By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com / Photos VW US Media Newsroom
For 2019, the Volkswagen Tiguan combines Volkswagen’s hallmark fun to drive character with a sophisticated and spacious interior, flexible seating, and high-tech infotainment and available driver-assistance features.
The Tiguan, marks an evolution in Volkswagen’s clean and timeless design DNA. The MQB platform allows for a wider, lower stance than the previous model; the combination of this with sharper character lines and LED lighting gives Tiguan a more aggressive look than ever before.
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 accessory towing hitch can be used to pull up to 1,500 pounds when properly equipped.
The S trim is distinguished by halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, heated exterior mirrors with integrated turn-signal indicators, and 17-inch wheels. The SE trim also wears 17-inch wheels. The Tiguan SEL includes 18-inch wheels, fog lights with cornering function, a power liftgate, and silver roof rails.
R-Line trims include R-Line-specific aluminum-alloy wheels, 19-inch for the SEL and 20-inch 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 SEL R-Line is replaced by the SEL R-Line Jet-Black, which features similar content, plus 19-inch black aluminum-alloy wheels and black exterior trim. The SEL Premium R-Line trim remains the same.
The top-of-the-line SEL Premium trim is shod with 19-inch 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.
The versatility of Tiguan’s 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 2019 Tiguan comes standard with two rows and a third row is optional.
In three-row models, folding the rear seats 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 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. The 40/20/40 split seats allow the two-row Tiguan to accommodate skis, fishing gear, or other large items.
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 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 Volkswagen Digital Cockpit display, standard on SEL and SEL Premium models, offers drivers a reconfigurable display of key data and the ability to position navigation data front and center for easy viewing.
The 2019 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.
The upshot is 184 horsepower that kicks in at 4,400 rpm and is maintained until 6,000 rpm. Maximum torque of 221 lb-ft is achieved at 1,600 to 4,300 rpm. All Tiguans are equipped with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission.
A Start/Stop system is standard for all Tiguan trims to help improve fuel efficiency. This technology stops the engine during idle when the brake pedal is held, such as when waiting at a red light. 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. EPA-estimated fuel economy for front-wheel drive models is 22 mpg in city driving, 29 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in combined driving. Models with 4Motion all-wheel drive are rated at 21 mpg in city driving, 29 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in combined driving.
The compact Tiguan SUV will be available in S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trim levels, the one I drove the 2.0T SE starts at $26,695.00. This model included, the Storm Gray Leatherette Interior (No Charge), the 8 Speed Automatic Transmission with Triptronic (No Charge) and the Habanero Orange Metallic Exterior Paint ($295.00). Destination charges for all Tiguan trims are $995.00.