All-new Volk­swa­gen Tiguan adding in­te­rior at­trac­tions, ex­te­rior func­tion­al­ity

Chicago Sun-Times - - DRIVE - BY JOHN STEIN

The Volk­swa­gen Tiguan has al­ways pro­vided a fun-to-drive char­ac­ter that had all the at­trac­tive in­te­rior fea­tures of the Ger­man au­tomaker, though ex­te­rior de­sign was of­ten re­ferred to in less as­pir­ing terms. That’s all changed for the bet­ter.

The all-new 2018 Tiguan has been re-engi­neered to of­fer a roomier and more refined cabin with more high-tech in­fo­tain­ment and driver-as­sis­tance fea­tures and maybe of most note – a new 6-year/72,000-mile war­ranty pack­age that in­cludes the engine, transmission and AWD sys­tem on the Tiguan.

Get­ting Large

The Gen-2 Tiguan is nearly 11 inches longer than the pre­vi­ous model and has up to 58 per­cent more cargo space. Truth be told, the Tiguan com­pact SUV was de­signed specif­i­cally for the U.S. mar­ket, with big­ger in­te­rior space and more flex­i­ble seat­ing choices.

The new Tiguan is avail­able in four trim lev­els: S, SE, SEL and SEL Pre­mium. Three rows are stan­dard in FWD mod­els and op­tional in AWD mod­els. Roof rails are stan­dard on all trims, al­low­ing out­doors en­thu­si­asts to up­grade with ac­ces­sories such as bike, kayak, and ski car­ri­ers.

Un­der the Hood

The new Tiguan is pow­ered by a 2.0-liter tur­bocharged four-cylin­der engine that de­liv­ers 184 horse­power and 221 lb.-ft. of torque. An 8-speed au­to­matic transmission is paired with the im­pres­sive 4Mo­tion AWD sys­tem.

With a new stop/start sys­tem as stan­dard, some po­ten­tial buy­ers may be won­der­ing if it can be switched off – and it can (some mod­els do not al­low this func­tion­al­ity). Tiguan front drive mod­els get 22 city, 27 mpg high­way and 24 com­bined. Mod­els with 4Mo­tion AWD get one mpg less in the city, but the same on the high­way.

My Tiguan tester was a gen­uinely im­pres­sive per­former with the tiny turbo kick­ing out big power on de­mand with lit­tle-to-no drag and the nim­ble Tiguan body eas­ily han­dling ev­ery curve and turn I put it through.

Cabin

Fam­ily ve­hi­cles like the Tiguan need great safety fea­tures to be pop­u­lar and this is no ex­cep­tion. The Tiguan has a full com­ple­ment of airbags, a stan­dard rearview cam­era and so­phis­ti­cated safety and ac­ci­dent pre­ven­tion sys­tems like for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing and au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing with pedes­trian mon­i­tor­ing.

Tiguan has been com­pletely re­freshed with a sporty, driver-fo­cused lay­out with gloss-gray and chrome de­tails. Cloth seats are stan­dard on the base trim, while SE and SEL mod­els fea­ture heated leatherette seat­ing and a leather wrapped steer­ing wheel.

In three-row mod­els, the Tiguan has 33 cu­bic feet of cargo space when the third row is folded down. Drop the sec­ond row and you get a whop­ping 65.7 cu­bic feet of cargo vol­ume. With all three rows in place, vol­ume in back is 12 cu­bic feet.

In­fo­tain­ment

MIB II is the in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem stan­dard across all Tiguan trims.With Volk­swa­gen’s CarNet plat­form, the Tiguan has a com­pre­hen­sive suite of con­nected ve­hi­cle ser­vices. Fea­tures in Car-Net are avail­able through Ap­ple CarPlay, An­droid Auto and Mir­rorLink. The SEL Pre­mium trim also gets the lat­est Fender Pre­mium Au­dio sys­tem as stan­dard equip­ment.

The all-new Tiguan has a base price of $25,245, which puts it right in the mid­dle of the crowded house of com­peti­tors in this class. Tiguan is one of the largest com­pact SUVs and VW re­fine­ment and work­man­ship in­side the cabin re­ally can be a huge dif­fer­ence maker – not to men­tion that

in­cred­i­ble war­ranty.

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