AT TIMES, A REPORT THAT SPANS A LENGTHY PERIOD OF TIME CAN become overly emotional and less practical in nature. Despite occupying our garage for a while, I haven't had the chance to test drive the VW Taigun yet. Thanks to the extended weekend of 15th August, I finally took Taigun on a long 1000km road trip. Driving statistics came out quite satisfactory, despite being occasionally hard on the pedal— 16.4km/l of displayed efficiency for 575 km of mixed driving conditions. I have a love-hate relationship with manual gearboxes; sometimes, it feels so enthralling to drive, but most of the time, playing with the clutch in day-to-day traffic becomes a headache. Be it Mumbai or Pune; traffic has been horrible; what was not so horrible was the clutch feel from the Taigun, and getting used to the biting point was an easy task. Gear ratios are well-spaced out, and it was a delight to ring the engine out. Around 1700-1800rpm is when you can feel the turbo boost. It pulls out effortlessly above 2000rpm; however, one needs to work on gear for quick overtakes. Steering is quite light for city use, and manoeuvring it through traffic was easy; belting it on the ghats is when you will
appreciate its dynamic handling. The chassis boosts enough confidence under hard cornering, and even the body roll is well-controlled. Suspensions are stiff, but that does not translate into uncomfortable ride quality over bad patches. Out on the highway, it feels stable. The smaller 999cc engine feels punchy to use. However, one can feel the vibrations at the start, which is quite evident in a 3-cylinder engine.
A few things could be worked on, first and foremost the buzzing noise from the fans in the front ventilated seats. It becomes irritating after some time. The music system could be better. Listen to songs and podcasts on mid volumes - it will work just fine, but once you try to be a bit loud, it won't be that pleasant experience.
VW 1.5-l engine is what everyone desires, but it's the 1.0-l engine that would fit everyone's pocket. The driving dynamics and engine character has made my drive quite impressive, and the added benefit of the SUV character helped me explore places. Amidst a market saturated with products prioritizing comfort and features, the VW Taigun stands out for its focus on the true essence of driving: the spirit of the road.