Considering what people are truly hoping to find when shopping for a new vehicle, sometimes the one you had your eye on may not be all that it’s cracked up to be. And, when mixing competition into the mix, sometimes it becomes painfully clear which manufacturer provides the better overall vehicle. Take the 2022 Volkswagen Taos vs the 2022 Kia Seltos, for example. Both of these SUVs are relatively similar regarding pricing and performance, but there are a host of notable differences between the two. Today, I’ll be walking you through some of the highlights that you can expect to find with the Taos, and if you’ve been interested in the Seltos up until now, then you’ll want to read ahead to learn why that might not be the best idea.
Starting Price and Trims
Let’s start by discussing trim levels and pricing. The 2022 Volkswagen Taos starts at an MSRP of $23,495, and the Seltos start at $22,490. While it may seem steeper, the differences are well worth the extra $1,000. We’ll get to those shortly; however, something else to note is that shopping for a Taos isn’t as tricky as the Seltos, and this is because a choice between three trims is far easier to decide between than five. Ultimately, you can expect much of the same tech to make its way over between these two vehicles, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s the more minuscule bits that ultimately make the Taos a more compelling offer than the Seltos—even if you’ll be spending a bit more on your purchase. So, to kick things off, let’s discuss the powertrain differentials.
The Choice Between CVT and Automatic
One of the largest differences between the Taos and the Seltos is their transmissions and base configurations. The Taos outperforms the Seltos, which is important to note because that extra $1,000 you’ll be spending on the Taos isn’t for nothing. So, what engines can you expect to come standard with both of these vehicles? Starting with the Seltos, it comes standard with a 2.0L I-4 engine paired with a Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission (CVT). Depending on who you ask, this may be a deal-breaker, and not in a good way. While CVTs have their place in the market, many drivers may prefer the 8-speed automatic transmission that comes standard with the Tao’s base engine.
Speaking of the Tao’s base engine, it’s a turbocharged 1.5L I-4 engine. With this engine, the Taos can output 158 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, which ousts the Seltos’ 146 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. With this 39% increase in torque output combined with the 8-speed automatic transmission, it begins to become clearer as to why the Taos may be a better fit for you. Additionally, fuel efficiency is rather similar, which you could consider somewhat of a saving grace for the Seltos. Even then, you can expect the Taos to offer you an extra mile per gallon when traveling on the highway. This may not sound like much, but it’s a money-saver nonetheless.
It’s also worth noting that both vehicles offer a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which many drivers may seek to opt for with their purchase. The main difference comes down to the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission being reserved for the optional turbocharged 1.6L I-4 engine for the Seltos, whereas it’s available for the base Taos engine. Ultimately, if we’re looking at it from a performance standpoint, the Taos is the better purchase if you’re looking to stick with the stock configuration and save as much money as possible.
Cargo Space Matters
For an SUV, it’s crucial to provide drivers with a decent amount of cargo space and passenger room. After all, SUVs are well regarded for such, especially against their contemporaries, such as sedans. More space is better; there’s no denying that. So, how do the Taos and Seltos fair in this regard? Well, the Taos, like the base level performance we spoke of, outperforms the Seltos, which again makes that extra $1,000 you’ll be spending look like less of a problem.
Keeping your seats folded downwards if you’re traveling alone and hauling something along with you will reveal a total of 62.8 cu-ft on the Seltos. Of course, this isn’t exactly bad, but compared to the Taos’ 65.9 cu-ft of space that comes with folding the seats down, the Seltos is ultimately the smaller sedan, at least on the inside. The same can be said for when the seats are in their upright configuration, too, with 27.9 cu-ft of space against the 26.6 cu-ft found in the Seltos.
Something that has always struck my curiosity about SUVs is how manufacturers aim to implement the latest technologies into their vehicles. Case in point, the infotainment center has become a vital part of the overall experience that some of these new vehicles are trying to deliver, and in the case of the Taos and Seltos, they most certainly do. While the Seltos may seem appealing with its larger 10.25-inch screen against the Taos’ 6.5-inch screen, in real-world usage, this is a negligible difference. As for the technology housed within this infotainment center, we’ve got an array of features prominent in both SUVs.
Starting with some of the more basic features, you can expect Bluetooth connectivity, which isn’t exactly an impressive feat anymore, but it’s important to have regardless. It’s especially important to have some form of Bluetooth connectivity if you don’t have a device that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which both vehicles offer. Yes, you’ll be using a USB cable to access these features with a compatible device, so if you’re looking to keep your interior devoid of cables but you still want to listen to your favorite songs, then Bluetooth is the only way.
Speaking of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, these features come standard on both the Taos and Seltos. Why is that? Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have become staples in the automotive industry. For vehicles released in 2022, it’s not far-fetched to expect these features to come with your new vehicle. Again, fortunately for those who purchase either of these two SUVs, you’ll get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Thanks to these two features, your SUV will become a companion to your smartphone, and you’ll be able to access all of its most prominent features without holding the phone in your hand. Not only does this promote safer driving, but it allows the infotainment center to offer a more streamlined experience with a host of capabilities.
This is all-important to note because combined with the better performance and larger cargo space of the Taos, it’s important that it also includes features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, something that the Taos has over the Seltos is a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Not only does it come standard on the Taos, but there’s not one to be found for the Seltos, which is a massive disappointment for those hoping to secure some fast internet built directly into their cabin.
The Volkswagen Taos Offers More
As you can see, when comparing these two SUVs, the Taos has more to offer with an extra $1,000. Although both SUVs offer a variety of features that will appeal to a variety of drivers, if you are simply looking to get more for your money, the Taos stands above the Seltos in several aspects. Those looking for more power, capacity, and up-to-date technology would be advised to look at the Taos to meet their needs.