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The Volkswagen Taigo (R-Line) redefines the urban driving style

Priced from R482,100 all the way to R520,500 for premium models, Taigo a lovely specimen of the VW brand, but the price and optional extras make it costly for consumers. But if your wallet is willing, it has plenty to offer, writes Prashirwin Naidu.

In the words of the nineties pop band Roxette, the Volkswagen Taigo R-Line has a look. Not only does it dazzle, but it excels in fuel economy despite a 40-litre tank and performs exceedingly well on the road.

One would say it’s almost like the charming Polo, except it’s larger and taller and blends with the coupĂ© design. Striking in deep black pearlescent, it looks impressive.

The endearing Taigo is for young and up-and-coming professionals. Youthful families may also love the space and beautiful ride.

What makes the Volkswagen Taigo unique from the T-range? The chassis is based on the same platform as its counterpart, the T-cross, but with an edgier style and a goal of standing out from the ordinary crowd. 

Starting with the front end, with its precise and fine lines, it’s almost as if this car is grinning from ear to ear—very charming. Given that it’s the top-spec model, one would also take note of the powerful LED matrix headlamps accompanied by the R-Line badge. Yes, the R could easily be for Riveting!

Riverting Taigo R-Line: With precise and fine front end lines, it’s almost as if this car is grinning from ear to ear.

Sitting on 18-inch Misano alloys, followed by the robust matte black body cladding, the one we drove was irresistible. The car’s overall dimensions are well-balanced and offer a modern and futuristic look, especially the illuminated taillight bar, which is an elegant touch.

Boots space offers 440l, slightly more than the T-Cross, which measures about 377l of capacity. The Taigo’s sporty roof slope doesn’t compromise rear headroom; even full-sized adults have ample room. 

Tech-wise, the flagship R-Line model offers an eight-inch infotainment screen, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, stainless steel pedals, rear privacy glass, a Beats sound system, wireless charging, navigation, voice control, and wireless smartphone connectivity. And if you’re feeling the summer breeze, throw in that panoramic sunroof. 

Apart from the thrills, it is a safe car, to say the least; if you opt for the IQ Drive safety package, you will get features such as lane-change and blind-spot assist, adaptive cruise control, and emergency braking.

Since our test unit had the Comfort package, we were indeed spoilt. We had a reversing camera, keyless entry and start, and a semi-autonomous parking assistant function. 

The Taigo range does not offer leather seats, but the top-spec R-Line has cloth upholstery with a diamond print in grey hues. Beneath the bonnet, it’s powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (DSG) transmission.

While the rest of the Taigo range doesn’t co.e with leather seats, the top-spec R-Line has cloth upholstery with a diamond print in grey hues, making it more appealing.

Behind the wheel, it feels almost like the Polo, but the additional ground clearance contributes a tangible superiority in comfort. It felt smooth and refined in daily city driving situations. The only qualm is at a standstill; the turbo lag is noticeable, but it’s not a significant issue.

Power output is 85kW and 200NM. It may appear weak with its figures, but in hindsight, it has plenty of kick due to the turbo; it can do 0-100km/h in 10 seconds. Now fuel consumption is quoted at 5.4l/100km, but real-world figures are in the 6l-8l/100km range- depending on how heavy one’s foot is.

With a starting price of R482, you can pick up the Taigo Life 1.0 TSI or the Taigo Style 1.0 TSI for R520,500. If you want, the range-topping R-Line model is R545,200. With all the optional extras, ours was R609,800.

At the Taigo’s price point, you may consider a Mazda CX-30, Hyundai Kona, or Toyota C-HR, vehicles with a similar crossover-coupĂ© aesthetic. Overall, the Taigo is a lovely specimen of the VW brand, but the price and optional extras make it a costly option in the consumer’s eyes. But if your wallet is willing, Taigo has plenty to offer.

*This article is original and exclusive to NOWinSA © Higher Education Media

Prashirwin Naidu
Prashirwin Naidu
Aspiring scribe, Prashirwin Naidu is a writer focusing on cars and the arts.
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