Reviews

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Introduction


Redesigned for 2018, Volkswagen Tiguan is a bit larger for its second generation. The all-new 2018 Tiguan is a tall compact crossover that stretches toward midsize in interior space, and is well equipped for its price.

Volkswagen Tiguan competitors include Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4, each of which can beat the Tiguan at one thing or another (maybe handling, fuel mileage, popularity), but overall the Tiguan does it all well.

It comes as front-wheel drive with a small third row, or all-wheel-drive with an optional third row that’s even smaller.

Cargo space is improved over the previous model, and ride quality remains outstanding.

The new styling is a change for Volkswagen. It’s sharp, chiseled and intimidating. Volkswagen is now copying instead of leading, as if they’ve decided that the world doesn’t want soft edges any more. Tiguan has struggled to establish an identity, so maybe the new styling is intended to address that.

Its third row is small like the Nissan Rogue, so it’s not known for that convenience. The Tiguan does come with an excellent warranty, six years or 72,000 miles, that is transferable. Maybe the Tiguan will become known for that. It worked for Chrysler, many years ago, when they came out with the 5/50, totally unheard-of at the time.

All models of Tiguan are powered by a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Volkswagen has a long superlative history with its 2.0 turbo engine, it’s been around and flawless for 25 years. This new one actually makes less horsepower than the previous, only 184 hp as opposed to 200. But it makes more torque, from 207 pound-feet to 221 lb-ft. That means the acceleration around town will be stronger, but out on the freeway at 70 mph it will be working harder.

Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, Tiguan returns an EPA-rated 24 Combined miles per gallon city and highway. That doesn’t sound like much to us, for a so-called compact with a four-cylinder engine, especially in 2018. We drove the Tiguan in Colorado, not gently, and got 23.7 mpg, so at least those numbers will hold up and probably then some.

The Tiguan isn’t light, at about 3800 pounds. And that mileage is about average for a compact crossover. Honda uses a smaller 1.5-liter turbo in the CR-V to get 30 mpg, and you have to go to a hybrid like in the Toyota RAV4 to get 32 mpg.

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