New Volkswagen Taigo vs Ford Puma: interiors

In a world of boxy small SUVs, the voluptuous new Volkswagen Taigo certainly stands out. But it will take a lot more than good looks to beat the class-leading Ford Puma...

Volkswagen Taigo 2022 dashboard

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

Both of these cars have simple dashboards layouts that are easy to use, with rotary controls for the air conditioning. Some of the minor controls, though, are more conveniently placed in the Volkswagen Taigo; the switches for the parking sensors and stop-start system are located beside the gearlever, while the Ford Puma’s are tucked away farther down, right by the handbrake, where they fall less easily to hand.

It’s easy to find a comfortable driving position in both cars, thanks to there being plenty of steering wheel and seat adjustment, including for lumbar support. Neither driver’s seat provides a brilliant amount of side bolstering to hold you in place when cornering hard, but the Puma’s sports seats (standard with this ST-Line trim level) do a better job than the Taigo’s.

Each of our contenders gives its driver a decent view out, perching them appreciably higher than they would be in a regular Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo hatchback. The Puma’s windscreen pillars are slightly more obstructive at junctions, but its lower dashboard opens up a viewing angle that enables you to more easily judge where the bonnet ends, and this helps you position the car with more confidence when manoeuvring in tight spaces.

Ford Puma 2022 dashboard

Rear visibility isn’t great in either car; it’s hindered by broad rear pillars and small rear screens. Fortunately, both cars have rear parking sensors as standard, while the Taigo goes further by adding front sensors and a park assist function that can steer you into spaces automatically. A rear-view camera is optional with both.

The Taigo is plusher inside than the closely related Volkswagen T-Cross, thanks to a soft-touch dashboard borrowed from the Polo. It’s hardly going to dazzle you, but everything feels solid and you don’t feel as though you’re being ripped off.

In comparison, the Puma doesn’t feel quite as sturdy overall, even if it makes more of an effort to show off the range of materials used, with padded, leather-like panels on the insides and tops of the doors and some squidgy plastics on the dashboard.

Infotainment systems

Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Taigo 2022 touchscreen

The 8.0in touchscreen in the Taigo has clearer graphics. Its list-format menus are trickier to read and hit accurately on the move than the Puma’s icons, but there are more shortcuts to take you directly to specific functions. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay mean you don’t have to link your phone with a USB cable to use them. You can upgrade the six-speaker sound system to a punchier Beats version for £635 and add sat-nav for £745.

Ford Fiesta

Ford Puma 2022 touchscreen

The Puma’s 8.0in touchscreen looks basic but is easy to use, with menus that are simple to navigate. The graphics could be sharper, and its responses aren’t the quickest, but at least it provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, as well as supporting What3words – a simple method to set the standard sat-nav. There’s no option to upgrade the standard six-speaker audio system, though.

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