|Highway Fuel Economy (mpg)
|Cargo Space (cu.ft.)
Over the last couple of decades, the market for SUVs has grown significantly as these models have proven themselves to be incredibly popular. This gives you a tremendous amount of flexibility when shopping for an SUV, but it also means you have so many options to choose from that narrowing them down can be a bit tricky. If you're looking for a subcompact crossover, which is a great way to enjoy the functionality of an SUV in a small package, then it helps to look at a couple different models to see how they compare. Comparing the 2022 Volkswagen Taos vs 2022 Buick Encore GX, we can see they have a lot in common but also some major differences.
In terms of performance, both of these vehicles have a single engine available: the VW Taos features a turbocharged 1.5L I-4, while the Encore GX has a turbocharged 1.3L I-3. This results in a difference in overall performance as the engine in the Taos gives you more horsepower and more torque. Perhaps more importantly, however, the Taos can deliver superior fuel economy when you look at highway driving and combined city and highway efficiency. In other words, the Taos is more fun to drive thanks to a sportier engine, and you will be able to skip the gas pump more often, especially if you spend a lot of time on the highway.
Since you are going to spend most of your time with your vehicle inside of it while driving, it is always a good idea to pay special attention to the interior of any model you are considering. The Volkswagen Taos has one of the most impressive interiors around for a subcompact model, particularly when you look at how much space you have available. Inside the Taos, you get up to nearly 66 cu.ft. of total cargo space, while the Buick Encore GX offers just over 50 cu.ft. of cargo volume. Combine that with great features like the standard Volkswagen Digital Cockpit in the Taos, and you have a subcompact SUV that cannot be beat.
When you look at any kind of vehicle, you always want to ensure you choose a model that is fun to drive and that will keep your costs as low as possible over time. That largely comes down to picking a model with a great engine that puts out enough power for what you are driving and that is designed to be as efficient as possible. With a subcompact crossover like these models, you are not going to find a massive amount of power, but you still want to get a vehicle with enough muscle to be enjoyable.
In this regard, the 2022 Volkswagen Taos clearly comes out on top as it has a better engine and some great options. The Taos is powered by a turbocharged 1.5L I-4 engine, while the Buick Encore GX has a turbocharged 1.3L I-3. As you might expect from those specs, the Taos is more powerful, with greater horsepower and torque. In addition to this, the Taos comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission standard, while the Encore GX has a standard Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT). We tend to prefer the feel of a conventional automatic since it provides a more satisfying shift from one gear to the next. The Taos also has an available 7-speed Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission for a responsive driving experience that anticipates your needs for smooth and fast shifting.
One of the best reasons to choose a subcompact crossover model is that the smaller size allows for a more efficient drive. While both of these vehicles have similar fuel efficiency when driving in the city, the VW Taos has a clear advantage for anyone that does a lot of highway driving. You get an EPA-estimated 36 MPG on the highway with the Taos, while the Encore GX gets an estimated 32 MPG on the highway.[b] This is a significant difference that can really add up over time––not only for daily highway driving but also for any long road trips you might want to take.
The perk of choosing a subcompact crossover SUV like the 2022 Volkswagen Taos is that you get fantastic functionality in a small size. Large SUVs are great, but if you have any sort of modest lifestyle, they can easily take over all of your space. With a subcompact model, you get the freedom and flexibility of an SUV without losing too much of your personal space to it. Some subcompact models are a bit too small, however, so it is always a good idea to look at what kind of usable space you actually get inside.
With the VW Taos, you get fantastic interior cargo space, plus plenty of room for your passengers with seating for up to five people. Behind the rear seats, you will find nearly 28 cu.ft. of cargo volume, which gives you a great amount of space for shopping bags, a cooler, or anything else you need to toss in the back. If you need a lot more volume, however, then you can simply lower the rear seats, and you get nearly 66 cu.ft. of total cargo volume behind the front row of seats. This gives you a tremendous amount of room to utilize and fit anything you need into it, much more than you will find with a lot of other subcompact models.
While the 2022 Buick Encore GX has a decent amount of interior space, it falls well short of the kind of expansive room you get with the Taos. The Encore GX has just over 23 cu.ft. of cargo volume behind the rear seats––keep in mind this is three-dimensional space, so a difference of nearly 5 cu.ft. is quite significant. With the rear seats down, the Buick Encore GX tops out at just over 50 cu.ft. of total cargo volume. That is a huge difference; you get over 15 cu.ft. more total cargo volume with the VW Taos, which gives you a lot of space for everything you need to take with you.
These days, the kinds of impressive technology you can get inside a vehicle can be just as important as any other feature. Long gone is the era of barebones interiors with very little to offer, and modern technology is not only a convenience but can make driving much more enjoyable. While the Buick Encore GX has a lot to offer, the VW Taos once again takes the lead and proves to be the more refined option.
The Encore GX does its best with a standard 8-inch infotainment display and some other amenities to create a fairly comfortable interior. Other standard features include a 4.2-inch digital Driver Information Center, along with a 6-speaker audio system and a 6-way power driver's seat. Available options include adaptive cruise control, navigation for the infotainment system, and a hands-free power liftgate.
With the 2022 VW Taos, you get some of the most impressive interior technology on the market, thanks in part to the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit system that comes standard with every trim. This includes an available 8-inch infotainment display and a high-resolution digital driver display with available customization that allows you to select what information is displayed, creating an ideal driving experience to perfectly meet your needs. Other impressive interior options include available heated and ventilated front seating, customizable ambient lighting, and a wireless smartphone charger, not to mention a navigation system and BeatsAudio sound system. Altogether, the Taos can be as luxurious as you want, with several trims to choose from so you can get everything you need.