Volkswagen Taigun: first test drive

With its Indianized platform, does the Taigun compromise its innate Volkswagen character or can it feel like an upgrade over the Polo and Vento?

After you’ve driven a Volkswagen, other cars just don’t feel so good. This is what you will hear the current owners of Polo and Vento say as soon as they drive another car. And when we asked a few of them why they felt that way, the answer was fourfold. 1, the chic looks. 2, its solid build quality. 3, simple but high-quality functions and finally 4. driving dynamics. We decided to test the latest Volkswagen on these four parameters to determine whether, despite its Indianized platform, it looks like a real Volkswagen or not.

Looks

Class. If the Taigun’s look is to be summed up in one word, it has to be classy. And while Volkswgaen slaps a lot of chrome from all angles, it’s done tastefully and fits the overall design language a bit. The headlights are flush with the grille and benefit from an all-LED configuration. However, the lower variants will get a conventional bulb with multiple LED DRLs. The hood has also been square for a more butch look. And because it’s a GT Line variant, you get the immaculate GT badges on the grille, trunk, and side fenders. Overall, all of these elements come together to give it a strong face.

From the side, the most impressive elements are the 17-inch alloy wheels from the GT line with the red brake calipers sticking out. Correctly sporty. And while the Taigun shares many common traits with the Koushaq (its twin platform) from this angle – like the glazed surface, body lines, door handles, MRVOs and upholstery, it still manages to stand out with the distinctive styling of the front and rear. back.

At the rear, the biggest draw are the connected taillights which are standard across the range. Here too there are a lot of design details like the taillight panel, the chrome on the bumpers and the “Taigun” lettering. Yet the Taigun manages to appear sober and desirable. Overall, it looks like a Volkswagen.

Interiors

The interior of the Volkswagen Taigun arouses mixed emotions. The layout is elegant and while the quality in most places is acceptable, it is insufficient in others. Let’s start with the positive.

Volkswagen has opted for simplicity when it comes to the layout of the cabin. The touch screen is not floating, but integrated into the dashboard. The highlights, however, are surely the painted panels and the textured finish on the center band. The AC vents, in my opinion, look a bit simple and silver accents around them would have contributed to the overall aesthetic. Even the air conditioning touch panels work perfectly.

Then we have to talk about piloting. It’s stylish, feels really premium to hold, and the tactile feedback from the mounted controls will surely be appreciated by you on your daily commute. The faux leather and fabric upholstery mixed here in the GT line is of good quality and the interior appears solidly assembled. In addition, there is red mood lighting for the GT line which is beautiful. In the regular variants, you get a blank.

It’s only once you start using more buttons that the experience takes a beating. The cabin light switch seems sticky; the roof liner feels loose, especially near the front lighting controls; and the lock / unlock and the headlight switch appear to be of poor quality. The reverse camera display also gives low resolution. And then the electric window switches seem plastic, only the driver gets a tactile operation, not the passengers. This makes the Taigun the only VW in the country not to take advantage of this feature for all passengers. Why?

This is not the only thing missing, however. In the GT line, you don’t get ventilated seats, perforated faux leather upholstery, and a subwoofer – all features you get in the Highline variant. Plus, if you like to drive the manual transmission, you’ll have to sacrifice the digital dashboard, sunroof, cruise control, LED headlights, two-tone alloy rims, and red brake calipers. With these variables taken into account, many current Polo / Vento owners may find the Taigun not to be the perfect upgrade.

But other than that, the Tagun won’t let you miss a lot of features. There are

Adding an electric driver’s seat or a panoramic sunroof, however, would have made that feel more premium.

What looks really premium, however, are the security features. You get up to 6 airbags, and unlike the Ksuhaq where the top automatic variant won’t have 6, the Taigun GT has 6. Apart from that, you get an electronic stability control as standard, which means you can get the most out of your system. ” tire pressure deflation warning, three rear head restraints, rear parking sensors, 3-point seat belts for all passengers, hill-hold control with MT and AT, a rear parking camera, a wiper brake disc, ISOFIX anchorages, electronic differential lock and multi-collision brakes.

Space and practicality

The Taigun is a fairly practical car. And I say car and not SUV because of the width available inside the passenger compartment. A family of four will be very comfortable as the seats are very well contoured and wrap you up nicely. You also have ample head, knee and leg room with generous support under the thighs. The only problem is that three seats are uncomfortable considering the narrow cabin width and the strong contour of the seats.

Storage is plentiful, with large front and rear door pockets, rubber stoppers in the front cup holders, trinket storage, refrigerated glove box, rear armrest cup holders and vents rear ventilation. There are 4 USB type C chargers (2 on the front and 2 on the back) and a 12V socket.

The trunk space figure was not mentioned but it is the same as the Kushaq (est. 385 liters). This means that it is very convenient to use and can take a set of three suitcases. However, the 60:40 seats don’t fold down to create a flat floor, which will make loading larger items a bit difficult.

Engine and performance

On this drive we had the GT Line variants, which will be exclusively equipped with the 1.5-liter turbocharged petrol engine with manual and automatic transmission options. The other variants will get the 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline from the Polo and Vento, but in a higher tuned condition.

Engine – 1.0L turbocharged petrol

Cylinders – 3

Power – 115PS

Torque – 178Nm

Transmission – 6 speed MT / 6 speed AT

Engine – 1.5L turbocharged petrol

Cylinders – 4

Power – 150PS

Torque – 250Nm

Transmission – MT 6 speed / DSG 7 speed

The 1.5 TSI is as refined as one would expect from a Volkswagen engine. However, the most impressive part of the engine is the way it delivers power. There’s a good amount of low-end torque to get you effortlessly picking up in traffic. And beyond 2000 rpm, the turbo takes over and you’re in GT territory. The acceleration is effortless and the power delivered is fluid up to the red line. The engine doesn’t sound great, but the acceleration is what will keep you entertained. Move close to the red line and you’ll fall straight back into the power strip to maintain momentum.

Speaking of gear changes, manual gear changes are smooth, but the clutch was a bit springy and hard. The good part is that because there is good torque at low revs, you don’t have to shift often and city trips can be tackled in 2nd or 3rd gear.

If you want to skip leg training altogether, the automatic is the one for you. And for the most part, if you can spend the extra cash, this is the go-to drivetrain anyway. The 7-speed DSG is quick to change, smooth and very intuitive, whether cruising, on the move or in Sport mode to reduce power. It does it all effortlessly and gives you exactly the equipment you want, when you want it. You also have the option of replacing this logic with paddle shifters for more manual control. With this transmission, Volkswagen claims the Taigun will hit 60 mph in 9.1 seconds, which is pretty quick.

Now, if you are looking for 0-100 km / h times, the fuel mileage will drop to single digits. However, on the highway, the engine will deactivate 2 of its cylinders when cruising to save precious liquid. Still, it won’t be as efficient as a diesel.

Driving and handling

The driving characteristics of the Taigun depend on the wheels you get with your variant. On our manual car which has 16s, the ride quality was on the softer side and cushioned the occupants well from the harshness of the surface. It felt like the ride quality was built to handle everyday road situations, and aside from a bit of movement inside the cab, it did a good job of smoothing out surface imperfections.

With 17s on the other hand, the ride was a bit stiffer. And here it was as if Volkswagen wanted to make sure the Taigun earned its GT badge by being a powerful manager. While this does allow for a bit of harshness in the cabin at high speeds and you have to slow down more on potholes, the ride has never been shocking and has remained comfortable. Best of all, the suspension works silently in both cases.

The compromise becomes clear as soon as you find a pleasant and winding piece of tramac. Turn with a certain speed and the Taigun stays flat on the turn. The steering is precise and offers good confidence to be a bit playful. In addition, the Taigun masks its weight well and feels light and agile while changing direction. Plus, you get an electronic locking differential, which automatically brakes the inside wheel lightly when you start to lose traction, to pull you around a corner. And it can be felt from the driver’s seat. Well deserved GT badge.

Verdict

We decided to find out whether the Taigun manages to feel like a real Volkswagen or not. As far as looks, the baby VW SUV looks like this – a baby VW SUV. And a class at that. In terms of build, it feels a bit better than its main rival, the Crete, but the levels of fit and finish are insufficient compared to the Polo and Vento. However, the features and safety equipment on offer are definitely a cut above. The quality of the features is excellent and the way the Taigun GT drives has to be the most impressive aspect of the whole set.

Overall, the Taigun looks like a Volkswagen, and existing Polo buyers certainly have something to admire. While the Taigun appeals to the driver in you, the banker will only be satisfied if the price can be kept below Rs 17.5 lakh (ex-showroom) for that GT Line finish. And the answer to the one we will have in September when VW finally unveils the last piece of the puzzle.

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About Nell Love

Nell Love

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