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Volkswagen Taigo wants to lure you from hatchbacks

The crossover segment is brimming with options, but that hasn’t detracted VW from tweaking the formula.

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Buyers these days are certainly not short for choice in the crossover segment – that much is immediately clear when you note the number of compact, high-riding models in stock on our site. Yet manufacturers still seem keen to find a class nook and cranny now and then. That brings us nicely to the new Volkswagen Taigo, a crossover that’s about the size of a Polo and smaller than a T-Cross, which mixes soft-SUV styling with a swooping roofline. In marketing talk, it’s a compact crossover-coupe, but by all measures it’s a slightly taller, more dramatic take on the VW hatchback formula.

Technically speaking, the Taigo’s existed for about a year now in South America, but it’s only just been launched for Europe, with sales kicking off here – UK included – towards the end of 2021. The car we’re getting in the northern hemisphere has received a few, mainly visual tweaks to suit our tastes, but the underlying package of jacked-up hatchback remains unchanged. That’ll no doubt sound appealing to those who want a small car with a more commanding view, although in truth, they’re already well served by models like the Seat Arona and VW T-Roc. Examples of which are in plentiful supply on cinch.

While the Taigo isn’t bringing a bumper crop of new features to the table, VW demonstrates that it knows the game inside out with this new(ish) offering. The subtle differences – namely that coupe-like rear roofline – will hold much appeal for some; see the success of the BMW X6, a slightly swoopier take on the X5, as an example. To achieve its new shape, some rear headroom and boot space will have been sacrificed, but this isn’t a car to face off conventional SUVs but rather offer something taller to those normally focused on the hatchback segment. By that measure, this five-seater is nicely spacious and well equipped.

The Taigo’s relation to the Polo is evident in its engine line-up, which pinches motors from the hatch. At the car’s launch, buyers are offered a turbocharged three-cylinder producing either 95hp or 110hp, or a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that has 150hp. All drink from the petrol pump, because this is a car targeting city buyers. The Taigo comes with a five-speed or six-speed manual gearbox, depending on the engine chosen, while buyers who prefer automatics can choose a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that takes care of the hard work.

We’re a few months away from knowing how much Volkswagen will charge for its latest arrival, which squeezes into a crack nobody thought existed in the crossover segment. But considering where it’ll be placed in the range, we’d expect the Taigo to start from around £25,000. That’s competitive enough, although true SUVs start from well under that price on cinch. And you needn’t wait until the end of 2021 to bag one. Just saying.