The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is all-new, joining the new full-size Atlas in Volkswagen’s bid to grab the eye of the SUV-hungry public. Sedan sales are steadily sliding and automakers need to have crossovers and SUVs aplenty to ensure buyers still walk into showrooms. The all-new Tiguan has a larger interior, a more modern design, and new safety technologies to attract your attention.
There are so many vehicles in this class right now it’s overwhelming. Choice is good, but the number of choices makes it hard to differentiate between one SUV and the next. The Tiguan is not the go-to vehicle for most buyers, but Volkswagen did a lot right with this one.
The biggest and most noticeable difference is its size, which is 10.6 inches longer. It looks bigger on the outside and feels bigger on the inside. There is a standard third-row on front-wheel drive models, but if you’re looking at the all-wheel drive Tiguan, then the third-row is optional.
The interior is roomy and appealing, but not plush. They’re not attempting to make a pseudo luxury car with the Tiguan so don’t expect a luxury vibe. Seating is comfortable and the first and second rows are fine for long trips, but the third row is typically short on comfort and best for short jaunts.
If it’s cargo you’re carrying, then the new Tiguan is ready. There’s 12 cubic feet behind the third row, 33 cubic feet behind the second row, and 65.7 cubic feet behind the first row. Models without the third row have 37.6 cubic feet behind the second row and 73.5 cubic feet behind the third row. With either seating configuration, that’s plenty of room for hauling suitcases or everything you need for weekend projects.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This is the Tiguan’s weak spot. It delivers plenty of oomph off the line, but once you’re up to speed, if you need an extra burst of power it doesn’t deliver.
While lacking in power, the Tiguan is a smooth and well-mannered ride. That ride is good even over rough road surfaces and it handles well with crisp, responsive steering. Despite being larger this year, it continues to drive like a lithe little crossover.
The base Tiguan S has a 6.5-inch touchscreen with a single USB port while SE, SEL, and SEL Premium models receive a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen and 3 USB ports. There’s optional navigation and an optional 9-speaker Fender Premium Audio System as well as standard Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect to keep you connected on the road.
Safety features include a rearview camera with an optional overhead view and automatic post-collision braking. Additional available safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with braking, blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and park distance control. Many of those features become standard on the higher trim levels, which means you pay more, but pricing is competitive.
The base Tiguan S starts at $25,345 with front-wheel drive while the top SEL Premium with all-wheel drive comes in at $37,550. That $13K price jump isn’t small, but for the number of safety and convenience features it adds to the Tiguan, this vehicle is a good value.
The all-new 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t quite have it in the performance department, but it does have the extra space and features SUV buyers want at a price they can afford. With all-wheel drive, an optional third row, and the latest available safety technologies, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiquan is an appealing SUV.