Parked up next to the kerb in the sleepy Argentinean town of San Antonio Areco, the Taigun is put into perspective in the very surroundings it can expect to encounter when sales begin in 2016.
Concept cars have a tendency to appear out of place away from the spotlights of a motor show, but apart from its vivid blue paint scheme the new entry level Volkswagen SUV looks thoroughly convincing among the cafes, shop fronts and municipal buildings that line the town’s square.
It is unmistakably a Volkswagen when you're standing next to it, with clear similarities to the larger Tiguan. A wheel-at-each corner stance also gives the Taigun a heavy dose of visual confidence for something so compact – an observation that is further enforced by its 17-inch wheels, which with 205/65 tyres help to fill its substantial arches.
Nothing is official just yet but signs are the new five door will see production with only subtle changes to exterior styling, a collaboration between Volkswagen’s main design studio in Wolfsburg and its Italian off-shoot Giugiaro.
Officials on hand in Argentina this week suggested the grille could be toned down to reflect the more restrained look of other recent Volkswagen models. The same goes for the headlamps.
The two-piece tailgate, while providing excellent access to the rear, is also too complex to consider on a car set to compete at the lower end of the market. It is likely to be replaced by a simpler one-piece hatchback style arrangement.
A turn behind the wheel of the Taigun, on a variety of roads, indicates that it successfully combines the elevated seating position of a small SUV with the compact dimensions of a traditional small hatchback. There is a compelling completeness to the concept that hints its development is perhaps more advanced that Volkswagen is willing to admit.
With the front seats mounted 694mm above the ground, you sit 64mm higher in the Taigun than in its mechanical identical sibling, the Up. It doesn’t sound like much, but the moderate increase in seat height is sufficient to provide the driver with quite a commanding view of the road along with excellent visibility to all corners.