Volkswagen Taos or Skoda Karok: what is better and what is the difference

Volkswagen Taos and Skoda Karoq. Two from a small box, identical from the face or…

Is releasing two almost identical cars on the same market a good marketing idea? In the Russian division of VAG consider that there is only one answer to this question, and it is affirmative. That is why 1.5 years after the premiere of the Skoda Karok in our country begin to sell the Volkswagen Taos. The cars are very similar, but do they really differ only by the nameplates on the hood? Let’s look into it.

Comparison of Volkswagen Taos and Skoda Karok

Dimensions .

Both cars are built on the MQB modular platform and have approximately the same architecture. The discrepancy in dimensions of two crossovers is purely nominal. However, the Taos has a little bit more clearance and thus a little bit lower curb weight. For many people extra 10-17 mm of ground clearance will be an important reason to make a choice in favor of a German.

Comparison of dimensions of Volkswagen Taos and Skoda Karok

Volkswagen Taos Skoda Karoq
Length, mm 4417 +35 4382 mm
Width, mm 1841 +0 1841 mm
Height, mm 1602 -1 (1600 for 4×4) 1603 mm
Ground clearance, mm 177 +17 (175 +11 for 4×4) 160 mm (164 mm for 4×4)
Curb weight, kg 1287-1467 depending on equipment 1346-1534 depending on configuration
Volume of fuel tank, l 50 (55 for 4×4) 50 (55 for 4×4)
trunk volume, l 500 (418 for 4×4) 500 (426 for 4×4)

Design and exterior of VW Taos and Skoda Karoq

Taos and Karoq externally resemble like two brothers. But not twins. All the same at close dimensions and outlines their body elements are different. For example, the German has different bumpers with big air inlets. Exactly they give it a head start of 35 millimeters in length before the Czech. The two crossovers are maximally similar if to look at them from the side – the glazing line is almost identical.

Taos looks more present and more modern than its competitor. Of course, affected by the fact that it was released in 2021, while the design Karok comes from 2017 (in our Czech debuted at the end of 2019, but the world premiere was much earlier). For example, the German already has fully LED headlights in the base, which adds points to its appeal. And in the TOP version there is also a luminous stripe along the radiator grille.

Interior of Volkswagen Taos and Skoda Karok

The interiors of both crossovers are laconic, in typical German style. Everything you need is there, the materials are qualitative, there is enough space, but nothing particularly original and bright. Telling the truth, it is possible to order Taos in a special version Joy! It’s more cheerful, but to a lover. If you are interested in plastic part of interior’s trimming, it is rigid in Taos, and soft in Karok.

Interior comparison of Taos and Karok

As for the color scheme, each of crossovers has its special shades. Taos has Energetic orange, and Karoq has Emerald Green. The other colors are standard for VAG cars assembled in Russia – blue Reef and different variants of black and white gray palette.

Wheels Karoq, as well as Taos are from R16 to R18. In both cases there is a good choice of designs.

Engines and transmissions. Driving qualities of Taos and Karoq

In terms of technical characteristics, the Volkswagen Taos and Skoda Karoq are identical. They have the same engines and transmissions, namely:

  • 1.6 MPI with 110 hp, paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. In the near future, this version will also be available with a 6-speed automatic.
  • 1.4 TSI with 150 hp paired with 8-speed automatic transmission or DSG-7 all-wheel drive version.

As for driving qualities, they also do not differ much. For clarity, let’s compare all modifications.

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Comparison of driving qualities Taos and Karoq with 1.6 MPI MKPP-5 engine

Volkswagen Taos Skoda Karoq
Volume, cm 3 1598 1598
Power 110 hp (81 kW) at 5800 rpm 110 hp (81 kW) at 5800 rpm
Torque 152 Nm at 3850 rpm 152 Nm at 3850-4100 rpm
Max. speed, km/h 180 185
Acceleration time to 100 km/h, s 11,4 11,3
Consumption in the mixed cycle, l 7,1 7,1

Comparing the performance of Taos and Karok with 1.4 TSI automatic 8 engine

Volkswagen Taos Skoda Karoq
Volume, cm 3 1395 1395
Power 150 hp (110 kW) at 5,000 rpm 150 hp (110 kW) at 5 to 6,000 rpm
Torque 250 Nm at 1.5-3.5 rpm 250 Nm at 1,500-3,500 rpm
Max. speed, km/h 200 198
Acceleration time to 100 km/h, s 8,8 9,3
Consumption in the mixed cycle, l 7,0 7,1

Taos and Karoq with 1.4 TSI DSG-7 4×4 engine

Volkswagen Taos Skoda Karoq
Volume, cm 3 1395 1395
Power 150 hp (110 kW) at 5 to 6,000 rpm 150 hp (110 kW) at 5 to 6,000 rpm
Torque 250 Nm at 1,500-3,500 rpm 250 Nm at 1,500-3,500 rpm
Max. speed, km/h 190 192
Acceleration to 100 km/h, s 8,9 8,9
Consumption in the mixed cycle, l 8,0 8,1

Since August 2021, both crossovers will have front-wheel drive version with 1.6 MPI engine and automatic transmission-6. While the driving qualities are known only for Karoq:

  • Maximum speed -180 km/h.
  • Acceleration time to 100 km/h – 12.9 seconds.
  • Consumption in the combined cycle is 7.2 liters.

Features and prices

At the start of sales Volkswagen Taos is 62,000 rubles more expensive than its competitor. But its equipment is also richer – it includes LED headlights, safety curtains, cruise control and speed limiter, light sensor. In other complete sets the difference in price and in the list of options also remains. At the same time, for example, if you are interested in a set with an 8-speed Aisin gearbox and you need the options to a minimum, your choice is Karoq, because here it comes out much cheaper.

Prices for Taos

1.6 MPI 110 hp MKP-5 1.6 MPI 110 hp ACP-6 1.4 TSI 150 hp AT-8 1.4 TSI 150 hp DSG-7 4×4
Respect 1 626 900 1 856 900
Status 1 906 900 2 006 900
Joy! 2 004 900 2 104 900
Exclusive 2 099 900 2 199 900

Prices for Skoda Karok

1.6 MPI 110 hp MKP-5 1.6 MPI 110 hp ACP-6 1.4 TSI 150 hp AT-8 1.4 TSI 150 hp DSG-7 4×4
Active 1 565 000 1 640 000 1 693 000 1 793 000
Ambition 1 719 000 1 764 000 1 817 000 1 917 000
Style 1 979 000 2 079 000

Where to look PDF-ki with a line-up of equipments for 2022 model year cars?

Certainly, on official sites of manufacturers or to download from our site.

Price for Volkswagen Taos (07.07.2021) download.pdf [701,83 Kb] (download: 109)

Price list for Skoda Karok (14.06.2021) download.pdf [391,27 Kb] (download: 70)

Conclusion

Volkswagen Taos and Skoda Karoq are cars of the same plan, but still with their own features. The Czech crossover is time-tested and relatively affordable. The German one is more modern and richer equipped. There is no doubt that these cars will take away each other’s audience, but in tandem will make excellent competition to Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kaptur, Mazda CX-30 and other representatives of the SUV segment. With the release of Taos on the market, VAG concern will take an even higher position in the niche of compact crossovers. Adherents of Skoda brand are unlikely to give preference to the Taos. The “German” will enjoy success as a new car with a “VW” nameplate. In our opinion, at least in the first year of sales leading SUV in the lineup of crossovers Volkswagen in Russia will remain Tiguan. Then the palm of the first place with the right price positioning can take Taos.

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The arguments for Volkswagen Taos

Reasons for Skoda Karok.

  • longer in production;
  • slightly cheaper;
  • softer plastic.
  • The maximum opportunity to build a car to suit you.

The cars are plus or minus the same. Choose according to appearance and what is closer.

What substitution. Test of the VW Taos.

While Skoda is “banned” in Belarus, Volkswagen launches Taos – a small crossover which is almost like its “Czech” twin brother Karoq: similar size, construction, power units, and even assembly place. Is the difference in trifles or in something bigger? Let’s look into it!

Are there any differences? And if we do?

“Czech” appeared on our market only in the spring of 2020, to disappear soon through no fault of its own (and this after the European debut back in 2017!). Taos saw the light only in the summer of 2021, and, let’s be frank, a few years of difference went in favor! VW looks much more handsome Karoq, more modern and, perhaps, more expensive. Though the joke about “50 shades of plastic” in the design of the front has already been told before us, so we shall not repeat it.

Both crossovers for Russian market (and for Belarus in near past) are now made in Nizhny Novgorod on GAZ. That’s why the cars on the MQB platform are unified as much as possible. For example, the engines for them are the same – 1.6 MPI with 110 hp and 1.4 TSI with 150 hp.

The difference is only in gearboxes: the front-wheel drive version with an “atmospheric” is offered with a 5-speed “manual” or 6-speed “automatic” to choose from, for the all-wheel drive version with a turbo motor available 8-band “automatic” and 7-speed DSG (DQ381), rather than 6-speed (DQ250), which was offered in a similar version Karoq for Belarusians. Theoretically, the other version of the “robot” should “digest” more torque.

We have the most expensive version of Taos on our test, so, its optics is technological. Headlights are not only LED but also adaptive with illumination of turns. A “chip” of the car you will be certainly pointed out in the showroom is a light-emitting diode strip on a radiator grill. It stretches from the headlight to the headlight and in the middle is interrupted by the logo.

It is a pity, but it is impossible to estimate this decision, as well as the “power” of the headlights, in daylight hours. By the way, LED headlights are due to Taos already in basic complete set Respect, but it is reflector, but not projective as in the top version Exclusive.

But let’s not forget that Taos is a budget crossover and is below Tiguan in Volkswagen’s lineup. Therefore, decisions in it can be funny. For example, under a cowl there is an usual “poker” in addition to gas stops. Why? And what if it will be useful!

Do you remember the Simply Clever principle from Skoda? The Taos has an echo of it – on the inside of the gas tank hatch, there is a mount for a squeegee, like in the Karoq, but there is no squeegee. Stolen? They forgot to put it there? It should not be there! And they say “twins”.

If you are not from a sect of torpedo drummers who repeat as a mantra: “Woo-hoo, cheap!”, Taos will not confuse you. Only the notch in the center will disturb you – it is not rubberized, and if you put there, for example, keys, you will get nervous rattling and “rolling” all over the notch. But if you put there a smartphone in a silicone case, there are chances that it will be immobilized. Although it is much more convenient to put the phone in a special hole near the cupholders – it fits like a glove there!

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The pad on the dashboard is another “chip” of Taos, though I even did not pay attention to it at first. I remembered only after 20 minutes that in some versions of Taos it is painted in body color. If a test crossover were fiery red, the overlay would be at once striking, but in our case the car is white, the silver overlay in black-and-grey interior does not sting, it does not stand out too much.

Back row – a paradise for two. Air vents are adjustable, there are two connectors for USB Type-C, heated seats and an armrest with two cup holders. Behind the driver, who likes to sit close to the steering wheel, you can sit comfortably – there is so much space for legs, as if we are not in B-class crossover. But the third passenger will hardly be glad here – the central tunnel interferes, and it will be cramped in shoulders. However, we have already written about it in last year’s test Skoda Karoq.

The trunk is not the biggest (418 liters), but with its own joys: there is a hook for packages and a couple of plastic pockets, and one of them – with a strap for a fire extinguisher. Glad that there is a hatch for a long box, to fold down a part of the couch to carry a couple of planks or some long shovel is not necessary.

One movie.

I just went into my pocket for my “tariffed” flash drive to evaluate the audio system, when I was waiting for the big bummer – there are USB Type-C connectors, like in Karoq! There are four of them all over the cabin, so the dealer should think about selling branded adapters for a more common connector Type-A, because the passengers also need to charge their gadgets.

Luckily, Taos multimedia system quickly finds your smartphone via Bluetooth, and the quality of music playback does not hurt your ears, and sometimes even pleases you. Except that it is easier to control the playlist from your smartphone. And in general, the VW Play system looks cool and gives out so much curious information that you can “get stuck” for a long time – the feeling is like in a computer game. Therefore, it is better to consider and operate it on a parking place.

And there is also a digital dashboard, and you can control scales! If you wanted, you could set a traditional tachometer and speedometer. If you wanted – you could set fuel consumption and covered kilometers. If you wanted, you could choose the third combination to your liking. Tired of figures and flashing graphics? Then we leave only the range and drive on the highway.

Too much about the “visual”? What can you do if Taos is fascinated by it? And I have not mentioned yet about various electronic assistants, which are so many here that it is impossible to count them all at once. The most appreciable are adaptive “cruise” and control of a lane keeping. The last one is sometimes lost on the Minsk marking, especially in those places where the marking itself is lost. But if the lines on asphalt are clearly drawn, the assistant works like clockwork: accurately steers when you need it and shakes the wheel if you deliberately fall out of your lane onto another one without a “turn signal”. So fans of changing lanes without signals in Taos will be punished with a “buzzer” – at least until they go to the menu and turn off the assistant.

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“Cheap solution,” observes a colleague, looking at the way the blind spot control is implemented. Perhaps, but purely subjectively it is even better and more noticeable: as soon as there is an obstacle on the side, a miniature “turn signal” on the body lights up, rather than a small icon in the corner of the mirror, as on many other cars. Still making a maneuver? Then the mini “turn signal” will blink emphatically.

Will there be any driving at all?

It will, take your time. I left the most surprising for last. The first – DSG behaves so smoothly and imperceptibly, as if it is a usual automatic device. The second – the suspension is elastic, it is possible to break it only on “lying” roads, having run into an obstacle foolishly. It is not a “premium” move, but also not a “dubbed” chassis. Taos rather bounces, smoothes long unevenness of asphalt or unpaved roads, but it is ready to “tell” the driver and passengers about the road, as soon as solid pits or concrete joints will go under the wheels. But such setting is also a pleasant surprise for Volkswagen.

A puck of choice of driving modes is in a convenient place, but actually there is little sense in its twisting and turning, all the same it is not the expensive sports car and not brutal “cross-countryman”. For example, in fact, the mode “Normal” differs from the mode “Sports” by a little bit sharper reaction on “gas” and “heavy” settings of electric booster. However, it is easier to make Taos drive more dynamically if to change a selector of a box into “Sports” mode, and then DSG will allow you accelerating engine almost up to the cut-off point, if you want it so much.

But Taos is not a “race”, at least not with its dimensions. It is possible to drive it dynamically, but without “vanity”.

And what does the editorial expert of Autobusiness Ivan Krishkevich think about the new VW?

“Front-wheel drive and ‘automatic’?” – ” All-wheel drive and “robot”…

Didn’t guess! More precisely, did not recognize: a box DQ381 switches softly and on comfort does not concede to the eight-speed automatic device Aisin, which I assessed on Skoda Karoq last year. Actually, it is impossible to avoid comparison with the Czech analogue, but now there is no sense in it. Firstly, the cars are very close, and secondly, there is no choice all the same…

Taos is good! Suspension by the standards of Volkswagen is even comfortable (but “lying policemen” and other irregularities is better to pass slowly in order not to listen to knocks of travel limiters of rebound), thus “dense”: the automobile pleasantly passes turns without bothering with excess rolls, and at active deceleration “nods” can be considered as moderate. There is also no excessive sharpness in steering, which is appropriate for this chassis and a sheaf of the motor and a box. Because 150 hp 1.4 TSI allows driving actively, but not very quickly, whichever drive mode is chosen. And it is correct. Why to drive a crossover, if there is Golf GTI for it? (The fact that it is not available in our market is a separate story.)

And it’s just nice to drive a Karoq. That is, phew, in Taos. It is pleasant: tolerable (now in “absolute”) running smoothness, normal dynamics and soft work of a gearbox. Let’s add to it surprisingly spacious interior for its dimensions, capacious trunk and… Wait, so what is the catch?

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The interior is “budget” in perception visually and tactilely – even in expensive variant, where the interior is stuffed with a large number of options. Taos is much closer to Polo, than to Passat, and it is not compensated by the cost. However, the ergonomics is traditionally good, and I settled down behind a steering wheel very well in “grippy” armchair. Everything is at hand, except for the button of “emergency” which is located somehow very low, and one has to “thank” and “apologize” on the road quite often. But the main claim is to the notorious control through a touch screen instead of physical regulators and keys. It is fashionable, but it is very inconvenient!

Our verdict

Enough about the Karoq – when you draw conclusions, more often you think about the Tiguan. Yes, it is a little bit bigger and “richer” inside, but Taos drives more intelligently! For daily and easy driving the new crossover is perhaps even better, and costs cheaper. However, the importer is not afraid of “interspecies” competition, and names Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta as competitors. Who would you add to competitors of Taos? Write in comments!

The editorial board expresses gratitude to the importer of Volkswagen in Belarus for the vehicle provided for the test.

Pricing .

In the Belarusian market, Taos is presented in three configurations and with several combinations of power units. There are two motors to choose from – 1.6 MPI (110 hp) and 1.4 TSI (150 hp).

Prices for the starting version Respect start at 59,050 rubles. For this money you get a front-wheel drive car with a 5-speed “manual” and “atmospheric”. Do you want an automatic? You’ll have to pay 2100 extra, and for DSG – all 8600 rubles, but with it there will be a turbo engine and a four-wheel drive! Base kitting includes LED headlights of reflector type, black edging of side windows, function Coming Home/Leaving Home, roof railing, multicrocle, cruise control, conditioner, mechanical adjustment of front seats, ERA-GLONASS system, tire pressure and brake pad wear indicator, Isofix anchorages for 2 rear seats, digital instrument panel, electric handbrake with Auto Hold function, electrically adjustable side mirrors, multimedia with 6.5-inch display and “dokatka”.

For a Status set with 6 steps ‘automatic’ and 1.6 motor it is necessary to pay not less than 66.050 rubles, for 8 steps ‘automatic’ and 1.4 motor – 69.150 rubles, and for the all-wheel drive car with 1.4 TSI DSG – 72.650 rubles. “Status” Taos gets chrome window surrounds, electric driver’s seat adjustments, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, rain sensor and VW Play multimedia with a 10-inch display.

The maximum version is called Exclusive and is offered only with 1.4 turbo engine. But you can choose the gearbox and the type of drive. For example, for the front-wheel drive car with an automatic they ask 75,150 rubles, for the all-wheel drive one with DSG (the one we tested) – 79,050. “The exclusive features include LED projection headlights, cornering lights, tinted rear windows, silver roof rails, a box between the front seats, a rear seat with armrest, electrically folding mirrors, heated front and rear seats, a rearview camera, and a front camera.

Traditionally for Volkswagen additional equipment is available – a total of about 20 options. For example, for the base version you can add a package “Winter” (1540 rubles; heated windshield, dual-zone climate control, rain sensor, 180A generator) or “Urban” (1230 rubles; rearview camera, parktronic, additional USB-connectors), and for the top version you can order “Safety” (1750 rubles; adaptive cruise control, various electronic assistants and side airbags for rear passengers).

Guarantee against rust-through is 12 years, general – 3 years without mileage limitation.

VW Taos 1.4 TSI DSG 4Motion Specification Table

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