The Tiguan and Atlas now have a little brother. The 2022 Taos is a subcompact SUV though one that’s smartly packaged to maintain sizable interior proportions. Now, I’ve been running this little guy all over the place this week – through the mountains of New England, taking it on day trips, etc. and it’s clear: VW has yet another winner in their growing SUV stable.
The Taos is one of the most pleasant surprises to come across my test drive schedule this year. It performs far above its $33,000 as-tested price by exceeding expectations in nearly every area. The drive is spot-on VW with dynamic characteristics on par with the Golf. The Audi-like tech features have me double checking the sticker price and all of the intangibles just click; it looks good as you approach it, it’s accommodating to its passengers and the size is perfect for day trips and running errands. I’ve averaged over 32mpg on regular to boot though VW recommends using 91 octane to achieve the engine’s full power. If you don’t need the Tiguan’s bigger cargo area the Taos is a no-brainer. Even so, with the 2nd row seats folded flat and locked in place the Taos’ max cargo volume is nearly identical to that of the Tiguan’s. Where the Tiguan gains an advantage is cargo volume behind the 2nd row. And what if I told you this one actually has more rear seat legroom? I also love the shopping bag hooks back here which can each hold 5 pounds. Unlike in the Tiguan and Atlas there’s no R-Line available here so this SEL trim serves as the highest Taos example and everything you see here – other than the floor mats – comes standard for $33,185; that’s quite the attractive price when you consider all that the Taos is. The only notable option my tester doesn’t have is the $1,200 panoramic sunroof. And if you were thinking of adding a hitch the Taos is not designed for towing a trailer. But this SUV is a real delight. VW should sell a ton of these and it’s easy to see why.
The all-new, third generation 2020 Nissan Versa takes the popular subcompact sedan to a new level of refinement with a fresh, exciting design and technology and safety features not usually found in the segment.
The third of four popular Nissan cars to be recently redesigned, the all-new Versa – with a clear design expression of the Nissan brand – serves the more than five million customers who buy sedans each year in the U.S. Sedans remain a popular choice for Gen X, Millennials and multicultural customers.
Technology is a top priority in the all-new Nissan Versa, featuring available Nissan Safety Shield 360, a prime example of Nissan Intelligent Mobility that helps provide front, side and rear safety monitoring and intervention technologies. Safety Shield 360 features include Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Other available technology includes Intelligent Driver Alertness and Intelligent Cruise Control.
Design is also a key strategic advantage for the 2020 Versa, combining an all-new dramatic and expressive exterior with a fresh new interior with class-above features and quality.
Fiat’s most enticing model receives a new engine this year in addition to an urban-inspired trim called the Urbana Edition. But does this all-wheel drive subcompact crossover still have what it takes to win over new shoppers? 2019 Fiat 500X Urbana Edition COMPLETE VIDEO REVIEW By Auto Critic STEVE HAMMES. https://testdrivenow.com/2019-fiat-500x/
Though the CR-V is Honda‘s crossover darling, the subcompact HR-V’s attractive price point and just-right sizing makes it a winner in its own right. And starting with the 2019 model year the HR-V expands its appeal with the addition of new Sport and Touring trims, refreshed styling, new technology and the goal of a more refined driving experience. But, with an MSRP of $29,735, is Honda asking too much for the Touring while delivering too little?
The model I’m running around in this week is the UX 200 Luxury with front-wheel drive and a handful of options leading to an MSRP of $41,560. As compared with the base UX, the Luxury adds a power rear hatch with kick sensor for hands-free operation, driver’s side memory settings, a blind spot monitor and much more to give its occupants a complete premium experience. Utilizing a new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers more power and better fuel efficiency than the Toyota powerplant, the UX is rated at 169 horsepower and 152 pound-feet of torque while using a trick CVT that’s engineered to behave more like a traditional automatic transmission with 10 simulated gears. In the urban environment for which it in intended, the driving experience is quite agreeable with enough grunt to move things along when needed, crisp steering and a chassis that profits from lightweight materials and a low center of gravity to imbue the UX with a dialed-in agility. The fully independent suspension delivers a welcome feeling of driver control while preserving a Lexus-level of comfort. It’s also quiet but not to the typically high Lexus standard…you’ll actually hear some road noise in here. It’s sized so neatly that maneuvering in traffic and finding suitable parking is a breeze…one of the best parts of owning a small car. And if the Cadmium Orange paint didn’t already awaken the senses this Glazed Caramel interior certainly will. It’s in here where this UX comes closest to earning its asking price – beautiful to the eye as well as the touch, with synthetic leather that is soft and feels like the real deal. It’s a driver focused cockpit with an optional heads-up display, cool graphics and a new twist on an old theme