|8.8||Ground Clearance (in)||6.6|
|32.5||Cargo Space (cu.ft.)||27.9|
What does it take for a vehicle to reach legendary status? Just ask the engineers at Ford, whose job it was to take a classic Ford nameplate and reimagine it for modern drivers. The result is an all-purpose SUV with a name that evokes off-road adventure: the Bronco Sport. Unfortunately for the competition, Ford succeeded in spectacular fashion. How does the Blue Oval's success story play out in comparisons like the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport vs 2022 Volkswagen Taos? Spoiler alert: Ford dominates.
Still, every compact SUV buyer is different, so it's possible that the Taos offers an advantage not found in the Bronco Sport, which is why our comparison leaves no stone unturned. Get ready to look at the full spectrum of features, from handling and off-road capability to in-vehicle tech, safety, and cabin appointments. Our comprehensive comparison will give you the tools you need to decide which SUV––the Bronco Sport or the Taos––works for your lifestyle.
Among compact SUVs, none has created more buzz than the new Bronco Sport. First launched in 2021, it's the more road-ready sibling to the full-size Bronco, which was released at the same time. The Taos is only a year older and is one of Volkswagen's best-selling vehicles. It has similar features and is about the same size as the Bronco Sport, but is that enough to compete with a true legend? Specifications don't lie, which is why our deep dive is designed to definitively answer that question.
Comparing compact SUVs requires looking at different criteria, such as performance, capability, in-vehicle technology, and safety, but sometimes it's the little things that make a vehicle superior. Perhaps that's why Kelley Blue Book stacks on the accolades, citing the Bronco Sport's "stylish aesthetic" and "rugged capabilities" as reasons why this little truck deserves a spot on every compact SUV buyer's list. But how does it stack up to the popular Volkswagen Taos?
Right out of the gate, the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport trounces the 2022 Volkswagen Taos in the off-roading department, offering standard four-wheel drive across the entire trim range. Volkswagen buyers might be dismayed to learn that if you want more off-road capability or additional traction on wet roads, you'll have to shell out extra for the available 4MOTION all-wheel drive system on the Taos.
Further, every Bronco Sport includes a standard High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension (HOSS, for short). The HOSS system is specially designed to tackle rough terrain, but it also adds refinement to on-road driving. When it comes to off-roading, control matters. That's why Ford's GOAT system offers drivers selectable drive modes to custom tailor traction control and throttle response to match the current driving conditions.
As for power, the Bronco Sport comes with two different engine options, depending on the trim. The first is a 1.5-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder with 181 hp and Start-Stop technology for added fuel economy. It's included on all trims except the top-of-the-line Badlands, which receives a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. However, the more powerful engine is paired with an upgraded four-wheel drive system that includes a twin-clutch rear differential for incredible traction in all terrain.
The Volkswagen Taos offers a single four-cylinder engine that falls short of even Ford's less powerful motor, coming in at 158 hp. Upgrading to all-wheel drive adds four selectable drive modes: Snow, On-Road, Off-Road, and Off-Road Custom. Still, this doesn't compare to the seven GOAT modes that come standard with the Bronco Sport.
Ford equips every Bronco Sport with a large eight-inch infotainment touchscreen that runs on its lightning-fast SYNC 3 operating system. If you want an eight-inch touchscreen on your Volkswagen Taos, don't buy the base S trim, which features a smaller and less feature-rich 6.5-inch screen. Both the Bronco Sport and the Taos offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity on all trims.
As for audio, the Bronco Sport can be outfitted with a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system that includes a subwoofer. If you want the Taos' available Beats Audio stereo, you'll have to aim for the most expensive SEL trim, and even then, the audio system only includes an eight-speaker setup. If you want navigation, you'll again find it only on the Taos SEL. Ford offers connected, voice-activated navigation on all but the base trim of the Bronco Sport.
As for off-road specific technology, the story is focused squarely on the Bronco Sport. Choosing the off-road-ready Badlands trim adds a front 180-degree camera that drivers can customize, including displaying a split-screen view for optimal visibility. A camera lens washer is even included for visibility on the muddiest trails. The camera works at all speeds when the Bronco Sport is set to the Off-Road drive mode.
As an extension of the connected navigation system, the Badlands also adds Breadcrumb Navigation, a feature that lets drivers drop virtual breadcrumbs along their route, so you won't get lost exploring off-the-grid backcountry trails. You won't find this feature on the Taos, which probably doesn't need it, as its lack of four-wheel drive and low ground clearance limits off-road capability. Ford doubles down on trail-related tech with Ford Trail Control, which is a low-speed cruise control system that allows you to focus on navigating rough terrain.
Crafting a functional interior for an SUV designed for on and off-road adventures isn't easy, but it all starts with ergonomics. Both the Bronco Sport and the Taos offer seating for five passengers. However, the Bronco Sport offers 105.7 cu.ft. of passenger volume and a max cargo volume of 65.2 cu.ft. The Taos is much smaller, with 99.5 cu.ft. of passenger volume. Further, all-wheel drive-equipped models offer just 60.2 cu.ft. of cargo volume.
Even the base-trim Bronco Sport is extremely well-equipped, featuring steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a six-speaker audio system, and an eight-inch touchscreen. Four USB charging ports come standard, along with a comprehensive suite of driver-assist systems, including automatic high beams. The base-trim Taos only includes two USB charging ports and a smaller 6.5-inch screen. Fun extras available on the Bronco Sport include a tailgate-mounted bottle opener and floodlights, neither of which are available on the Taos.
Premium versions of each model are available for buyers looking to add creature comforts and luxury cabin appointments. Ford has the Bronco Sport Outer Banks, and VW has the Taos SEL. The Bronco Sport Outer Banks features dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating, ambient cabin lighting, and heated power front seats. An innovative MOLLE strap system is found on the front seat backs to offer secure stowage for all your gear.
The Taos SEL features many of the same premium features found on the Outer Banks, but because the cabin is smaller, passengers might feel uncomfortable even with the standard heated seats. Front and rear headroom measure 40.7 inches and 39.8 inches, respectively. Compared with the Bronco Sport's 41.5 inches of front headroom and 41.7 inches of rear headroom, the Taos is substantially more cramped. In fact, the Bronco Sport is tall enough to accommodate two mountain bikes set upright.