The new 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show and aims to be the bread and butter SUV that keeps sales afloat, and turns around the German company’s fortunes.
The vehicle was engineered specifically for American customers.
“The new Tiguan demonstrates how we plan to give American customers the usability and versatility they demand without sacrificing style or Volkswagen’s trademark driving dynamics,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen.
Which is a polite way of saying it’s bigger and badder, or at least that’s the most important point. The new, extended wheelbase model adds a more refined and roomy interior, flexible seating, high-tech infotainment, and an array of driver assistance features.
The new Tiguan has far more interior space! Clocking in at 185.2 inches long, the 2018 model has up to 57 percent more cargo capacity than the 2017 version. The 109.9-inch wheelbase provides both sliding second-row seats and the all important optional third row seating that Americans demand in their SUVs.
On the inside, the Tiguan’s interior has been rethought and refreshed. There’s a new cloth pattern for the seats of entry models, which now feature a rhombus pattern. There is an optional Volkswagen Digital Cockpit display, offering drivers a reconfigurable display of key data and the ability to position navigation data front and center for easy viewing. Also available is Volkswagen’s Car-Net system which provides a suite of neat little features including standard App-Connect technology. It’s compatible with smartphones for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink.
A Fender Premium Audio System is available too.
In addition to a new series of exterior and interior colors, there is also an eight-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel available. That second-row bench can slide seven inches fore and aft and also splits 40:20:40. The coveted third-row seats come standard on front-wheel-drive models and are optional on all-wheel-drive versions.
A panoramic sunroof is available, and there is a handy foot-activated power liftgate that makes the cargo space easily accessible.
Safety & Security
The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan offers a complement of driver assistance technology. A rearview camera comes standard, for example. Other available features include Adaptive Cruise Control, upgraded for use in stop and go traffic; Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, and Lane Departure Warning.
Why? Because you baboons need to start paying attention, that’s why.
Power & Performance
Motivation is provided by an updated version of Volkswagen’s evergreen 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct- injected TSI engine. Said plant cranks out 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft. of torque, driving the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. There is also the option of a 4Motion all-wheel drive system with four selectable modes to maximize driving dynamics.
VW’s product platform, dubbed MQB, allows for a wider, lower stance, while enhancing the exterior design. The exterior design also works in favor of the Tiguan’s usefulness on or off-road. For example, it allows for a 26-degree approach angle while off-roading on the trails, and a lower lift-in height for the tailgate when shopping for groceries.
VW also says the vehicle’s LED lighting has already garnered several European design awards.
So, if you’re an American in the market for a new SUV, Volkswagen’s 2018 Tiguan is worth a look.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.