Volkswagen Taos enters as small crossover SUV

Volkswagen’s forthcoming small crossover SUV will be known as Taos, the automaker announced Thursday. After stringing together a series of teasers throughout the year, as well as rampant speculation over whether the small crossover model sold in Europe will be imported here, the Volkswagen Taos will be designed specifically for North America.

Aside from saying that the Taos name “was chosen to resonate with American customers,” Volkswagen provided no other details aside from its premiere on Oct. 13.

Taos is a small mountain town in New Mexico known for its arts and culture and outdoor recreational opportunities. Taos is also the language spoken by a Pueblo tribe of Native American Indians.

The name resonates with Volkswagen’s global nomenclature for its crossover SUVs, which tend to start with a T. In North America, Taos will slot under the Tiguan compact crossover that competes with the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Ford Escape. The larger Touareg was discontinued in 2018 to make way for the Volkswagen Atlas three-row crossover SUV and its slightly smaller sibling, the Atlas Cross Sport launched in 2021.

The Taos will likely be similar to the T-Roc small crossover sold in Europe since model year 2018. It uses VW’s global MQB platform that forms the basis for the Volkswagen Jetta sedan, as well as the Tiguan and Audi Q3 crossover SUVs. Volkswagen’s smallest SUV is the T-Cross that launched for 2019 in Europe, South America, and China.

Volkswagen will also launch the ID.4 electric small crossover in North America this year.  

Volkswagen isn’t saying if the Taos will be based on the T-Roc or T-Cross or neither, but in a North American market overrun with small crossover SUVs ranging from the Subaru Crosstrek to the Hyundai Venue and Chevy Trailblazer, Volkswagen’s entry will likely fit to a tee.  

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