REVIEW: Volkswagen Taigo R-Line is a stylish and well executed package

Published Feb 22, 2024


The Volkswagen Taigo wraps up the company’s T SUV range and with its coupe-like lines and sloping roof, is probably the best looking when compared to the T-Cross, T-Roc, Tiguan and the Touareg, and in R-Line trim it looks even better.

Our test unit was fitted with the optional Black Style Package with the mirror caps, radiator grille and tailpipe trim all finished in black with darkened side windows and rear window. Rounding it off are handsome 18-inch black Misano alloys giving it an almost menacing appeal.

Like most VW products, the interior is meticulously put together and nothing feels out of place with the stylish cloth seats covers incorporating Alcantara inserts embossed with the R-Line logo.

Soft-touch surfaces and black brushed aluminium trim in key areas abound and if you’ve spent time in the VW Golf, the switchgear is familiar and easy to use while the aluminium pedals give it an added sporty touch.

Under the hood sits VWs 1.0-litre three pot turbocharged petrol engine providing 85kW and 200Nm, driving the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG transmission that VW say will get the Taigo to 100km/h in 10 seconds and even out at 200km/h.

There are more than enough UCB charging ports and despite its sloping roof, there’s enough space in the back for above average height people to still be comfortable.

At 400-litres the boot space is quite respectable and it was big enough to fit a shopping spree for bedroom necessities that included pillows, a duvet, fitted sheets and everything else needed to sleep comfortably for my son who’s starting his university career in res.

We’ve become accustomed to three cylinder engines and in the Taigo there was very little thrum inside the cabin except when you drove it in the upper rev range.

You need to give it a bit of right foot when passing slower traffic but at no time did it feel like it was running out of steam and the DSG ‘box changed slickly throughout the rev-range.

On pull-off there is an ever so slight turbo lag but the R-Line is equipped with Normal, Sport and Eco modes that changes the settings as instructed and Sport mode despatches much of the lag and provides an engaging time behind the wheel but Normal mode is perfect for the daily drive.

The suspension set-up is quite firm making the twisties fun to drive. The steering is direct and light and in R-Line trim there’s an XDS electronic differential lock that optimises traction and sharpens handling, reducing understeer via the stability control programme adding an extra dimension to the driving experience as does the fact that it sits lower than its siblings.

When you do start to have fun with it, you can’t help but think that the driving set-up and dynamics are better suited for a more power especially when keeping it close to the red line and here’s hoping that VW have a trick up their sleeve at some point because there’s a 1.5-litre turbo mill lurking around in their factory somewhere.

It comes with an impressive list of standard safety equipment including six airbags, ABS, EBD, torque steer compensation, park assist, rear view camera and blind spot monitoring. I did find, however, that the park assist was incredibly sensitive and would beep long before things become tight or even start warning you when driving along a slightly narrow overgrown road with tall grass.

Volkswagen claims consumption figures of 5.4l/100km which is probably possible if you drive conservatively all the time. We returned with 7.0l/100km which, granted, included some spirited driving so expect to get real-world figures of closer to 6.5l/100km.

Overall though the VW Taigo R-line is a well thought out, comfortable and executed package.

It comes with a three-year/120,000km warranty, three- year/45,000km service plan and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. The service interval is 15,000km.

Pricing: Volkswagen Taigo 1.0 TSI R-Line - R545,200.

IOL Motoring