The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is taking no prisoners.
Diving into the deep end of the compact SUV pool, the second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan was introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It comes onto the market nine years after the original, larger and more tech-laden than before. VW doesn’t want to be a bit player in the segment anymore.
While most other markets get a short-wheelbase version, the U.S. gets only a stretched-out Tiguan, which Volkswagen says is 10.7 inches longer than the outgoing model and is on the large end of the class that includes the redesigned 2017 Honda CR-V and Ford Escape. Even more, VW will offer a third-row seat on every trim of the car, which for now only the Nissan Rogue and Mitsubishi Outlander do at this price level.
The new Tiguan is based on the current Volkswagen Golf, which bodes well for the way it stops, starts and steers. A brief ride in a European-market Tiguan from this writer revealed the new SUV does drive like a big Golf – it’s surprisingly athletic and carlike, which isn’t always a given here. The Tiguan will undoubtedly be compared as a cut-price rival to the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, a compact SUV for people who wish they could drive a fast hatchback instead.
Volkswagen has also bestowed an available Digital Cockpit on the Tiguan. Just like the Audi Virtual Cockpit seen in the 2017 Audi A4, the Tiguan’s physical gauges give way to a screen that allows for a wide view of the GPS map or other vehicle functions in a rather dazzling display. Features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay should also please technophiles.
All Tiguans set for the U.S. market will get a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated for 184 horsepower. That engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic with standard front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive.
The 2018 Tiguan will be built at VW’s Puebla, Mexico, factory and should arrive in showrooms by fall. All in, the new Tiguan should attract those looking for an immensely practical SUV, and please those who wish they could have a fun and sporty Golf.