VW’s compact Taos goes off-road with new Basecamp Concept

A proper little German off-roader sporting a custom roof rack & wheels, raised suspension and adventure-ready looks.

In 2019, VW’s biggest SUV got the badass Basecamp treatment — now, it’s the smaller model’s turn. Like the Atlas version which received a positive response, the new Taos Basecamp Concept goes beyond slapping a few “off-road” features and calling it a day. VW clearly knows there’s a growing market here, stating, “many are venturing into the great outdoors and require vehicles with the innovations to accommodate their active lifestyles.” Conceived by the Volkswagen Design Team in Oxnard, California, this raised and ramped-up Taos definitely isn’t your typical compact SUV. Sporting custom Traverse MX wheels by fifteen52 wrapped in all-terrain Falken tires alongside H&R Special Springs, bold fender flares, silver rocker cladding running along the sides, and skid plates at the front and back, this is a serious adventure machine ready to hit the unpaved roads. The styling upgrades add to it all with gloss black trim elements and a matte black hood and roof, paired to the Taos Basecamp’s muted Waimea blue paint and orange accents including the badges, mirror caps, and side decals. Up top, the small off-roader gains a custom roof rack by Thule Canyon XT with integrated off-road Baja Designs LED lighting, while the cabin goes beyond the stock Taos interior with a custom cargo divider to keep all the gear in one place, and the first VW to showcase the latest Gentex HomeLink Bluetooth enabled frameless mirror with integrated compass. No performance upgrades so expect the same 1.5L turbo engine built on the Jetta’s 1.4L version. Unfortunately, there are no plans for a production version of the Taos Basecamp Concept. Maybe it’s time VW gets on it.