Volkswagen is expanding its US range with the introduction of the new Taos model, which slots into the lineup below the Tiguan.

The compact SUV will feature a new version of the EA211 turbocharged four-cylinder engine that currently powers the Jetta sedan. Making 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the new engine increases in size from 1.4 to 1.5 liters and offers a number of high-tech features designed to offer fuel economy.

Despite the engine having a larger displacement and being more powerful than the EA211 fitted in the Jetta, the engine is more efficient in fuel usage. It features Volkswagen’s modified version of the Miller cycle, where the intake valves are closed early in the induction stroke to help with fuel economy. For a turbocharged engine, it has a very high compression ratio of up to 11.5 to one.

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The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission in the front-wheel-drive model, with a Sport mode. AWD models get a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The Taos is expected to go on sale in the summer of 2021 in both front- and all-wheel-drive forms. The vehicle is positioned in the largest U.S. vehicle segment, the compact SUV market, where 4 million vehicles were sold in 2019—around 24 percent of the market. It will slot into the VW compact SUV lineup below both the Tiguan and the all-electric ID.4 SUV.

Based on the MQB modular transverse architecture, the Taos is 11 inches shorter than the Tiguan at 174.2 inches overall. It will provide an excellent value, with outstanding fuel economy, interior space, tech, and available driver assistance features.

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