NOTE: VW clarifies that this the European-market Tiguan. The US model may differ with a caveat like that — a la Passat USA vs Passat EU.
Oh my. The only word we can think of?
Volkswagen has been in USA reboot mode since 2012. But the results on the showroom floor are exceptionally underwhelming, so far. The boring and tired model range is designed so conservatively, and launch so slowly (1.5-years after Euro rollouts, 2.5-years after concept debut at times), that they feel old upon arrival. And ancient shortly after that.
2015 Volkswagen Golf R and Golf Sportwagen TDI. 2017 Golf Alltrack shown in red.
The new Tiguan is a sorely-needed new model for the lineup worldwide, but will be an extra welcome addition here in the states.
Why? The current Tiguan is narrow, overpriced and just under-amazing in every way.
The new model debuted today with eight engine options and power up to around 230HP in its top trim, the R-Line, so far. This is likely to be the new turbo four from the Audi A4, with similar outputs to the GTI.
GTI sharing with the R-Line is a theme all around, actually. This all-new MQB platform variant is lighter, much stiffer to twisting forces, safer in crash tests… and hopefully cheaper all around.
The platform is exceptionally flexible, in addition to finally being at scale with the BMW X3. Or perhaps the new X1. Regardless, it looks like more of a big SUV than the RAV4-ish appearance of the current model.
Flexibility among diesel and gasoline engines will be a theme for the production crossover: the US market should bring the TDI engine choice for the first time in this generation. Until now, the Tig was the only holdout in the American model range not to offer the clean diesel upgrade. Big torque, quiet cabins and superb cruising efficiency are tenets of the latest turbodiesels from Vee-Dub. The brand absolutely owns diesel market share in the US, by the way. Of every diesel passenger car sold in America in 2015, four in five will be wearing this smiley round badge.
FInally, a concept is thrown into the mix as well: the Tiguan GTE. A PHEV with a total power rating of ~210-horsepower, the Tiguan GTE has unique aero outside for supreme economy and even EV drive mode. The style of the GTE outside is a continuation of the designs seen on the Passat GTE and others — but are just as lovely. The C-shaped white bumper LED is classy and unique.
Pricing and arrival timeframes are not yet available. We’d estimate the 2017 Tiguan will arrive in August of 2016 with a base price of $33,000. As before, the model can be loaded up to nearly $50k. But this time it should look and drive like it is worth that amount of cash. Hopefully. Below this price point, the upcoming Golf Sportwagen Alltrack will have you covered with better handling, similar cabin size, and a lower loaded price.
The standard Tiguan and R-Line show the design in its best lights. It is blocky, crisp, masculine and modern. We love the style, if not some of the busier lighting and grille details. The lower headlamp unit appears to show LED turn signals. Which is great. But they take up much bumper real estate and make the headlights look gigantic.
The fresh beltline creasing, angular glasshouse and butch tail make up for much of the nose awkwardness. Finally, a NEW look! A bit of a cross between Audi Q5 and Jeep Grand Cherokee, but in a good way.
Regardless, if VW can get this mid-size crossover here pronto, and with a realistic price range, they’ll sell by the dozen the moment they arrive in showrooms. (Realistically = VW is not a premium brand, and they should stop pretending to be. Just visit one of their icky US dealers for confirmation. The linoleum floor is a give-away.)
The new Tiguan might even snag fashion-conscious shoppers with a style that is far more eye-catching than the”new” Touareg.
2017 Volkswagen TIGUAN R-Line
2017 Volkswagen TIGUAN
Wolfsburg/Frankfurt, 14. September 2015
World premiere of the new Tiguan in Frankfurt