|Cargo Space (cu.ft.)
|Highway Fuel Economy (mpg)
|Driver Display (in)
In the past, getting the functionality and practicality of an SUV meant having to choose a large model that could easily threaten to take over your space. These days, however, you have a number of compact and even subcompact options to choose from––now, the only challenge is figuring out which one is right for you. Looking at and comparing a couple of subcompact options, like the 2022 Volkswagen Taos vs 2022 Kia Seltos, makes it easier to see what is out there and figure out which model will best meet your needs.
The Volkswagen Taos is an all-new model with fantastic features inside and out, including a surprisingly powerful engine. Every Taos comes with a 1.5L turbocharged engine that gives you impressive horsepower and torque. Looking at the Kia Seltos, there are two engines available, but the standard engine in the Seltos is far weaker than what you get standard with the Volkswagen subcompact crossover. While there is a more powerful engine available for the Kia model, you only get it with the highest trim.
Despite its subcompact design, the Volkswagen Taos is quite spacious inside, which gives you plenty of room for your passengers and for anything you need to take with you. The total cargo volume inside the Taos is nearly 66 cu.ft. behind the front seats; by comparison, the Seltos has just over 62 cu.ft. of total cargo volume available. This might not seem like a huge difference on paper, but when you see how much more you can load into that extra space, it really helps for running errands or packing for a road trip. Combine all of this with standard Digital Cockpit technology and amazing available IQ.DRIVE suite of safety features, and you have a subcompact crossover that cannot be beat.
Some people think that the engine in a vehicle only matters if they are looking at a sports car or a powerful truck that needs to meet high demands. You might not think that the engine is all that important in a subcompact crossover SUV, but in reality, it still matters. The engine is the heart of your vehicle, and much of your driving experience really comes down to how it performs. With that in mind, the standard engines in these two models are similar, but the Volkswagen gives you far superior performance.
While the 2022 Kia Seltos has two engines available, there is only one engine offered on the 2022 Volkswagen Taos. At first glance, that might seem like a drawback, but since the engine that Volkswagen offers is so impressive, it works out just fine. The standard engine in the Seltos offers 146 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque, which is fine but not exceptionally powerful. This comes paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). While a more powerful engine is available, you have to pay more for it, and it only comes with the highest SX Turbo trim.
With the 2022 VW Taos, however, you do not have to worry about paying more just to get an enjoyable driving experience. The standard engine on the Taos is a 1.5L Turbo that delivers 158 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque––while the difference in horsepower is not exactly massive, you get much more torque with the Volkswagen model. This makes a big difference in your overall driving experience, especially while accelerating from a stop and going uphill; overall, you are going to enjoy the Taos a lot more day-in and day-out. You also get a sophisticated automatic transmission with the VW Taos rather than a CVT. While this is mostly personal preference, a lot of people prefer the classic feel of an automatic’s shifting gears over a CVT.
No matter what kind of vehicle you are looking at, you should always consider the kind of room and features it has inside since most of your time with it will be spent driving and sitting in the cabin. A subcompact model like the VW Taos or Kia Seltos is not going to have the sort of massive interior that you will find with a larger, full-size SUV––or even a midsize model––but it should still have plenty of room for you to utilize. Choosing an SUV is all about having functional space that is practical for you to use for your daily life and for any road trips or other special occasions. While the Taos and Seltos are pretty comparable in terms of overall size, the Taos gives you more interior space to take advantage of.
In looking at these kinds of SUVs, you need to consider two things: the amount of rear space behind the second row of seats and the amount of total area behind the front seats. The Kia Seltos offers 26.6 cu.ft. of cargo volume in the rear area and 62.8 cu.ft. of total cargo space behind the front seats. By comparison, you get 27.9 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats of the Volkswagen Taos, along with 65.9 cu.ft. of total cargo volume to take advantage of behind its front seats. When you picture this difference as three-dimensional space, you can see that the additional space inside the Volkswagen model gives you a lot more volume to utilize when loading up for the weekend.
As you would expect from a pair of modern vehicles, both the Seltos and the Taos offer an impressive selection of technology and comfort features inside of them. For example, you can get 8-inch infotainment displays in both of these models, along with available navigation functionality, impressive sound systems, and heated seating that is very comfortable. One thing we love about the Taos, however, is that it comes standard with the innovative Digital Cockpit technology, which features a digital driver display rather than the standard dials. This customizable screen is up to 10.25 inches in size and provides you with the information you need in a way that is easy to use, convenient, and optimized for your driving experience.
In many ways, a vehicle is only as good as the safety features it has to offer. No amount of performance, interior room, or impressive technology matters if it cannot help keep you and your loved ones safe on the road. Fortunately, both of these vehicles have a wide range of impressive standard and available safety features and driver-assist technologies for you to enjoy. With the Volkswagen IQ.DRIVE suite of safety systems available on all trims, the Taos is one of the safest vehicles on the road.
Standard safety features on the Kia Seltos are certainly impressive and include Automated Emergency Braking and a Lane Departure Warning. The biggest drawback with the Seltos, however, is that some of its most-impressive options are only available in the higher trims. If you are interested in Adaptive Cruise Control, for example, then you have to opt for the top SX Turbo trim and pay a lot more for other features you might not want.
With the IQ.DRIVE suite from Volkswagen, you get a fantastic selection of safety features available on every trim. For example, the basic IQ.DRIVE package includes Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection, along with an Active Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert, and a Lane Keeping System. Looking at the IQ.DRIVE package for the SE trim, you also get Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, as well as a semi-autonomous driving system called Travel Assist, plus Emergency Assist that allows the vehicle to come to a stop in case of a medical emergency. All of these impressive systems come standard on the highest trim, but every Taos delivers a safe and enjoyable ride.