Volkswagen’s entry-level crossover model undergoes a dramatic change for 2018, evolving into a significantly larger vehicle with optional third-row seating. The update is part of a VW plan to increase its presence in the utility vehicle segment in a bid to boost consumer appeal in North America, where buyers are continuing to move away from the small and mid-size cars the company is known for.
Though the Tiguan is a returning nameplate, the redesigned model is part of a VW product offensive that will see it add seven all-new SUVs and crossovers to its range by the end of 2018.
Tiguan will still compete against company crossover stalwarts like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. Its added size and optional third row, however, will find it being cross-shopped with a different subset of that group including the Nissan Rogue (also available as a seven-seater) and the Chevrolet Equinox, which is strictly a five-seater but boasts one of the roomier interiors in the class.
VW says it designed the Tiguan to give it more presence, but adds that the new look also resulted in a better off-road approach angle, but also a lower lift-in height for the cargo area, suggesting a more well-rounded vehicle than the outgoing model.
The redesign brings to the Tiguan the virtual cockpit customizable gauge cluster as an option. This is similar to the slick digital display that has received overwhelming positive response in recent Audi models.
Standard technology includes smartphone integration for both Apple and Android users, as well as a backup camera. Unsurprisingly, there’s a wide range of active safety options, including adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning and automatic braking and pedestrian monitoring, blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert and lane departure warning and assist.
Enhancing interior flexibility is a second-row seat that slides for and aft and splits 40/20/40; out back, the optional hands-free power tailgate works for opening and closing the door.
Like the outgoing Tiguan, this new one will use a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but in a tuning biased toward torque rather than horsepower. Its 184 hp is a notable cut from the 200 offered by the old model, but adds 14 lb-ft of torque, for 221 total. Sure to complement those power figures is an eight-speed automatic transmission and optional 4Motion all-wheel drive.
Look for the new Tiguan to come in familiar Trendline (with front- or all-wheel drive), Comfortline and Highline trims when it arrives at Canadian dealerships in summer 2017.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed