Once we saw the huge Volkswagen and Skoda pavilions at the 2020 Auto Expo in Delhi – just before the world went crazy – we were keen on the smaller VW SUVs that were to come back – the T-Roc and Taigun. The Taigun current car was, in fact, more flashy than the production model, yet it was interesting in its measurements and packaging. And the best part is that it was virtually ready for the road.
koda had its own ‘imaginative and retrospective IN’ idea – mainly the same car in multiple clothes – on show as well, but it was removed from showroom-ready. It took them 12 months to design the production-spec Kushak and build it (know our assessment here) and put it on sale while Volkswagen waited for the big brother’s procession to leave the premises. Now that the Volkswagen Taigun is here, it’s ready for launch this September.
What is this
The Volkswagen Taigun – like the Kushak – is a mid-size SUV, or what Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd prefers to call midsize right now. Theoretically (and price wise), it is going to compete with the likes of Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos.
These are big shoes to fill, so clearly, SAVWIPL just isn’t shy. Trying on the Taigun – or Kushak for that matter – you can write off the automobile as a compact SUV; Considering it is in the mold of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza but the truth is, the whole is 20cm taller, which pays dividends through the indoors.
Personally, I’ve always favored Volkswagen’s deep, smart shoes, but they often came at the expense of rear passenger comfort. Fortunately, there is no such challenge with Taigun. The Taigun is based on the VW Group’s India-built MQB-A0-IN platform and as we understand it, in the future, there will be smaller autos and possibly a compact SUV, though it will be a completely unique beast.
Design: Wise, Cohesive
I’ve always loved Volkswagen’s design language, and that sentiment continues with the Taigun. If anything, it’s a comeback with sharp marks, a purposeful stance and a distinctly European vibe. When it comes to design cues, the Taigun seems like a perfect sibling to the Passat, while the Vento and the former Mio are only cousins, having been eliminated twice.
There’s no way to shy away from comparisons with the nearly identical Skoda Kushak, so let’s get it out of the way: I think the Volkswagen Tiguan appears to be overpriced. It looks like it was designed from the ground up, while the Kushk feels inconsistent in one way or the other. Skoda must evolve on you. This one, I took the side immediately.
Photos should be self-explanatory. It is a good looking, well proportioned car, which differs from the Kushak in front and rear treatment. VW’s busy entrance works for me, whereas I want the Kushk’s less complicated tail-lights. On stability, the VW wins for me, regardless of the smart set of wheels on the Kushak.
Inside: Ethereal, compact, with first rate rear house
Once again, comparisons with Kushak are inevitable. A lot of things lead to this from our Kushak evaluation. The Taigun is a slim SUV, with discreet packaging guaranteed for all passengers, as long as 4 people. The rear fifth passenger will not be comfortable. The cabin feels ethereal due to the greenhouse, smaller sunroof, and lighter-colored panels on the upholstery, compared to the darker color of the Kushak.
The plastics are just as common as the Skoda, though the dashboard and steering get their own distinctive VW design. The central display screen is set in an angular area of interest, and there are some piano black trim components. This imparts its own individual character to the inside of the Taigun, as the ‘Digital Cockpit’ displays the full digital device, an eight-inch color TFT on the highest effigy.
While it is not available in any variant of the Kushak, Skoda said that it is going to add the feature later in the lifecycle of the SUV. However VW takes the space it offers. In this case, ventilated seats are not available, a thing you get with Skoda.
The body-colored crimson trim on the Sprint is a bit odd. We only saw it with a red tint on the Taigun, while the silver and yellow cars had a more muted silver-grey colored plastic inside. This crimson trim did nothing to the stylish inside look like no other case. Same goes for different spaces instead of buttons. We really just didn’t like the clean plastic panel where there might be a cubby for the sun shades. Will it basically cost more, VW?
The VW steering wheel is soft with standard click buttons to function various capabilities.