The 2022 Volkswagen Taos, a new small SUV, falls short in two crashworthiness tests used by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in its ratings.
The Taos manages only acceptable ratings in the passenger-side small overlap test and head restraint evaluations. Good ratings are required in these and four other crashworthiness tests for a vehicle to be eligible for a 2022 TOP SAFETY PICK award.
In the passenger-side small overlap test, the SUV’s occupant compartment allowed excessive intrusion into the passenger’s survival space, resulting in a marginal score that brings down the overall rating. In the head restraint evaluation, the dummy’s head and neck weren’t adequately supported early in the simulated rear-end crash.
The Taos earns good ratings in the other four crashworthiness evaluations — the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, original side and roof strength tests. The SUV’s optional front crash prevention system also earns a superior rating in the vehicle-to-vehicle evaluation, though it manages only a basic rating in the vehicle-to-pedestrian test. Advanced or superior ratings are required in both tests for either of the Institute’s two awards.
The SEL trim comes with LED projector headlights that earn a good rating. However, lower trims of the Taos come with marginal headlights that don’t provide enough visibility.