2018 Volkswagen Tiguan: VW's `trucklet'

By Sue Mead, November 11th, 2017

Volkswagen's midsize sport utility vehicle, the Tiguan, is updated with a longer wheelbase for 2018 and offers flexible seating for five with a sliding second row.

The 2018 Tiguan also has a new third row standard on front-wheel-drive models and optional on all-wheel-drive models. That means the newest Tiguan can seat up to seven and carry 57 percent more cargo than the outgoing model.

Front-drive models come in four trims priced from $25,345 to $36,250. They are powered by new generation 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

All are available with the Volkswagen's 4Motion Active Control AWD system ($1,300) that includes four driver selectable modes for drive comfort and performance optimization in all road situations and for traction-compromised surfaces. Fuel economy for the FWD is rated at 22 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. The AWD 4Motion version is rated at 21/27 mpg city/highway.

This second-generation Tiguan is stylish and sophisticated with updated looks that add a new "wow-factor" yet are not showy. The new Tiguan has a wider, lower stance that allows for a lower lift-in height at the tailgate while still providing 7.9 inches of ground clearance and approach, departure and break-over angles for off-the-road travel.

We drove the 2018 Tiguan from the city streets of Denver to the red rock canyons and mountain passes of the Rockies. Despite the high-elevation, there was plenty of power to ascend grades and for high-speed passing; the engine produces 184 horsepower with 221 lb.-ft. of torque and the eight-speed auto transmission divvies it up nicely between its gears.

Its steering is rack-and-pinion with power assist and carves well, while braking benefits from power assist with electronic brake distribution. VW calls the Tiguan a "trucklet" because of its roominess and its trailer hitch that gives it a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds.

Notable is the premium feel both outside and within, where there is a large collection of standard features and technology.

The Tiguan S gets 17-inch wheels, automatic halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED taillights, rearview camera, power adjustable heated side mirrors, black roof rails, cloth seating surfaces with a premium Rhombus pattern, a 40:20:40 sliding (7-inches) and reclining second row seat and manual liftgate.

SE upgrades with heated washer nozzles, keyless access and push-button start, dual-zone climate control, leatherette seating surfaces, leather covered multi-function steering wheel, heated eight-way power driver seat. Infotainment is also upgraded.

Tiguan SEL brings a Panoramic Sunroof with Ambient Lighting, 18-inch wheels, silver roof rails, remote start, power liftgate, Adaptive Cruise Control, Discover Media 8.0-inch touchscreen with navigation and VW Car-Net Guide and Inform system.

Tiguan SEL Premium gets 19-inch wheels, LED Headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting, rain-sensing wipers, puddle lights, hands-free power liftgate, and heated steering wheel.

Tiguan comes with a six-year or 72,000 mile bumper-to-bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty that is transferable from the original owner.

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