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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So on something of a whim, I decided I’d go down and check one out today, too 😁. The Cornflower blue (which is apparently the same color as Porsche’s Shark blue) SEL on the showroom floor made a good impression - great color that pops nicely. Comfortable and very spacious interior as you know; big, deep hatch. Backseat is roomier than my Macan by a lot and had better visibility out and forward; as always, a pano roof gives the cabin a much airier, brighter vibe. The padded materials in most of the places you’re likely to touch, or rest a body part regularly, and the ambient lighting definitely lift the feel of the SEL interior over the the others, and offset the hard plastics, of which there are quite a lot. The more bolstered leather SEL seats also help; the wheel is supposedly leatherette, but was a nice piece - I’d have assumed it was leather.

Overall I think it’s a clean, handsome and up to date design - if a bit plain - that should serve the car well in the segment. Handsome face with the high trim LEDs, I thought. The car on the showroom floor already had the “Basecamp” body kit tacked on, for a nice up charge.

After my drive, I wanted to sample another (particularly once the AWD/DSG variant is out) because the jury’s still out on the driving dynamics for me. Partly because there are only so many valid conclusions to extract from a drive through congested Chicago streets, on a 92 degree day with the a/c completely maxed out on a motor with 20 miles on it, and the salesman - who was a large fellow - next to me. All of which may have contributed to an odd and slightly annoying quirk I observed, that I would describe as a sort of jerkiness, or an on/off behavior to the flow of power, on either side of about 2500 rpm. Tried it in various settings, couldn’t eliminate it. Really don’t think it was a traditional sort of mechanical turbo lag. Salesman said he also noticed it, but hadn’t on other cars, so I’ll hold off on judgment.

Other than that it was pleasant, if a bit more softly suspended than I’d like; certainly helped with ride comfort on our crappy roads, though. Steering slight, but not surprisingly so. I’d like to drive it on some more open roads to see if it’s as nimble and agile as some of the reviews suggest. Brake strength was good and the car seems pretty well insulated from most external noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
As a footnote...I went and drove another at the dealership where we bought our last 2 VWs - mainly because I couldn't believe they'd all drive like the one I tried earlier. I just came back from the 2nd outing and am happy to report that the weird behavior I noted in the first drive was absent or greatly reduced. There are still odd moments of sensitivity in throttle response (some unexpected soft spots, some places where power comes on in a surge) mostly if not all at low rpm, but all in all this was a much more pleasant and "normal" drive, in that things generally happened the way you'd intuitively expect and want. For me, it still might be too much of a soft and disconnected driving feel all in all, even if I did have a performance car in the garage, but let's see what the AWD/DSG/multilink rear and overall different suspension tune does for the car's dynamics, when the 4Motion cars arrive.
 

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As a footnote...I went and drove another at the dealership where we bought our last 2 VWs - mainly because I couldn't believe they'd all drive like the one I tried earlier. I just came back from the 2nd outing and am happy to report that the weird behavior I noted in the first drive was absent or greatly reduced. There are still odd moments of sensitivity in throttle response (some unexpected soft spots, some places where power comes on in a surge) mostly if not all at low rpm, but all in all this was a much more pleasant and "normal" drive, in that things generally happened the way you'd intuitively expect and want. For me, it still might be too much of a soft and disconnected driving feel all in all, even if I did have a performance car in the garage, but let's see what the AWD/DSG/multilink rear and overall different suspension tune does for the car's dynamics, when the 4Motion cars arrive.
It’s a very small turbo doing amazing things but it isn’t magic. There will be quirks compared to a VR6, for example.
I just leased a Jetta SEL, which has the sister 1.4T engine with the same transmission and it is a wonder of engineering. It may not launch like a Tesla, but it feels fast, which is part of the point of fast. And considering how most Tesla drivers don’t actually launch their cars, I am always pulling away faster than they are without anything but a peddle 1/3rd down.

As for shark blue/cornflower, it may be close but it isn’t the same. My across the street neighbor has a shark blue porsche, so I see it often. Cornflower is a different hue. Also neither is the same as Audi Ultra Blue, which I see around sometimes as someone in a nearby neighborhood has one of those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, that’s the point - we have a Golf with the same 1.4T and 8-spd Aisin as your Jetta, and it is quite brisk off the line, provides a steady stream of power, and the transmission almost always is where you want it to be - or gets there quickly. So I know how well the concept can be executed; that doesn’t seem to have happened with the Taos unfortunately, based on my 2 drives with FWD cars. If it had been tuned and developed like the Golf/Jetta powertrain, there’d be no issues. It felt sloppy and unfinished and the only way I could get it to perform smoothly was by driving very sedately - maybe that will work for most of the target demographic.

As for Shark/cornflower, they have the same color code; wouldn’t that mean they’re the same?
 

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Well, that’s the point - we have a Golf with the same 1.4T and 8-spd Aisin as your Jetta, and it is quite brisk off the line, provides a steady stream of power, and the transmission almost always is where you want it to be - or gets there quickly. So I know how well the concept can be executed; that doesn’t seem to have happened with the Taos unfortunately, based on my 2 drives with FWD cars. If it had been tuned and developed like the Golf/Jetta powertrain, there’d be no issues. It felt sloppy and unfinished and the only way I could get it to perform smoothly was by driving very sedately - maybe that will work for most of the target demographic.

As for Shark/cornflower, they have the same color code; wouldn’t that mean they’re the same?
I was surprised that my Jetta feels more eager than my Alltrack did despite the Alltrack having more hp, torque, and the DSG. I think the DSG is now an answer to a problem that no longer exists. The quirks of the 7sp DSG seem to be very obvious in the Alltrack and the Taos, while the newer 8sp torque converter shifts nearly as quickly and is more likely to shift at the right time and be in the right gear. Maybe the 7sp DSG is showing it’s age?

Could be same color. Maybe just different light conditions. I could swear that the shark color is more saturated than cornflower. It may be not the color itself, but the application process, where porsche applies more layers or a different base primer, different clearcoat, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was surprised that my Jetta feels more eager than my Alltrack did despite the Alltrack having more hp, torque, and the DSG. I think the DSG is now an answer to a problem that no longer exists. The quirks of the 7sp DSG seem to be very obvious in the Alltrack and the Taos, while the newer 8sp torque converter shifts nearly as quickly and is more likely to shift at the right time and be in the right gear. Maybe the 7sp DSG is showing it’s age?

Could be same color. Maybe just different light conditions. I could swear that the shark color is more saturated than cornflower. It may be not the color itself, but the application process, where porsche applies more layers or a different base primer, different clearcoat, etc.
Yes, I could see them having a different painting process producing a slightly different appearance.

I actually quite liked the powertrain in the Alltrack I tested a few months ago. Which brings me to my main reason for coming back here today. - I just drove the AWD/DSG combo Taos. While it has some noticeable peaks and valleys in the torque curve. I will say I found it much more pleasant to drive overall than the FWD setup: ride seemed better too, with the independent rear. Definitely a better driving experience; and while I know some reviewers have said that, it seems to be a minority opinion - one that I share. Keeping it in Sport produced what felt like the most natural driving experience to me, but this was better all around.
 

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Yes, I could see them having a different painting process producing a slightly different appearance.

I actually quite liked the powertrain in the Alltrack I tested a few months ago. Which brings me to my main reason for coming back here today. - I just drove the AWD/DSG combo Taos. While it has some noticeable peaks and valleys in the torque curve. I will say I found it much more pleasant to drive overall than the FWD setup: ride seemed better too, with the independent rear. Definitely a better driving experience; and while I know some reviewers have said that, it seems to be a minority opinion - one that I share. Keeping it in Sport produced what felt like the most natural driving experience to me, but this was better all around.
Some cars do better in S all day. The Alltrack was jumpy and rough in S around town, but driving into the mountains S was great. Our 2018 Tiguan FWD drove best in S around town, but not on highway. Our 2021 Tiguan AWD is better in D most of the time, as is my 2021 Jetta SEL Premium.
 
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