For some years, Volkswagen’s entry in the popular compact sport utility/crossover segment has been the Tiguan and it’s been a strong and steady seller. For 2018, a second-generation variant has been launched and it’s roomier and more powerful than its 2017 equivalent and a little more luxurious too.
One of the most significant changes is an extension of the wheelbase by a full 27 cm, which according to VW gives it one of the longest footprints in the segment. The main benefit of this change is that there’s now a whopping 58 per cent more cargo space in the two-row model. And while on that topic, it’s worth noting that the Tiguan is now available with three-row seating right across the lineup. Passenger space is also increased in all dimensions.
Despite all these dimensional hikes, the Tiguan remains a fun to drive, nimble, crossover that’s easy to maneuver and park around the city. Three trim levels are on offer and these include, in ascending order of luxury, Trendline, Comfortline and Highline. The new Tiguan is now arriving at the dealerships.
The exterior styling is evolutionary rather than revolutionary and that seems to be the way VW fans like it. The Tiguan has always had clean, tidy, lines and the 2018 model continues this tradition. It’s certainly sleeker and that’s probably got a lot to do with the extended wheelbase. A prominent beltline runs right across the door handles and extends beyond the windshield to emphasize this length change, helping the rig look lower and more aerodynamic. The nose is capped off with the familiar Volkswagen grille with high efficiency headlights blending in nicely. Many buyers will appreciate this melding of style and conservatism and prefer it to some competitors’ multi-faceted and sculpted bodywork.
The power unit is a more advanced version of VW’s four-cylinder used in earlier models. Of just over 2-litres displacement, it’s turbocharged and direct injected and is claimed by VW to combine compact dimensions with better power than larger engines. Fuel economy is also enhanced with this 184-horsepower engine. A maximum torque level of 221 lb-ft aids hill climbing and hauling heavy cargo loads, including towing.
The new Tiguan is available with either two-wheel drive or with VW’s 4Motion active control all-wheel drive, which is useful to have if trips to the winter slopes are on the agenda. Like it’s competitors, VW offers a long list of safety features on this vehicle, but there’s one standard tech item that you won’t find anywhere else in this class – automatic post-collision braking. This system is based on the fact that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but a series of events that follow the initial impact. The system involves automatic application of the brakes to reduce residual kinetic energy and lessen the possibility of additional damage.
The all-new Tiguan should sell in even greater numbers than its predecessor and with its expanded size, may well draw buyers from larger SUV segments. It boasts numerous worthwhile features and has that durable, well-made feel about it that has always been one of the reasons to buy any Volkswagen product.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Four-door crossover/SUV with two or three-row interior
ENGINE: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic (2WD and 4WD available)
TOWING CAPACITY: 1,500 lbs
FUEL ECONOMY: 9.8-litres/100 km combined (2WD)
PRICE: $28,925 base MSRP (Trendline)