2022 Volkswagen Taos vs 2022 Mazda CX-30

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  • 2022 Volkswagen Taos

    A blue 2022 Volkswagen Taos SEL is shown angled left.

    Starting at

    $24,155[b]

    2022 Mazda CX-30

    A grey 2022 Mazda CX-30 is shown angled right.

    Starting at

    $22,500

    158Horsepower (hp)186
    184Torque (lb-ft)186
    28/36Fuel Economy (city/hwy mpg)24/31

    There is no shortage of SUV models on the road these days, which can make choosing the right one a lot more complicated than it needs to be. We find it often helps to take a look at two options at once to see how they stack up, like comparing the 2022 Volkswagen Taos vs 2022 Mazda CX-30. These are both subcompact models, so they are ideal if you are looking for the style and functionality of an SUV, but you need something that can easily fit into your lifestyle. Although the Mazda has some fine features, the performance, interior space, and advanced technology offered by Volkswagen make it a more driver-friendly option.

    When considering performance, it is easy to get stuck focusing on things like horsepower, but for most of us, the biggest issue is fuel economy. SUVs are not always designed with great efficiency in mind, which is why it is so impressive to see the incredible fuel economy of the VW Taos. As a subcompact model, it already has an advantage, but it demonstrates what great engineering can do to push the envelope for crossover efficiency. The Taos can get an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway, with an estimated combined efficiency of 31 MPG.[a] By comparison, the Mazda CX-30 can only manage an estimated 26 MPG of combined fuel economy.

    This meager showing might be forgivable if it was due to something practical like giving you a more-spacious interior that cut into its efficiency. However, despite these models being subcompact crossovers, the Mazda offers just over 45 cu.ft. of total cargo space inside, while the Volkswagen Taos gives you nearly 66 cu.ft. of total cargo volume to play with. This is a massive difference that showcases how well the Taos is designed for practical use and to give you everything you need. Combine that with fantastic technology, including the Volkswagen standard digital cockpit system and available IQ.DRIVE safety features on the Taos, and you get a subcompact model that cannot be beat.

  • Performance

    A blue 2022 Volkswagen Taos is shown from the rear while parked in a driveway.

    Any vehicle you choose should be enjoyable to drive, but perhaps more importantly, it should work well and be able to tackle the daily challenges you need it for. That means it needs to have enough power so that you have a good time behind the wheel but do not necessarily need massive horsepower in something like a subcompact crossover model. Great engineering is all about balance for this kind of vehicle: enough power that you can get where you need to go, plus an efficient design that keeps your costs down while you drive.

    The Cx-30’s Engine Options and Fuel Efficiency

    The Mazda CX-30 has some good things going for it, but it is clear that it was engineered for performance at the expense of fuel economy, which means greater expense for you. There are two engines available for the CX-30, including a turbocharged 2.5L option that is, to be honest, a lot more power than a subcompact model like this really needs. Both engines come with all-wheel drive (AWD) standard, and there is no option for front-wheel drive (FWD), which greatly detracts from its efficiency. With its standard non-turbocharged 2.5L engine, the CX-30 can manage an estimated 24 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway, while its turbocharged counterpart drops those numbers down to 22 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway.

    The 1.5L Turbo Engine and Fuel Efficiency of the Taos

    With the Volkswagen Taos, on the other hand, you get a car that is sporty, fun to drive, and very efficient. There is a single 1.5L Turbo engine option here, so you do not have to pay more or feel like you missed out on something, and FWD is standard with AWD available; this gives you plenty of options to choose from. If you go with standard FWD, you get an EPA-estimated 28 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway for a combined fuel efficiency rating of 31 MPG.[a]

  • Interior Space

    A woman is shown opening the sunroof in a 2022 Volkswagen Taos.

    Although subcompact crossover models like the Volkswagen Taos might not be as massively spacious inside as larger models, there is no reason to accept a meager amount of interior room. You want to choose a vehicle that has plenty of space for you, your passengers, and anything you need to bring along with you. Both the Taos and the Mazda CX-30 are subcompact models, yet the Volkswagen gives you far more room inside to enjoy and take advantage of.

    The CX-30's Interior Space

    When examining the Mazda CX-30, it has a fairly unimpressive amount of space inside it, which can greatly impact just how functional and comfortable it is. For example, it has just over 93 cu.ft. of total passenger space inside, with seating for up to five passengers, giving front-row passengers less than 38 inches of headroom and just over 41 inches of legroom. Meanwhile, rear-seat passengers get about 38 inches of headroom and just over 36 inches of legroom. In total, the CX-30 offers a bit more than 45 cu.ft. of overall cargo space behind the front row, with just over 20 cu.ft. of rear space behind the back seats.

    The Interior Space of the Taos

    The Volkswagen Taos, on the other hand, was clearly designed with plenty of space for you to be comfortable and bring everything you need. This model also has seating for up to five people, but you get nearly 100 cu.ft. of total passenger volume inside it; with more than 40 inches of front headroom and legroom, plus nearly 40 inches of second-row headroom and almost 38 inches of rear legroom. Your cargo space is far spacious in the Taos as it has almost 28 cu.ft. of rear cargo space to offer and nearly 66 cu.ft. of total cargo volume behind the front seats. This means you and your passengers have a lot more space to stretch out in, and you can more easily load up with supplies for a long road trip, a weekend of camping or fit everything into your vehicle after a day of running errands.

  • Technology

    A blue 2022 Volkswagen Taos is shown during a 2022 Volkswagen Taos vs 2022 Mazda CX-30 comparison.

    These days, one of the most important things to consider when shopping for a car is the kinds of impressive technology it has to offer. Both of these subcompact crossover models are filled with plenty of tech features for you to enjoy, but the Volkswagen Taos takes innovative tech a few steps further. It is hard to deny the impressive design and advanced technology that the engineers have loaded into this model, all of which come together to give you an exceptional driving experience.

    CX-30 Tech Features

    The Mazda CX-30 has many of the standard features you would expect, like power windows and door locks, push-button start, and more. It has an 8.8-inch infotainment display and air conditioning standard, along with dual-zone climate control and other features available on higher trims for more money. Cloth seating is standard, and while the eight-speaker sound system is quite good, these features fail to truly stand out or impress. The CX-30 does have a nice suite of safety systems, known as i-ACTIVSENSE safety technology, that include radar cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

    Taos Tech Features

    Looking inside the Volkswagen Taos, you cannot help but be impressed with the features loaded into it. The similarly-sized 8-inch infotainment display looks great, while the available BeatsAudio sound system provides you with a stunning audio experience. With its standard VW digital cockpit, you get a driver display that provides you with all of the information you need, while an available VW digital cockpit pro system provides you with customization to perfectly meet your needs. Best of all, the available IQ.DRIVE safety suite includes adaptive cruise control, an active blind spot monitor, rear traffic alert, and much more to help protect you and others on the road.

Bud Clary Auburn Volkswagen 47.3356737, -122.2233049.