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A bunch of Taos First Drive articles are now out. Here are the ones I've found so far.




 

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Wonder if MT got a defective vehicle, or if they sampled several - from a driving dynamics standpoint, their review is not good - but didn’t seem in line with what else I’ve read/seen so far.
 

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Wonder if MT got a defective vehicle, or if they sampled several - from a driving dynamics standpoint, their review is not good - but didn’t seem in line with what else I’ve read/seen so far.
The complaint MT had about the AWD acceleration sounds identical to the issue plaguing the 2018 Tiguan. The solution was to drive it in S all the time. Then VW had a recall for emissions that also addressed “drivability” and that dangerous issue went away, though I still prefer to drive our Tiguan in S, it’s not necessary anymore. And from what I hear, 2019+ Tiguans didn’t have this issue.

Maybe they had the drive mode set wrong on the AWD Taos and never played with it? One can only hope…
 

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The complaint MT had about the AWD acceleration sounds identical to the issue plaguing the 2018 Tiguan. The solution was to drive it in S all the time. Then VW had a recall for emissions that also addressed “drivability” and that dangerous issue went away, though I still prefer to drive our Tiguan in S, it’s not necessary anymore. And from what I hear, 2019+ Tiguans didn’t have this issue.

Maybe they had the drive mode set wrong on the AWD Taos and never played with it? One can only hope…
So I took the time yesterday to read every review I could find, watch all of the newly-uploaded YT videos from the launch event(s) last week. Unfortunately, nearly every reviewer noted this issue in some shape or form, to a degree. And yes, many noted that driving in Sport mode alleviated the problem - quite possibly something I'd do anyway in a vehicle with a prrtty mild state of stock tune, and without variable dampers. And, I still want to drive the car and see for myself, but man...as a big VW Fanboy (or apologist, depending on your perspective 😉) having owned 12 and inspired the purchase of quite a few more over the last 33 years, it is beyond disappointing to me that they seem unable to get their s--- together and properly launch a vehicle like this, without such - apparently - significant issues. When I drive one, if I feel like this issue is overblown, or absent in the car I drive (likely an SEL AWD) I will come right back here and say it, but right now I'm left shaking my head.
 

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So I took the time yesterday to read every review I could find, watch all of the newly-uploaded YT videos from the launch event(s) last week. Unfortunately, nearly every reviewer noted this issue in some shape or form, to a degree. And yes, many noted that driving in Sport mode alleviated the problem - quite possibly something I'd do anyway in a vehicle with a prrtty mild state of stock tune, and without variable dampers. And, I still want to drive the car and see for myself, but man...as a big VW Fanboy (or apologist, depending on your perspective 😉) having owned 12 and inspired the purchase of quite a few more over the last 33 years, it is beyond disappointing to me that they seem unable to get their s--- together and properly launch a vehicle like this, without such - apparently - significant issues. When I drive one, if I feel like this issue is overblown, or absent in the car I drive (likely an SEL AWD) I will come right back here and say it, but right now I'm left shaking my head.
I'm in a similar boat. I've owned 5 VWs going back to 2002. One of the main requirements for me is AWD, and between the high SEL price and the lackluster comments on the AWD in particular, I'm getting a bit soured. It seems like the best value is one of the FWD SEs, but as a nurse, my wife needs AWD.
 

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I'm in a similar boat. I've owned 5 VWs going back to 2002. One of the main requirements for me is AWD, and between the high SEL price and the lackluster comments on the AWD in particular, I'm getting a bit soured. It seems like the best value is one of the FWD SEs, but as a nurse, my wife needs AWD.
The good thing about VW AWD vehicles is their mode selector. So if the problem goes away in S mode, and the steering is also lighter than you would want, there is a mode to correct that, and the car starts in that mode every time until you dial up another.

The FWD cars lack this option. We have an Alltrack and a FWD Tiguan. I tend to drive the Tiguan in S, while I dial a custom mode with the Alltrack for sport steering but standard drive mode because the Alltrack DSG works well.

This is what surprised me most about the Taos setup. The initially problematic 8-speed of the US spec Tiguan has been brought to the Taos and seems to work very well, while the “superior” DSG 7 speed from European spec Tiguans has been put in the AWD Taos and is problematic this time.

Let’s hope that by the time the AWD actually arrives in the USA VW has a fix for this, as it’s entirely software based. It’s as if nobody at VW tests pulling through an intersection, left turn, uphill? I mean, it’s not like that isn’t a use case in Europe or America…
 

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I'm taking a wait and see approach to the Taos as a possible replacement for my Alltrack, as I'll need to test drive one first. However, the consistent criticism of the underwhelming 1.5L TSI could be a deal breaker for me. I live SE of Denver, CO, and at our altitudes a turbo engine helps make up for the higher density altitude and subsequent power loss. However, the 1.5L seems to be on the anemic side. I REALLY wish VW would have used the 1.8L TSI from the (cancelled) Alltrack in the Taos instead...
 

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I'm taking a wait and see approach to the Taos as a possible replacement for my Alltrack, as I'll need to test drive one first. However, the consistent criticism of the underwhelming 1.5L TSI could be a deal breaker for me. I live SE of Denver, CO, and at our altitudes a turbo engine helps make up for the lower density altitude and subsequent power loss. However, the 1.5L seems to be on the anemic side. I REALLY wish VW would have used the 1.8L TSI from the (cancelled) Alltrack in the Taos instead...
I am hoping that the Taos will prod APR to provide a stage 1 software upgrade for the 1.4/1.5T engines. I had the original Tiguan which had more power but was tuned and geared for offroad first. The APR upgrade made a huge difference on that engine.

APR finally has a stage one for the Tiguan 2.0T B cycle, but not yet the version in the Passat.

So I am with you about waiting. In the mean time my local dealer has a leftover Passat SEL from 2020 that if I can get a great deal on might be a good option to drive until the 2023 Taos. Cost of ownership for 18 months would be very low at the right price.

Rumors of an upcoming “GLI/GTI/GT” version of the Taos abound…
 

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I am hoping that the Taos will prod APR to provide a stage 1 software upgrade for the 1.4/1.5T engines. I had the original Tiguan which had more power but was tuned and geared for offroad first. The APR upgrade made a huge difference on that engine.

APR finally has a stage one for the Tiguan 2.0T B cycle, but not yet the version in the Passat.

So I am with you about waiting. In the mean time my local dealer has a leftover Passat SEL from 2020 that if I can get a great deal on might be a good option to drive until the 2023 Taos. Cost of ownership for 18 months would be very low at the right price.

Rumors of an upcoming “GLI/GTI/GT” version of the Taos abound…

Agreed!
 

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I'm in a similar boat. I've owned 5 VWs going back to 2002. One of the main requirements for me is AWD, and between the high SEL price and the lackluster comments on the AWD in particular, I'm getting a bit soured. It seems like the best value is one of the FWD SEs, but as a nurse, my wife needs AWD.
Yeah, those probably are the value leaders, but like you I put some value in having an AWD vehicle - with some extra ground clearance - especially after this winter in Chicago - so having one vehicle in the fleet that fits that description, and should be able to haul the family of course, is a must. And while the SEL trim may not be the best value, it has features that I place disproportional value on, with the automatic climate control and cooled seats, to name a couple. And if you look at it another way - consider that the average new car in USA is $40K(!) Looked at that way and considering how feature-rich it is, the SEL AWD at about 35K doesn't seem such a bad deal...my thing is, I just don't want it to SUCK dynamically!

I go back to a minty Alltrack SEL as an alternative, but worry somewhat about the pano roof issues.
 

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Yeah, those probably are the value leaders, but like you I put some value in having an AWD vehicle - with some extra ground clearance - especially after this winter in Chicago - so having one vehicle in the fleet that fits that description, and should be able to haul the family of course, is a must. And while the SEL trim may not be the best value, it has features that I place disproportional value on, with the automatic climate control and cooled seats, to name a couple. And if you look at it another way - consider that the average new car in USA is $40K(!) Looked at that way and considering how feature-rich it is, the SEL AWD at about 35K doesn't seem such a bad deal...my thing is, I just don't want it to SUCK dynamically!

I go back to a minty Alltrack SEL as an alternative, but worry somewhat about the pano roof issues.
The pano roof issue is simple: drain plugs must be cleaned regularly. VW does NOT tell you this. So you get leaks. Then you have to pay to have them unclogged, and clean the water stains from the headliner. Mine were completely clogged because I park outside.

Funny thing: on our Tiguan, clearing the drains is a 2 year service item, to prevent leaks. Yet on the golf family, VW pretends it’s a one off each and every time they hear about it…

As for the AWD SEL Taos, you can get it without pano if you are concerned and probably around 32k once the new model dust settles.
 

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And while the SEL trim may not be the best value, it has features that I place disproportional value on, with the automatic climate control and cooled seats, to name a couple. And if you look at it another way - consider that the average new car in USA is $40K(!) Looked at that way and considering how feature-rich it is, the SEL AWD at about 35K doesn't seem such a bad deal...my thing is, I just don't want it to SUCK dynamically!
Yeah, I hear you. As someone else mentioned on these boards, the high end of the Taos overlaps with the low end of the Audi Q3, which has Quattro, pano roof, leather, etc. all standard (and more HP). There are definitely pros and cons to either though. Since the Taos is a newer designed vehicle, it has things like wireless car play in the SEL that the base Q3 does not. Just more to think about.
 

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Got to explore a white S model today at the dealer. My thoughts:

-The room inside makes no sense compared to the exterior size. It’s remarkable how much room is inside. Will impress many.

-Dash trim is interesting. Sort of a plastic diamond 3D pattern. Never seen anything like it in a car before

-Rear liftgate opens high and is heavy to close. They need to offer power option on higher trim levels

-Seat bolsters on the cloth seats are tight and not for larger framed people. This is disappoint some people. Maybe the other seats are different.

-Black wheels and black gloss front don’t mate well with the white color. Also strange choice of the B pillar material as it’s same rough plastic as the wheel arches rather than a smooth or gloss material. My experience with that plastic is it fades in hot sun if not garaged. Not sure if all trim levels have that material.

Overall, it was an impressive car for $25,000 from a sitting in it POV. The driver cockpit area is very upscale feeling. This car will sell well.
 
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