Volkswagen: Popular Compact SUV Gets a Big Upgrade
Introduced in the mid-2010s, Volkswagen’s Tiguan is one of its most popular models. It combines a compact exterior with efficient drivetrains and a roomy interior that offers the choice of two or three rows of seats – all in an affordable package. But one thing it has lacked so far is a hybrid model – an important choice for customers these days when a significant share of Honda CR-Vs and Toyota RAV4s sold are electrified.
Plug-In Hybrid Range Leader
All of that changes for 2024, with the introduction of an all-new Tiguan. The latest model adds extra space, features, and luxury to the mix – but the headliner is a new plug-in hybrid drivetrain that offers over 60 miles of all-electric range (EPA-estimated), making it far and away the class leader, and nearly doubling the EV range of the Toyota RAV4 Prime.
Built on an evolved version of the “MQB” platform used on the previous Tiguan, the new “MQB evo” architecture helps make the Tiguan more efficient than ever before. In Europe, two plug-in hybrid models will actually be available, which combine a turbocharged 1.5-liter gasoline engine and electric motors. The lower-output plug-in model delivers a system output of 201 hp, while a higher-performance model offers 268 hp. A larger 19.7-kWh battery is responsible for the massive EV-only range, and can be rapid charged at up to 26 kW, a record for Level 2 charging; there’s even the option of charging the new Tiguan on a Level 3 charger, though only at 50 kW.
Interestingly, the plug-in hybrid models are front-wheel drive only. For drivers that want all-wheel drive, buyers have the choice of Volkswagen’s very efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, available in 201 hp or 262 hp power outputs. European drivers also get the choice of mild hybrid models with 129 hp and 148 hp, and even a 2.0-liter diesel model.
VW Tiguan: Improved Tech and Efficiency
As you would expect, the Tiguan’s driver assistance systems have been upgraded. In addition to lane change assist, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, a rear-view camera, and dynamic road sign displays, drivers can also option remote-controlled parking capability and a trailer assistant that helps maneuvering with a trailer easier. A new dynamic chassis control system adjusts the shock absorbers between soft and stiff depending on the needs of the driver, making the new Tiguan’s handling more confident and precise.
The Tiguan’s design has been updated as well. At the front, an LED strip connects both headlights under a glass-covered horizontal strip, while the radiators have shrunk and moved to the front bumper. The side profile is smoother and more expressive, as well as much more efficient – indeed, Volkswagen has improved the Tiguan’s drag coefficient from 0.33 to 0.28, which helps make it more efficient. Out back, a new horizontal LED strip, with light-up VW logo, visually widens the compact SUV, while larger wheels give it a sportier look.
Volkswagen Tiguan: All-Digital Interior
Inside, the new Tiguan has been completely redesigned, and is a much more digital experience than before. Analog gauges have been replaced by a new “digital cockpit” which can be configured to suit the driver’s tastes, and the infotainment screen, now perched on top of the dash, measures a huge 15 inches diagonally. There is a new heads-up display to project critical information onto the windshield, and a new rotary driving-experience switch with an integrated display.
It lets drivers choose how the car behaves, but can also be switched to control the volume of the audio system or even the background lighting colors. A new voice assistant also allows drivers and passengers to control many vehicle functions using the spoken word. Finally, but maybe most importantly, there are new “ergo-active” seats with pneumatic lumbar adjustment, a massage function, and automatic activation of the heating and cooling functions based on outside temperature.
All in all, we’re really impressed by the technology upgrades in the all-new Tiguan – particularly its plug-in drivetrains. With its impressive EV-only range, improved interiors, excellent tech, and larger cargo area, the new Tiguan should build on the success of the outgoing model, and reach more buyers looking to make a more sustainable vehicle choice. Expect the first models to arrive in the U.S. sometime in mid-2024.