After a rather successful eight-year run, the time has come for Volkswagen’s compact crossover to be put to rest. An all-new model – bigger, more spacious, and more affordable – is set to arrive for model year 2018. In the mean time, the current model gets a few equipment level tweaks plus a celebratory Wolfsburg Edition trim as a final hurrah.
Replacing last year’s Special Edition, the new Wolfsburg sits one rung up from the base level Tiguan. Selecting it nets you an eight-way power adjustable seat with lumbar support, two-tone black and beige leatherette upholstery, 17-inch wheels, heated front seats, proximity key with push-button start, reverse camera, aluminum pedals, and dual-zone automatic climate control. A panoramic sunroof is available at extra cost.
In general, 2017 Tiguans receive more equipment than their predecessors. A six-speed automatic transmission is now standard equipment on the Trendline. 18-inch wheels now come standard on the Comfortline, as does chrome window trim, silver roof rails, and an eight-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support. The range-topping Highline now receives dark-finish 18-inch wheels, standard Sport suspension, plus xenon headlamps with adaptive beams. While four colours bite the dust for 2017 (Wild Cherry, Titanium Beige, Krypton Grey, Pepper Grey), Pacific Blue and classic Reflex silver join the pallet.
Though the Tiguan rides on a chassis based off the fifth-generation Golf (also known as the Rabbit), it’s aged quite well. With its premium cabin materials, clean design, and ergonomic layout, the Tiguan’s interior has stood the test of time well. Last year’s addition of an all-new 6.33-inch display audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration helped, no doubt. The screen might be small, but the setup does the trick.
Road manners are a Tiguan strong suit. The little crossover feels glued to the road with reactive steering and a standard suspension that balances body control and comfort well. The optional Sport suspension and 19-inch wheels that are a part of the R-Line package are very firm, though.
Only one engine is available – VW’s first-gen 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine which dates back to the ’06 VW GTI. Its 200 horses and 207 lb-ft of torque may seem small, but they’re very strong, and can easily able to push the Tiguan along.
If there’s a downside to the Tiguan, it’s that its rear quarters are a bit tight on size, while its trunk is down in size and space on the competition. Then again, what qualifies as a compact crossover these days is much larger than when the Tiguan first appeared on the scene. Buyers looking for active safety features may also lament that equipment like radar cruise control or emergency autonomous braking are unavailable. Such features should appear on next year’s next-generation model.