Volkswagen Tiguan: All-New for 2018

By Steve Wheeler, October 21st, 2017

Fresh off the introduction of the Atlas full-size SUV, Volkswagen continues to push into the American family market with the 2018 Tiguan, a compact SUV that feels larger than it is.

Volkswagen designed the new Tiguan specifically for the U.S. market, making it bigger and giving it a spacious interior with flexible searing choices. The second-generation Tiguan is nearly 11 inches longer than the previous model and has up to 58 percent more cargo space.

The new Tiguan is available in four trim levels: S, SE, SEL and SEL Premium. Three rows are standard in FWD models and optional in AWD models.

"With Tiguan and Atlas, we're becoming a family-focused automaker," said Mark Gillies, manager of products and technology for Volkswagen. He said the company is working to regain the public's trust after the "dieselgate" scandal, and will offer a 6-year/72,000-mile warranty package that includes the engine, transmission and AWD system on the Tiguan.

The new Tiguan is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 184 horsepower and 221 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic, and the company's 4Motion AWD system is available.

A stop/start system is standard, but it can be disabled. I asked Tiguan VW Product Manager Jeff Ng why automakers make the stop/start system default to the "on" position rather than "off." He explained the EPA won't include fuel savings offered by the stop/start feature, unless the default is to have the system "on."

I remember the day when you just hoped your engine would start if it stopped at a red light. Today, engines stop and start dozens of times a day with the fuel-saving stop/start systems. Tiguan front drive models get 22 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg combined. Models with 4Motion AWD get one mpg less in the city, but the same on the road.

Meanwhile, the Tiguan feels every bit as nimble on the road as its lighter, shorter predecessor. Our test Tiguan stayed flat in hard cornering, and steering was precise and on-center.

Inside the cabin, the Tiguan has been completely refreshed with a sporty, driver-focused layout with gloss-gray and chrome details. Cloth seats are standard on the base trim, while SE and SEL models feature heated leatherette seating and a leather wrapped steering wheel. Road, wind and tire noises were negligible inside the quiet Tiguan cabin.

Traditional VW colors like grey and white are also expanding into colors like Habanero Orange, giving customers more exciting choices when it comes to the color of their vehicle.

In three-row models, the Tiguan has 33 cubic feet of cargo space when the third row is folded down. Drop the second row as well and you'll find 65.7 cubic feet of cargo volume. With all three rows in place, volume in back is 12 cubic feet. A 12-volt outlet is in the cargo deck, which also has tie downs to keep things in place.

MIB II is the infotainment system standard across all Tiguan trims. With Volkswagen's Car-Net platform, the Tiguan has a comprehensive suite of connected vehicle services. Features in Car-Net are available through Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. The SEL Premium trim also gets the latest Fender Premium Audio system as standard equipment.

The Tiguan has a full complement of airbags, a standard rearview camera and sophisticated safety and accident prevention systems like forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring.

Specifications

Base price $25,245 (as tested: $26,145)
Curb weight 3,730 lbs.
Displacement 2.0-liter
Engine type 16-valve turbocharged 4-cylinder w/DI
Epa mileage rating 22 mpg city, 27 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 15.3 gal.
Horsepower (net) 184 at 4400 rpm
Overall length 185.1 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 221 at 1600-4300 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Vehicle type 7-passenger FWD compact SUV
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