The old shape Tiguan has been around for quite some time, and with the very competitive compact SUV segment, it’s about time Volkswagen redesigned it. This time around it’s a long wheel base version that gets the option of a 3rd-row seating arrangement giving it the ability to carry up to 7 people. The Tiguan grows an extra 10″ which makes now makes it longer than rivals such as the Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Equinox. The advantage of this is more leg room for 2nd row passenger and or more cargo space.
As far the power plant goes, the Tiguan gets an all new 2.0 liter turbocharged engine with an also new, 8-speed automatic transmission. This will be the only transmission option for the U.S. at this time. Horsepower is 184, down from the previous model just slightly, but torque numbers are up and it’s at 221 lb-ft. These are about average figures for this segment. The Tiguan in ‘normal’ driving mode, didn’t exactly drag car launch itself, but it’s good enough for what it is and let’s face it if you have kids in the back, you not going to want them slamming the back of their heads against the seats anyway. It makes for a smooth accelerating. In ‘sport’ mode, it does accelerate a little faster if you need it to. Further up the power band, when you need to increase speed at 60mph, for example, to merge on to the interstate at 80mph, the power is right there.
As I mentioned above, there are various drive modes available. Eco, Sport, Normal and Custom. Eco is for saving fuel, ‘sport’ mode reduces the turbo lag giving quicker acceleration. the Tiguan is available in FWD (front wheel/2 wheel drive) and AWD (all wheel drive). The AWD is Volkswagens 4Motion system which comes with Active Control. That means are four other driving modes available depending on road conditions. Those are, Snow, On-Road, Off-Road and Custom Off-Road. Upon testing the Off-Road mode briefly on a dirt road, I thought the response was good. It smoothes out the ride.
The FWD version comes with the 3rd row as standard. On the AWD model, it is a $500 optional extra. Kids or cargo? With the 3rd row, cargo space is 65.7 cu.ft and without the 3rd row, cargo space is 73.5 cu.ft.
The interior has a luxury feel. The leather is nice, the plastics are ‘too plasticky’. Is that a word? They don’t feel cheap and the design feels finished. As I said in the video, the design reminds me of technical drawing class in high school, where all the lines had to be super straight and clean. (Being more of artist type, the teacher didn’t like my feathered lines so much). If you have design OCD, you’ll like it. It may be boring to some people, but it gives off a sense of finished, calm, clean, surgical, technical and class. All the latest technology is in place with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink which will mirror what is on your MirrorLink compatible smartphone, making it easier to navigate.
Volkswagen, you can have our trust back
Fuel consumption isn’t bad. EPA estimates are around 21mpg in the city, 27mpg on the highway and combined around 23mpg. What IS huge though, is that it doesn’t need premium fuel. I’ll say it again…NO PREMIUM FUEL! Other Volkswagen SUVs have previously required premium fuel, and if you can’t get it, well don’t expect great fuel consumption. The other advantage to this, of course, is that it doesn’t cost as much. I feel like the premium fuel on a VW usually came as a surprise to most gas VW owners too. Talking of fuel and VW, this redesigned Tiguan is Volkswagen showing the world they are sorry and they want to earn your trust back. They’ve done a good job and to secure it all, the Tiguan comes with a 6yr/72,000 mile bumper-bumper warranty. That is the longest bumper to bumper warranty currently available. This, in turn, should keep resale values on the higher end, making it an all-around safer purchase.
Talking of prices, the base model ‘S’ in AWD, without the 3rd row, starts at $26,645. The FWD version starts at $25,345.