Volkswagen launches a baby crossover coupe

New Taigo will sit alongside the T-Cross in the small crossover market


Have you noticed that crossovers have been morphing, slowly but surely, back into hatchbacks? It’s taken a while, and was arguably kicked off by the monstrous, original, BMW X6, but increasingly, cars that identify as crossovers - the new Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Kia EV6, the DS 4, the Citroen C4 - are really just hatchbacks with lift-shoes.

That’s very much what the new Volkswagen Taigo seems to be. It is - in one sense - a coupe version of the small T-Cross crossover, with the same Polo-based mechanical package underneath, but with a swoopier body, instead of the T-Cross’ boxier, more upright profile.

VW says that it’s the “first SUV coupe to be launched in the small car segment,” but when you look at it in profile, it looks more and more like a Polo, just with a hunchback roof.

The Taigo also gets the latest generation of Volkswagen’s MIB3 infotainment system, which opens up many more possibilities for connected services, live traffic and parking feeds, and the opportunity for VW to sell owners equipment upgrades over-the-air.

It’ll be practical, in spite of the chopped-off roofline, with a 483-litre boot (100-litres more than you get in a Golf hatchback). There’s a little bit less rear legroom than you get in a Polo though, so factor that into your thinking if you’ve got a family to haul around.

Upmarket versions will get full Matrix LED headlights with an illuminated light bar in the radiator grille, which matches the full-width brake light bar at the back. There are also little light projectors in the door mirrors that shine a ‘honeycomb’ pattern onto the ground when you unlock the doors.

Inside, the dashboard is taken largely from the recently-updated Polo, with an eight-inch digital instrument panel as standard, which can be upgraded to a ten-inch version. Flanking that will be an infotainment screen in four different versions, sized between 6.5-inches and 9.2-inches. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connections are optional on basic models, but standard on all others. There’s a new wrinkle on VW’s touch-sensitive climate and air conditioning controls too, which looks like it should be less fiddly than the ‘sliders’ used in the Golf.

The full suite of VW’s IQ.Drive Travel Assist electronic driver aids, including adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping steering, and parking assistance will also be available, although we won’t have full Irish pricing and specification until September, before an on-sale date early next year.

There will be no diesel, no hybrid, nor any fully-electric version of the Taigo, leaving it with a choice of two petrol engines - the 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder petrol turbo with either 95hp or 110hp, the more powerful version coming with an optional DSG au tomatic gearbox. Or you can have the 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol turbo, with 150hp.