New Volkswagen Taigo hits European roads as 2021 launch nears

The Volkswagen Nivus, a compact crossover originally launched in South America and Mexico, will make its debut in European markets – including the UK – before the end of 2021 as the Taigo. 

Described as having a “sporty and vibrant” look along with a “peculiar character”, the Taigo is similar in positioning to the T-Cross already on sale in western Europe. However, it’s differentiated by a lower, coupé-style roofline and is longer and wider. It’s based on the same MQB A0 platform as the Indian-market VW Taigun revealed earlier this year. 

It’s now been spotted testing completely undisguised on German public roads, revealing that Volkswagen will make barely any styling changes for the European market. 

The Nivus’s European launch was confirmed shortly before Volkswagen revealed it would be called the Taigo here, and is set for the fourth quarter of the year. It will be closely followed by a facelifted version of the larger T-Roc SUV.

While the Nivus was developed specifically for the South American market, VW committed at its launch in 2020 to eventually offering it in certain European markets. 

When launched in Brazil, the Nivus featured a new, Brazil-developed infotainment system called Volks Play. The 10.0in high-definition screen features tech similar to that seen in recent European VWs, including an App Store for increased functionality and built-in wi-fi. 

The system is also said to be durable and water resistant – part of a wider focus with the Nivus to ensure long-term reliability, an important factor for harsh South American climates and roads. For example, the firm is able to test the car’s electrical system to see how it fares with up to 10 years of use. 

The Nivus is the first Brazilian model with adaptive cruise control, too, and autonomous emergency braking features as well. Keyless entry, six airbags, a driver drowsiness detector and a digital dashboard are also said to be segment firsts in the market. 

More specific details, including the car’s engines and pricing, have yet to be revealed – though Volkswagen has confirmed it will be offered in Europe with “economical TSI engines”, implying there will be no diesel options.