Volkswagen Taigun long term review, 11,400km report

    Final report: It’s practical, beautifully built, comfortable, and loads and loads of fun. It’s so good, we don’t want it to go back.

    Published on May 14, 2023 08:00:00 AM


    Make : Volkswagen
    Model : Taigun

    It’s frankly a difficult question to answer. “What’s the one thing that stands out?” asks a close friend. Hmm. I’ve just recommended the feisty Taigun, and he wants me to distil it down to one word. Arriving at the right answer isn’t exactly easy. I want to tell him about the strong performance, the slick gearbox, the comfortable seats, how well the cabin is put together, the confidence-inspiring steering, the 5-star safety rating; a whole host of things. But eventually, I boil it down to just one word – quality. Now yes, Volkswagen has stepped quality down and, in places, the use of the cost accountant’s scalpel is visible. Still, the one word that sums up the Volkswagen Taigun experience best is quality. And it is quality you can see, quality you can feel and quality you experience.

    High seating position and big seats deliver good comfort at the rear.

    Where do I begin? How about the seats? They have just the right cushioning, they are superbly supportive, and what adds to comfort is that they are both long and large. The part-textile part-leather seats are beautifully built and running my hand along them is a tactile experience I enjoy. The rear seats, placed higher than the front seats, are also very good. Visibility is great, thigh and back support are first rate and the use of vertical space also makes up for the Taigun’s relative lack of length.

    Then there’s the plastic quality. The fit, the finish, the grain all impart an overriding ‘made-with-care’ impression. Yes, plastics lower down in the cabin are not as sophisticated or well-built, and the headliner is also ordinary. But these apart, there are several other areas that stand out: the material quality of the pillars, the manner in which the seats ratchet home with a solid clack, the German door shut and the rubber mats with their smart upturned edges that keep dirt in. Settling down behind the wheel, I quickly remember the sumptuous and tactile feel of the leather-lined steering wheel. I love the easy-to-read-at-a-glance dials and even the windscreen stands out for clarity – the distortion-free curvature and a near-perfect tint. 

    Red trim is a bit too loud and ‘in-your-face’ for most.
    A ‘refresher’ drive of the Taigun also highlights other areas where you can experience  the quality of Volkswagen’s engineering. The Taigun runs silent a year and 11,000 kilometres on; not a squeak, not a groan, not a rattle audible. And this is even over some really bad patches. Ride quality should have been more comfortable and there clearly is some unnecessary firmness, and the clutch does feel a bit heavy after repeated use, especially when you calculate weight into the number of reps.
    The manual version of the 1.5 TSi is, however, still the one to go for if you want the best driving experience. It lets you access all 150 rampaging horses, and the seamless manner in which the engine pulls, even from low revs, just makes it so usable and driver-friendly. No, that typical turbo spike or sudden punch isn’t there, and this means some of the thrill is gone, but what replaces it is the feeling that this engine pulls relentlessly and everywhere. So, unleashing 250Nm over the rev range feels great. And then there’s the slick manner in which the gears slot home.
    No big spike of turbo boost; engine just pulls all the way to 6,500rpm.

    Performance is so strong and effortless, I often chose this car for recce runs. And it was here, chasing the Rajdhani from Nashik to Mumbai or scooting around from Colaba in Mumbai to Mandwa, across the harbour, where I enjoyed some of my most fun drives in the Taigun GT. The grip and balance of the chassis, the manner in which it thrives at speed rather than ‘fall apart,’ and the fact that you all but forget how high off the ground it is, all stand out. This is clearly the midsize SUV to go for if you like to drive yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s the 1.0 TSI, 1.5 TSI, manual or automatic, they all drive really well.  

    The fact that I had to take the key out of my pocket every time was a bit of a pain and the red on the dash got me seeing red. But now that the Taigun is going, I’ll miss the sheer depth of engineering, the sharp focus on quality and VW’s fundamentally different approach, where it engineers every car to be better and not just cheaper. 

    Also see: 

    Volkswagen Taigun 1.5 TSI GT long term review, 11,000km report

    Volkswagen Taigun 1.5 TSI GT long term review, 10,000km report

    Volkswagen Taigun 1.5 TSI GT long term review, 7,300km report

    Fact FilePetrol
    Distance covered11,465km
    Price when newRs 15.8 lakh (ex-showroom)
    Test economy10.6kpl (overall, this month)
    Maintenance costsNone
    Previous ReportFebruary 2022

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