What is the ground clearance of the Volkswagen Taos 2021

The first test of the cheapest crossover Volkswagen

The VW Taos is a real German car with attractive looks, polished handling, and polished ergonomics. But we found one essential disadvantage.

Taos is Volkswagen’s cheapest crossover. However, it is not cheap at all against the background of schoolmates. Without taking into account additional equipment, they ask 1,63-2,2 million rubles for the newcomer. Kia Seltos, Hyundai Creta, Renault Kaptur and Arkana, Haval Jolion are more affordable.

Comparable to Taos in price is Mazda CX-30 (models of this brand are traditionally expensive) for 1.73-2.26 million rubles and Peugeot 2008 (because it is not localized) for 1.67-2.23 million rubles.


Base engine is the familiar from other models of the concern atmospheric engine 1.6 MPI with 110 bhp. But there is only one configuration with it – Respect with minimum equipment and a manual for 1.63 million rubles.

Do you want a richer or 6-speed automatic? Go for Skoda Karok. This crossover has four basic versions with a 1.6 motor, two each with manual and automatic, which cost 1.57-1.76 million rubles.

And with a 1.4 TSI engine with 150 “horses” Skoda Karoq is more varied and affordable on average by 100 thousand rubles. Both models have automatic front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive – DSG. By the way, Skoda has changed its 6-speed DQ250 robot for 7-speed DQ381 by the beginning of Taos sales.

Expensive Mazda CX-30 and Peugeot 2008 in top versions are also 150 hp. Trump of “Japanese” is in reliability (atmospheric engine plus classical automat), though it is a second or a half slower in acceleration up to a hundred (9,9-10,3 s depending on a drive type).

The “French” does not have a four-wheel drive. But it is faster than all of them – 8.7 seconds up to 100 km/h. And it also has a torque converter automatic transmission. Volkswagen Taos climbs a hundred from a place for 8,8-8,9 seconds.

Taos is fine on asphalt, but the noticeable potholes are rough. The engine 1.4 TSI is squeezed by Euro-6 economy and does not excite the blood with dynamics.

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Taos is fine on asphalt, but the noticeable potholes are rough. The engine 1.4 TSI is squeezed by Euro-6 economy and does not excite the blood with dynamics.

Running gear

The MQB platform contributes to excellent handling. The Taos has clear reactions and small rolls. But it rides rigidly, even on basic 16-inch wheels.

Renault and Koreans are softer, though they steer not so accurately. However, Mazda and Peugeot will not disappoint admirers of refined drivability. I have driven all three cars – Taos, 2008 and СХ-30. I would put the “Frenchman” on the first place according to smoothness of running.

It turns out, that Taos is not the unconditional leader here. However, undoubtedly, it is among the best.

Interior and a trunk

Soft plastic in interior trimming is rare in B-class crossovers, though Mazda and Peugeot stand out in the best way. Mazda even has leather inserts on the dashboard. The same has them in Havel Jolyon.

The Taos has entirely rigid plastic. True, they have made soft door armrests – it is convenient and pleasant. One can’t find fault with quality of assembling.

Two tall seats will be comfortable in back. The third, as well as in any parket car of such size, is superfluous. Nevertheless, Taos is inferior to only Haweil in its spaciousness. It is made according to Chinese standards, where the comfort of passengers on the second row is a priority.

Taos will give many people a head start in terms of trunk space: 500 liters in a mono-drive car and 418 liters in a four-wheel drive one.

In the back, everything is designed for two people: space reserve, heating and charging connectors. There are ventilation deflectors, and in a maximum configuration – also a central armrest.

In the back, everything is designed for two people: space reserve, heating and charging connectors. There are ventilation deflectors, and in a maximum configuration – also a central armrest.

The trunk is one of the most capacious among small crossovers. On the left side there is a slat with a movable hook for bags.

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The trunk is one of the most capacious among small crossovers. On the left side there is a slat with a movable hook for bags.


Having studied the price list, you understand why Taos is more expensive than Karoq. It has more equipment in fixed configurations. Thus, the “base” includes LED dipped beam and high beam, six airbags (Skoda has only four), cruise control, speed limiter and light sensor.

In the second level of equipment appear electric driver’s seat and a media system with a 10-inch display and Yandex.Navigator. The top does not need to pay extra for heated rear seats and windshield, digital combination of instruments, high beam assistant and other options. If to equip Skoda the same, it will cost the same.

Those who want to buy a B-Class crossover with maximum equipment will be upset by the Mazda CX-30. It in the top version Supreme is poor in heating, and a package of active safety systems is very expensive (but they will be more than competitors).

Cool features

The main feature of Taos is the newest VW Play multimedia. No other model of the concern in Russia yet. The system with a 10-inch screen, the Android operating system, support for Android Auto and Apple Carplay, Yandex.Navigator and the ability to download other applications is installed on the Taos in the second configuration. The touch screen responds like a smartphone – without delays or glitches.

The built-in Yandex.Navigator is no longer exotic. But one that works without glitches and sluggishness is rare. And Taos has exactly that.

The built-in Yandex.Navigator is no longer exotic. But one that works without glitches and sluggishness is rare. And Taos has exactly that.

Another feature – rear side airbags (options). Only Karok has eight airbags among schoolmates. Rear view camera with washer is not unique, but not everyone has it.

Some will like the bright orange interior in the Joy! Colored interior trim can also be found in the Havaile Jolyon (black and white or black and brown), Mazda CX-30 (black and blue) and Hyundai Creta (black and brown), and Peugeot 2008 pleases with contrast stitching.

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Love, but expensive.

Volkswagen Taos looks like… a little Tiguan . It looks attractive, drives well, is well assembled and richly equipped. And what can not like in a small Tiguan? And by and large the only thing – a considerable price.

Volkswagen Taos: ground clearance is not passability.


Usually our garage drivers directly connect clearance with cross-country ability, which is not really so, as it is possible to be convinced in following review of geometric cross-country ability of Volkswagen Taos.

The matter is that ground clearance (177 mm – with front drive and 175 mm – at 4Motion Taos), is important, but not the basic parameter of geometric cross-country ability. As any automobile can stop on bends of a road profile even with high clearance (to lie on a belly) because of the sizes of wheelbase.

Due to presence of additional fairings, such parameters of cross-country ability, as angles of entrance and departure (25,0 and 27,8 degrees) decrease for many cars, especially for Taos.

VW Taos ground clearance

By the way, the Taos is not so happy with it (with a wheelbase and with bodykit), however, as well as with its clone, namely the Karok. Because, these relative crossovers always try to catch at any, even on rolled earth track with sills, or body’s middle parts, or with bumpy hills with these or those kinds of road hummocks.

However, it is necessary to admit, that Czech, as well as German manufacturers didn’t announce and didn’t insist on that Karok and Taos are crossovers. Because crossovers by default, even if they are four-wheel drive, are not cross-country vehicles, but typical inhabitants of city and thus paved roads and federal highways.

VW Taos ground clearance

However, even in cities, Taos can have trouble parking up close to curbs because of the curb extensions.

What awaits Taos owners on dirt?

While the roads, both in and out of the cities, have been getting noticeably better lately, the dirt roads remain the same as they were centuries ago.

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VW Taos ground clearance

As mentioned above, that any even at first glance smooth and rolled sections of unpaved roads may have little noticeable bumps (no one puts signs on the rough roads), so driving on such roads requires special precautions, so as not to become a grader, ruts and potholes. For more complete understanding of the fact, that FV Taos are typical parkettes, which are called crossovers only as marketing gimmick, let’s give parameters of clearance, adapted to a light off-road Soviet crossover, namely Moskvich 410. So, ground clearance of it was equal to neither more nor less, but 220 mm.

For comparison, clearance parameters of the Soviet typical parketnik such as Moskvich 412 were in the limits of 175-180 mm. In general, the same ground clearance, as at present crossovers, pretending to overcome mild lack of roads.

What is the ground clearance of Volkswagen Taos?

As for what the ground clearance of those or other assemblies of VW Taos can be found in the table below:

Assemblies Ground clearance, mm
Status /1.4 TSI/4Motion/DSG 175
JOY! /1.4 TSI/4Motion/DSG 175
Exclusive /1.4 TSI/4Motion/DSG 175
Respect /1.4 TSI/4Motion/DSG 175
Status /1.4 TSI/AT 177
JOY! /1.4 TSI/AT 177
Exclusive /1.4 TSI/AT 177
Respect / 1.6 MPI/MT 177

However, the same VAG measures ground clearance not where the lowest point to the bearing surface is, but wherever it wants, and usually in those places where it is profitable for the manufacturer. And it means that the real ground clearance is less than the standard sizes:

  • where the lower shock absorber brackets;
  • at the protruding parts of the engine compartment protection;
  • and at the lower points of the muffler’s dimensions.

Besides this, owners of Taos must be careful when parking them to curbs in a loaded condition, because in these cases crossovers lose a couple-three centimeters of clearance above asphalt.

As for increasing the clearance, it can be done with the help of:

  • Selecting both high rims and tires. For instance, instead of 16-inch disks and chutes you can put 17 or even 18-inch wheels;
  • installing spacers under the suspension springs;
  • replacement of standard springs with modified (tuning) springs.
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Often the new owners of the Volkswagen Taos complain about the poor performance of the suspension. And different groups of users are dissatisfied with diametrically opposite drawbacks of the suspension system of the Taos chassis to the bodies.

Namely, some people say, that they are annoyed with swinging after overcoming of road bumps, and others on the contrary, are indignant with gear-grinding or rigid adjustment of a suspension.

VW Taos ground clearance

It is probable that our garage companions have got crossovers with absolutely different adjustment of suspensions and if to approach to their tuning improvements, it is necessary to install harder ones, and softer ones, both springs and shock absorbers.

And, both for the first, and for the second it is quite suitable the simplest (but not cheap) way of tuning, as putting a bigger size of wheels, which are less sensitive to road humps.

It should be borne in mind that the compact crossover although it becomes higher and more comfortable on the road, but will lose its former parameters of stability, will be less maneuverable (more susceptible to roll) on bends, and this means that less safe driving and likely causes of road accidents.

In addition, in cases of any malfunctions of the equipment even through the fault of the factory, just tuning improvements can be a justification for refusal of warranty obligations.

The most advantageous option for our garage new owners of Volkswagen Taos is to accept this crossover as it is, namely as a city car, realizing that this even four-wheel drive car is not suitable for off-roading. And as a result, the only thing left is to use this crossover as a regular passenger vehicle.

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