By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com / Photos VW US Media Newsroom
The all-new 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan builds on the current model’s fun-to-drive character with a redesign specifically engineered to meet the needs of American customers, with a more sophisticated and spacious interior, flexible seating, and high-tech infotainment and available driver-assistance features.
The all-new Tiguan marks an evolution in Volkswagen’s clean and timeless design DNA, with modern lines and a refined appearance. The MQB platform allows for a wider, lower stance than the current model.
The S trim is distinguished by halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, fog-lights with cornering function, heated exterior mirrors with integrated turn-signal indicators, and 17-inch Montana wheels. The SE trim wears 17-inch Tulsa wheels and features, and a chrome exterior package. The Tiguan SEL includes 18-inch Nizza wheels, a power liftgate, and silver roof rails.
In addition, the top-of-the-line SEL Premium trim is shod with 19-inch Victoria Falls wheels, LED headlights with the Adaptive Front-lighting System, rain-sensing wipers, and power-folding exterior mirrors with puddle lights. The SEL Premium also features a hands-free Easy Open power liftgate, which is foot-activated on opening to make Tiguan’s cargo space more accessible when customers’ hands are full. The liftgate also includes an Easy Close feature. Two buttons give owners the option to close the liftgate with the touch of a button one to close it immediately and one to automatically close once you step away from the vehicle.
An R-Line package is available for the SEL and SEL Premium and includes RLine-specific aluminum-alloy wheels 19-inch Trenton wheels for the SEL and 20-inch Braselton wheels for the SEL Premium. Further design elements specific to the R-Line are a revised high-gloss front bumper with large air inlets, a unique rear bumper, wheel-arch extensions, and R-Line side skirts and exterior badging.
The exterior design of Tiguan also emphasizes its rugged utility. The front bumper, for instance, is like the European model’s off-road package, complementing the Tiguan’s available 4Motion all-wheel-drive system with a 26-degree approach angle. Other indications of its off-road capability are a 23-degree departure angle and 7.9 inches of ground clearance.
Roof rails are standard, allowing outdoors enthusiasts to upgrade the vehicle with Volkswagen accessories such as bike, kayak, and ski carriers. The new Tiguan has a lower lift-in height for the tailgate, making it easier to load, no matter what cargo you’re carrying. The available towing hitch can be used to pull up to 1,500 pounds when properly equipped.
The Tiguan’s entire interior has been rethought and refreshed, but the versatility of its seating is what sets it apart from the competition. In front-wheel-drive Tiguan models, three rows of seating are standard, including a second-row bench that can recline, slide seven inches fore and aft, fold down, and be split 40/20/40. The 50/50 split third-row provides seating for two, and folds down. When configured with Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive technology, the 2018 Tiguan comes standard with two rows and a third row is optional.
In three-row models, folding the rear seat creates 33 cubic feet of rear cargo space, and that can be easily expanded to a maximum of 65.7 cubic feet by folding the second row, using the levers in the cargo area. With all three rows in place, there is still a handy 12 cubic feet of cargo space; In two-row models, the new Tiguan supplies a generous 37.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 73.5 cubic feet in all. That represents an increase of 17.4 cubic feet over the maximum cargo space in the 2017 Tiguan.
To let the outside into the Tiguan cabin, there’s an available panoramic glass tilt-and-slide sunroof. This aerodynamically and acoustically optimized panoramic roof is comprised of an opening glass panel at the front and a fixed glass panel at the rear. It features pinch protection and an electrically-operated one-touch sunshade that covers the inside of the entire glass area. The expansive sunroof with ambient lighting around the edges is available for the SE trim and is standard on the SEL and SEL Premium.
The interior features modern, high-quality design with a sporty, driver-focused layout, using gloss-grey and chrome details. Standard features now include a multi-function steering wheel and cloth seats with a rhombus pattern that offers a premium look. Tiguan SE and SEL models feature heated leatherette seating surfaces along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel; the SEL Premium brings leather seating surfaces for rows one and two and a heated steering wheel.
Between the large speedometer and tachometer is a multi-function trip computer that helps monitor everything from fuel consumption to trip distance, Bluetooth connection status and navigation directions. The available Volkswagen Digital Cockpit display, first seen on the 2018 Atlas, offers drivers a reconfigurable display of key data and the ability to position navigation data front and center for easy viewing.
MIB II Infotainment
As standard equipment across the Tiguan line, the MIB II infotainment system not only creates the foundation for the next generation of Volkswagen’s Car-Net connected vehicle services platform, but also offers one of the most comprehensive suites of connected vehicle services and features available in the automotive industry today.
Tiguan SE, SEL and SEL Premium models are equipped with a glass-covered 8.0-inch touchscreen display, SE models with the Composition Color unit; SEL and SEL Premium models with the Discover Media system with navigation. The new 8.0-inch display is not only brighter than previous generation of MIB II, it also offers better color reproduction, response time and improved viewing angles due to the switch to In-plane Switching technology.
Both Composition Media units and Discover Media units feature three USB ports, a JPEG viewer, SiriusXM Satellite Radio for a three-month trial period, HD Radio, and support for lossless audio file format. Both units also can send and receive SMS text messages with Bluetooth via voice command with compatible phones and pair two phones simultaneously. The Discover Media unit offers 2.5D navigation, featuring one-shot voice destination entry, destination entry with quick search and autocomplete, and predicts possible destinations based on often used routes.
The all-new 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is powered by an advanced version of Volkswagen’s EA888 four-cylinder engine. The updated version of the benchmark EA888 four-cylinder, turbocharged and direct-injection engine uses an innovative modification to the conventional four-stroke cycle to offer an improved combination of power, efficiency and responsiveness.
First introduced in the 2009 CC, the EA888 continued Volkswagen’s move toward smaller, turbocharged engines that offer the fuel economy benefits of downsizing with the power of a larger-displacement unit. Most of the engine, from the cast-iron block to the aluminum-alloy pistons and cylinder head to the valve springs has been updated for this new application.
The changes in the new version of the EA888 advance the twin goals of power and efficiency. The peak 184 horsepower kicks in at 4,400 rpm and maintains its output until 6,000 rpm. Maximum torque of 221 lb-ft is achieved at 1,600 to 4,300 rpm. The compression ratio rises to 11.7:1 due to a modified piston crown. New TSI injectors can push fuel into the cylinder at a higher maximum pressure, with up to three injection sequences per stroke depending on conditions.
A Start/Stop system is standard for all Tiguan trims to improve fuel efficiency. This technology stops the engine during idle when the brake pedal is held. When the brake pedal is released, the engine restarts.
Tiguan models configured with front-wheel drive have 15.3-gallon fuel tanks; models with 4Motion all-wheel drive feature 15.9-gallon tanks. Thanks to Tiguan’s new engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, EPA estimated fuel economy for front-wheel drive models rises to 22 mpg in city driving, 27 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in combined driving. Models with 4Motion all-wheel drive also see significant increases and are rated at 21 mpg in city driving, 27 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg in combined driving.
As with the all-new 2018 Volkswagen Atlas full-size SUV, the new Tiguan is based on Volkswagen’s Modular Transverse Matrix architecture. Compared with the 2017 model, the new Tiguan has far more interior space and up to 58 percent more cargo space in the two-row model. At 185.1 inches long, the 2018 model is 10.6 inches longer than the current version. Tiguan’s expanded dimensions give it one of the longest footprints in the segment, although it remains nimble enough to excel in urban driving.
The compact Tiguan SUV will be available in S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trim levels, the one I drove the 2.0T SEL Premium with 4/motion starts at $37,550.00. This top-of-the-line model included at no charge, the Cardinal Red Metallic Exterior Paint, Titan Black Leather Interior and the 8 Speed Automatic Transmission with Triptronic. Destination charges for all Tiguan trims are $900.00.