The engine pulls through higher intermediate gears pretty easily, moves the Taigo’s bulk along similarly easily, and allows you to move with the traffic in relaxed, unstressed and broadly refined fashion. The standard-fit dual-clutch automatic gearbox slips between ratios very smoothly under light loads, although it’s a bit slow and more clunky-feeling under heavier ones and with manually cued shifts, and isn’t always as quick to kick down as some drivers might like.

Under harder driving, the car’s four-cylinder engine becomes a little strained and booming at high revs. It’s not an engine to take pleasure in extending beyond about 4000rpm, and nor is it very keen-revving beyond that point – although, when called on to really buckle down, it performs well enough. So, if there’s a dividend to spending top money on a Taigo, it’s more likely to be delivered with the car’s everyday ease of use and a certain sense of bigger-car drivability. Real-world economy isn’t bad, ranging between miles to the gallon in the high 30s around town up to just below 50 on a longer run.

The car has medium-light controls, handles predictably, rides comfortably and is typically moderate-feeling on the road, declining to impose much character on what it’s doing, but always remaining assured and easy to control. If mid-range Volkswagens had a dynamic persona, that would be it.

The Taigo doesn’t lope along like a bigger SUV, and isn’t interested in entertaining or involving like a Ford Puma might. But it’s consistent in everything it does; is easy to place and guide; is comfortable with it; and can handle a fairly heavy load without heaving around at speed.

This is one of those cars that could so easily have been classified in any one of several market segments if had been launched 10 or even 20 years earlier. Think of it as a fresh alternative to a normal Golf-sized family hatchback if you prefer, or even a B-segment MPV like a Citroën C3 Picasso. It’s fairly spacious for something of its size, and smart-looking; quite well furnished and equipped, too; it’s pleasant, if a bit forgettable, to drive; and it’s modern, of course. If that sounds like the kind of small family car you’d be happy to spend £30,000 on, VW will be happy to take your money, but mine would probably go on a version a little simpler and cheaper.



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