Volkswagen Taigun – 1.5 TSI DSG Manual Review: A Competent Premium Compact SUV

SUVW: A new concept well designed for the roads.

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Volkswagen Taigun suv sideview
Images: Fossbytes/Somnath Chatterjee

This is turning out to be ‘the year of SUVs,’ and now Volkswagen wants to get in with its own SUVW, the Taigun. The Taigun is the long-awaited compact SUV from Volkswagen, and it will be launched with two turbo petrol engine options at the start.

Here we have driven 1.5 TSI in both manual and DSG form. Read on to find out more.

How does the Volkswagen Taigun look?

Compact but packed with a lot of German DNA along with some Indian touch as well — that’s the best way to describe the Taigun. There is a massive amount of chrome upfront with the grille and near the fog lamps while the lines are sharp.

Volkswagen Taigun suv front view grille

We also liked the double lines at the side while the 17-inch alloys (lesser spec ones get 16’s) were superbly finished.

You also get cladding, skid plates, and roof-rails while the stand-out bit is the LED tail-lamps which run all along and cover the entire width of the car. That makes the Taigun stand out even more. While it may be smaller than a Creta, it sure turns heads and looks distinctive.

Volkswagen Taigun suv backview

What about the interiors?

The quality and looks are pure Volkswagen, and that is great news. Being made for India has not meant a compromise in quality with higher localization. The whole dashboard is well built, while the silver inserts match well with the sporty vibe.

Do note that the red-colored Taigun gets special colored inserts inside; it feels expensive and premium.

Volkswagen Taigun suv front cockpit

The design is simple but effective and the 10inch touch screen is also simple to use with a nice touch response. There is no lag, and menus are laid out well.

What you also get in the Taigun are digital dials which are configurable via steering controls. You can check the various information about the car plus access other features too. The top-end GT version has the likable red ambient lighting we liked, and the audio system delivers good sound quality.

What about technology features?

Volkswagen Taigun suv infotainment screen

Aside from the touch screen and the digital dials, the Taigun offers plenty of connected technology via a smartphone app. The wireless app connect, type C USB ports (you need a cable now), and wireless charging.

Other important bits include ventilated seating, wireless charging, and touch-based AC climate controls. It gets a rear parking camera with sensors along with a standard sunroof (not a panoramic one). Safety features include 6 airbags, 3 headrest restraints, hill-hold, ESC, and a wheel pressure monitoring system.

How does it feel to drive?

Volkswagen Taigun suv gear selector

Pretty well is the answer, and it is by far the most enthusiastic SUV in terms of its agility and engine. We only drove the 150ps/250Nm 1.5 TSI (there is also a 1.O TSI), while the 7-speed DSG automatic is the one to buy. The DSG is smooth and slick in its responses while being fun to drive and comfortable for daily use.

There are paddle shifters as well. The engine has a lot of power, and it is faster than other SUVs with a smooth build-up. You will enjoy driving this SUV, plus the handling along with high-speed stability is simply fantastic.

It feels like a grown-up Polo GT with the same fun to drive manners. The manual version is cheaper with fewer features but will appeal to those who want a stick shift.

The clutch is easy, and so is the gearbox, so no worries about using it in the city. To us, though, the DSG is convenient and faster to use. In terms of mileage, the Taigun can shut down its two cylinders (engine has four) for better efficiency, and we got 13kmpl in the city.

Volkswagen Taigun suv tailight

Should you wait for Taigun?

We expect the top-end DSG automatic 1.5 TSI to be upwards of Rs 17 lakh. While the Taigun may not be cheap and probably smaller than rivals, it makes for a brilliant self-driven sporty SUV. It offers a lot, and if you like driving, it will just steal your heart while still being a fairly competent premium compact SUV.

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Somnath Chatterjee

Somnath Chatterjee

For me automobiles are more than just an obsession, and driving new cars plus writing about them is what keeps me going. I also look beyond the plain numbers to see what a car is truly capable of and what changes it brings on the technology front.
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