Volkswagen’s little Tiguan has grown up fairly a bit for its second technology. The brand new Tiguan has gone from a compact and cute selection for younger SUV buyers to being a stable, spacious choice for small households elevating the subsequent technology of younger drivers. Packing extra facilities and extra security tech, the Tiguan is healthier than ever earlier than in some ways, however it’s not good.
In rising bigger, the Tiguan can also be a bit softer. Its efficiency is not as sharp because it was once. Are the consolation enhancements value these efficiency tradeoffs?
Now with three rows
The brand new 2018 Tiguan is about 11 inches longer than its predecessor, and each wider and taller, too. This opens up lots of further elbow room for all passengers and makes approach for a newly obtainable third row, giving compact SUV consumers seating for seven.
Entrance-wheel drive fashions come customary with three rows. Tiguans with 4Motion all-wheel drive begin with simply two rows, however might be upgraded to seven-passenger functionality via a $500 third-row seating bundle. That way-back row might be too tight for many adults — I actually did not get pleasure from cramming again there to try it out — however small children ought to match simply advantageous.
With each the second and third rows folded flat, the Tiguan boasts a spacious 65.7 cubic toes of cargo house, and an optionally available kick-to-open energy liftgate turns out to be useful when your palms are full. For those who worth cargo room greater than folks room, choosing a mannequin with out the third row bumps your complete cargo capability as much as 73.5 cubic toes, a full 30 % greater than the outdated Tiguan.
Barely underpowered efficiency
The 2018 Tiguan makes use of a brand new model of VW’s 2.Zero-liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. That is 16 fewer horsepower than the outgoing mannequin, although an additional 14 pound-feet than earlier than. This engine has a flatter total torque curve than VW’s older 2.Zero-liter powerplant, which helps with responsiveness, particularly mid-range. However the bigger Tiguan additionally has to lug round 373 extra kilos of curb weight than the outgoing mannequin, so regardless of having extra torque than earlier than, it is principally a wash.
The brand new 2.0T gives sufficient energy for around-town driving and freeway cruising, however this new Tiggy can really feel a bit underpowered when climbing steep hills or passing on the interstate. And that is simply with one obese journalist within the driver’s seat, I think about it’s going to really feel extra sluggish loaded up with six or seven souls onboard.
An eight-speed automated gearbox is the one transmission obtainable. It contains a Sport setting and a handbook shift possibility, however no paddles on the steering wheel. The transmission tuning actually emphasizes economic system over responsiveness, however the shifts are easy. Given the Tiguan’s major mission of city consolation responsibility, the transmission feels completely matched to the turbo engine.
The bigger Tiguan steps down in energy and payload, however solely good points a couple of MPG for the difficulty.
Sadly, the lower in energy ends in decrease towing capability and payload rankings. The 2018 Tiguan is just rated to tow 1,500 kilos, a 700-pound drop, and total payload capability is diminished by 225 kilos, to 970.
If there’s a silver lining to the facility and functionality cuts, it is that the Tiguan is a hair extra gasoline environment friendly. My front-wheel drive instance is nice for an EPA-estimated 22 mpg metropolis, 27 mpg freeway and 24 mpg mixed. That is a 1-2-mpg acquire throughout the board. I averaged round 25.7 mpg throughout my testing. 4Motion all-wheel drive fashions take a slight gasoline economic system hit, dropping again all the way down to 21 metropolis and 23 mixed mpg.
The powerplant is a bit softer and so is the chassis. There’s extra physique motion when cornering, much less suggestions via the wheel and an total dulling of responsiveness when initiating a flip. The brakes really feel a bit squishy and obscure, however did a decent job hauling the heavier Tiguan to a cease in an emergency. Nevertheless, the trip is smoother, quieter and rather more snug, all positives for these searching for a family-friendly errand machine. The suspension is healthier at absorbing jolts from potholes and people annoying metal street plates. This extra snug, compliant trip is not essentially a foul factor, however it does make this new Tiggy really feel much less playful.
The bigger Tiggy is a bit softer across the mid-section, however the brand new deal with quietness and luxury is not essentially a foul factor.
Wonderful dashboard tech
The Tiguan’s cabin tech and infotainment facilities see a major enchancment for this technology.
VW’s newest Automotive-Web App-Join tech is customary throughout the lineup, with both a 6.5-inch touchscreen for S fashions or a bigger Eight-inch show for SE or greater trim ranges. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink are customary applied sciences, however even with out them the onboard software program is tremendous simple to make use of. My prime SEL trim ranges additionally add navigation to the tech get together.
On the tippy-top SEL Premium trim stage, the Tiguan can also be good points VW’s Digital Cockpit, a 12.Three-inch display that serves because the instrument cluster, displaying conventional driving data — together with speedometer and tachometer gauges — in addition to extra superior features reminiscent of a dwell navigation map. I particularly like this function as a result of it permits me to manage many of the infotainment with out trying away from the street or taking my palms off of the steering wheel. For those who’re a techie a Tiguan, contemplate Digital Cockpit the automotive’s killer app.
Techie Tiguan consumers will wish to go for the Audi-esque Digital Cockpit improve.
The cherry on prime of this nice tech bundle is the sweet-sounding Fender audio system. The 9-speaker, 480-watt rig has a barely “Beats Audio” bass-heavy character by default, however produces clear and distortion-free audio even at family-unfriendly volumes and sounds good with quite a lot of music and content material sorts.
Retaining the household secure
The newer platform of this second-gen Tiguan permits a stage of driver help tech that the earlier Tiguan may solely dream of.
Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts and pre-collision auto-brake help with pedestrian detection assist stop fender benders. These options are customary on the SE trim stage or higher, or a part of an $850 Driver Help bundle for the bottom S mannequin. Publish-collision braking retains a foul day from getting worse by serving to to forestall further collisions after an impression and is customary throughout the board.
Stepping as much as an SEL mannequin grants house owners adaptive cruise management that works all the way in which all the way down to cease and go visitors, whereas SEL Premium fashions acquire lane conserving steering help tech, lively help for the blind-spot and rear cross-traffic techniques and automated excessive beam headlamps. In parking tons, the highest mannequin additionally showcases a cool multi-camera Space View system that offers 360-degree visibility across the SUV.
How I would spec it
The larger, extra cuddly 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan begins at $24,595 for the bottom S trim with front-wheel drive. Nevertheless, the Tiguan’s finest stability of worth and options comes on the higher SEL ($31,090) trim stage. This mannequin rolls in all the driver help options that a younger household may ask for, the most effective model of VW’s dashboard tech and makes customary an enormous panoramic sunroof that makes spacious cabin really feel much more open.
The SEL trim stage is the candy spot within the lineup, however the SEL Premium mannequin boasts a couple of tempting cabin tech upgrades.
The SEL Premium ($36,250) trim examined right here provides the Digital Cockpit tech — which I completely liked utilizing for its means to simplify all the dashboard tech all the way down to primary steering wheel controls — nicer leather-based trim and LED headlamps. For those who’ve bought the additional dough to spend, the SEL Premium is good, however I believe the SEL is the candy spot.
Subsequent, there’s the selection of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive ($1,300). I would go entrance drive until you reside an an space that will get a lot snow or rain. Add $900 for vacation spot prices to achieve a really useful $31,990 for the SEL FWD. (For comparability, my SEL Premium FWD tester stickers for $37,150.)
The brand new Tiguan sits in an attention-grabbing place between courses. On one hand, it is greater and extra spacious than most of its conventional competitors — Honda’s CR-V, the redesigned Toyota RAV4, Mazda’s CX-5 and the like — and boasts tech that is among the many finest on this class. Plus, it is one of many solely autos in its phase with three rows.
However alternatively, if three-row functionality is a must have, the Tiguan may not be your finest wager. Pricing overlaps with extra spacious autos like Mazda’s CX-9, Toyota’s Highlander and VW’s personal Atlas.
The Tiguan could also be a tricky promote for households who actually need seating for seven. But when it is a well-rounded compact SUV you search, the Tiguan would possibly simply be the ticket.