A blue 2022 Volkswagen Taos is shown from the side while parked in front of a garage during a 2022 Volkswagen Taos vs 2022 Mazda CX-30 comparison.

Cabin Convenience: Inside the 2022 Volkswagen Taos and 2022 Mazda CX-30

Each year, new cars make their way onto the roadways offering drivers even more choices when it comes to how they wish to travel. For many, SUVs offer exactly what is needed in a vehicle—space, style, functionality, and safety. When drivers are looking for options that are easy to drive and handle through city traffic and beyond, subcompact SUVs can’t be beaten. There’s a newcomer on the scene this year, the Volkswagen Taos, loaded with classic VW charm and loads of desirable features that have quickly gotten the attention of many SUV fans. Not only does it boast the functionality that the brand is known for, but its cabin space is also exceptionally designed to offer a level of practicality not found in many other subcompact models. In this comparison, we’re pitting this VW newbie against a competitor that brings the heat when cabin design is concerned. When it comes to the 2022 Volkswagen Taos vs. the 2022 Mazda CX-30, prepare to be intrigued by how clever these compact models can be inside.

Space for Everyone and Everything

Many drivers believe that subcompact SUVs are just a half-step away from sedans. They’re small and unable to handle the gear or passengers that you should be able to handle in an SUV, but this is a major misconception. Take the Volkswagen Taos, for instance. It showcases almost as much rear-seat legroom as the larger Tiguan, making it one of the most impressive small travelers in its class when space is concerned. Offering 37.9 inches of legroom for rear-seat passengers, the Taos provides a comfortable ride no matter where you’re seated. Another remarkable aspect of the Taos is its ability to handle cargo like a pro, despite its small size. It has 27.9 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats and up to 65.9 cu.ft. when the seats are folded.

The Mazda CX-30 is gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but when it comes to functionality, it seems as though this pint-size traveler may make some compromises. It’s definitely smaller inside than the Taos, only offering its rear-seated passengers a max of 36.3 inches of legroom, which can be a bit tight, especially for taller riders. Where it really disappoints, however, is its cargo volume—only 20.2 cu.ft. with the rear seats up and 45.2 cu.ft. when the rear seats are folded. This is much less than the Taos, which can be a deal breaker, especially for those who frequently travel with a lot of gear.

When drivers are searching for a small SUV, they don’t want to make too many compromises. The 2022 Volkswagen Taos allows drivers to have it all with enough space for those seated in the back of the vehicle to enjoy a comfortable ride without their gear encroaching on their experience. The Mazda CX-30, unfortunately, doesn’t offer this luxury which can be a big factor in why drivers choose the Taos over the CX-30 when interior convenience matters.

A grey 2022 Mazda CX-30 is shown from the front at an angle.

Comfort Options

Now, here is where both the 2022 Volkswagen Taos and the 2022 Mazda CX-30 are on a more even playing field. Let it be known that these two compact travelers are very different inside; the Taos is more streamlined and minimalist, whereas the CX-30 tends to exhibit a grander appeal. For many drivers, a contemporary style is what they desire inside their vehicle and is exactly what can be expected inside the Taos. Getting comfortable there is easy, with available leather seating, customizable ambient lighting to set the tone of the trip, as well as a panoramic sunroof. An open, airy feel is exactly what a lot of drivers are looking for in their vehicle, and the Taos exhibits this perfectly, with just the right amount of cozy features to add a level of refinement and enjoyment to any ride.

The CX-30 is more elaborate inside, which may work for some drivers, but those who are looking for a more modern and straightforward appeal may want something less flashy. High-end materials greet you in the Mazda CX-30, like leather seating and accents. The main downside is its lack of space, which we mentioned previously. This really takes away from the overall feeling you get inside, as it tends to be a bit more cramped as opposed to the openness that the Taos provides.

Space can play a big role in how you feel inside a vehicle. Because the CX-30 is much smaller than the Taos, you feel more closed in. This doesn’t bode well for those who are looking for that bright, open feel during their travels. Although the CX-30 showcases pleasing materials and a high-quality appeal, that isn’t enough to place it ahead of the Taos when it comes to overall comfort.

Let’s Talk Tech

Comfort plays a large role when considering cabin convenience, but tech can be just as important. Having cutting-edge tech at your fingertips is what we have come to expect out of our vehicles, making tech a crucial component of the overall convenience of a vehicle’s cabin. The 2022 Taos does a fantastic job of incorporating top-level tech into its well-laid-out cabin space with its touchscreen—measuring either 6.5 inches or eight inches—providing access to an easy-to-use infotainment system. Available features that make the ride even better include built-in navigation, smartphone integration, and more. You’ll find many of the same features inside the CX-30, including Bluetooth capabilities, WiFi, and other convenient tech options.

What I really like about the Taos is the standard VW Digital Cockpit, a fully-digital instrument cluster that has everything you need to know and more about your ride presented on a configurable eight-inch or 10.25-inch display. Perhaps the most impressive aspect is being able to turn this large display into a map to immerse yourself in your journey when it’s time to navigate to a new destination. Another feature drivers love is the Travel Assist function of the IQ.DRIVE driver assistance arsenal. This hands-on, semi-autonomous driving experience allows the Taos to take control of steering and maneuvering through traffic to deliver the right amount of assistance behind the wheel.

The CX-30 also features an excellent safety and driver assistance suite, including many features commonly found in today’s vehicles, like blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keep assist. However, it doesn’t really go above and beyond like the Taos, which is a bit of a disappointment. All in all, when it comes to convenience, tech and safety matter. The Taos does a brilliant job of offering drivers exactly what they’re looking for in a modern vehicle.

A blue 2022 VW Taos is shown from the front.

2022 Volkswagen Taos vs 2022 Mazda CX-30

When it comes to convenience, both the 2022 Volkswagen Taos and the 2022 Mazda CX-30 display exceptional features. However, the Taos goes above and beyond. Perhaps its best attribute is its size since it’s larger than many of its rivals, which delivers the experience drivers desire and the level of comfort needed while traveling. Combine this spaciousness with comfortable appointments and top-tier tech, and the Taos makes for a subcompact SUV that’s hard to beat. Unfortunately, the Mazda CX-30’s smaller size is its downfall, offering less space for passengers and gear, as well as a more closed-in feeling inside. When it comes to cabin convenience, the Taos takes top honors, making for a ride that exceeds expectations.