What is the Taos?
The Volkswagen Taos is the smallest SUV in VW's lineup, slotting in below the Tiguan, which measures about 10 inches longer. The Taos has only been on sale in the U.S. since 2022, but in that time it's become our favorite in the subcompact SUV class. We don't expect any big changes for 2024, but images of the nearly identical Volkswagen Tharu, which is sold in China, suggest we may get restyled headlights and taillights.
Even without those changes, it's a fair bet that the Taos will remain at or near the top of our rankings. Alternatives such as the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Mazda CX-30 and Buick Encore GX all have their own advantages, but the Taos edges them out with its overall excellence. The Volkswagen Taos does everything you'd expect of a subcompact SUV and manages to stand out with its sporty handling, comfort, large cargo capacity and easy-to-use infotainment. The few complaints we have are common in the class and include noticeable interior noise and a transmission that's slow to react.