen Taigo

AVAILABLE to order now, the new Volkswagen Taigo is the latest addition to the German giant's SUV line-up, intended to slot neatly in-between the entry level T-Cross and the T-Roc.

The stylish looking Taigo is another VW contender in the booming 'SUV-coupe' market, but whether or not they'll sell many in the north depends on how many local Volkswagen customers are prepared to overlook the unfortunate colloquial connotations of its name. Would you splash out over £20k on a car that comes with a free sectarian slur attached to its hatchback?

Perhaps it's not too late for Wolfsburg to do a deal with Tandragee's finest and rebrand the car as the 'VW Tayto' for the Northern Ireland market, since that's what the Taigo is likely to be immediately rechristened here anyway.

On the other hand, Volkswagen could always offer simply customers here a free badge swap with the Taigo's otherwise identical South American iteration, the VW Nivus.

The new Volkswagen Taigo

Anyway, the car that at time of press was still officially known as the Volkswagen Taigo is 150 mm longer than the T-Cross and shorter and lower than the T-Roc. Basically, it's ideal for anyone who wants to combine the higher driving position and ground clearance of a small SUV with small car-like looks: squint and you'd almost mistake the Taigo for an overgrown Polo – indeed, it's actually based on the same platform as VW's evergreen small hatchback.

The entry level Taigo Life is priced from £21,960 and gets standard equipment like LED headlights, an 8-inch Digital Cockpit driver information system, multifunction steering wheel, electrically-folding/heated/adjusted door mirrors and wireless smartphone charging, while standard driver aids and safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane change assist, park assist with multifunction camera, travel assist, a driver fatigue detection system and the combination of a central airbag with front curtain airbags.

The new Volkswagen Taigo

The new Volkswagen Taigo

From there, the range extends through the sportier looking R-Line (from £25,300) and comfort orientated Style (from £26,150) trim levels, adding extras like larger alloys, dual-zone climate control, ambient lighting, upgraded Digital Cockpit Pro system, Discover Navigation and IQ.Light LED matrix headlights.

The Taigo range features four trim-dependent engine and gearbox configurations: Taigo Life is available with a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, 94hp/128lb ft TSI petrol engine, fitted with a 5-speed manual gearbox, as well as a 108hp engine of the same size mated to either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed DSG automatic.

This 108hp unit is available across all three Taigo trims, with a DSG-equipped 1.5-litre, four-cylinder TSI engine with 148hp available in the Taigo Style and R-Line. These three engines return 128lb ft, 148lb ft and 184lb ft of torque respectively, with the 6-speed manual-equipped Taigo returning the greatest fuel economy and lowest emissions within the range at 52.3 mpg and 124 g/km of CO2 (WLTP, combined).

Prices for the Volkswagen Tayto – sorry, Taigo – start at £21,960 on-the-road for the entry level Life trim equipped with a 1.0l, 94hp TSI engine and 5-speed manual gearbox.

The new Volkswagen Taigo

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