Now that Volkswagen has launched its new large and in charge Flagship crossover, the Atlas, it didn’t take long before their smallest crossover followed in its new big brothers footsteps. However, while the Tiguan of years past upheld a quirky, stubby attitude, we fear the unity for mainstreamness has gotten to Volkswagen and what made the Tiguan so charming is now just another mid-size crossover.
From the looks of things, the new Tiguan doesn’t exactly stand out. It’s ordinary design and subtle details speaks quieter than a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte with soy and an extra shot of #basic. It’s grown up in size to now accommodate a larger family with an available $500 3rd row seating option. Considering most consumers will be more in line to purchase the base S and mid-grade SE models, our tester arrived as barebones as they come ,starting at $25,195. Not that, barebones these days is necessarily a bad thing –the base model S comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime lights, LED taillights, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and a back-up camera.
While the Tiguan grew up, it’s engine performance took a reduction. The once 200-horsepower Tiguan has now been reduced to a measly, lane skipping 184-horsepower from its 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder. Connected to an all-new 8-speed automatic, the Tiguan still carries a spry in its hitch getting to 60 mph in around about 8 seconds. Because it’s turbocharged, it maintains a healthy amount of torque that helps move this new family hauler around quite sparingly and with its new transmission, it seems to always find itself in the right gear at the right time without any delays. Of course, less power with 8 forward gears claims a more efficient Tiguan, and after obtainig 32 mpg during our 200 mile highway run ,it collectively compares well to the Honda CR-V and Hyundai Tucson – even though they don’t have a 3rd-row option.
Maintaining that clever German engineering, the Tiguan still up holds an assertive demeanor with a well-balanced steering precision and a chassis to boot. Its composed ride quality provides solidness and exuberates quality with no vibrations or harsh feedback over bumps. Even on a dirt road, the suspension coped very well providing a silky smooth ride and upgraded insulation help keeps the peace within the cabin and the terror of city noise out.
There was once upon a time, Volkswagen was seen as a downgraded Audi, even on most base models, leatherette seats provided a little bit more of premium touch. To keep costs within reason, the base Tiguan seen here provides cloth seating whereas the SE model would see the upgraded leatherette. The seats are nonetheless comfortable and well supportive. The second row seats provide proper seating height for leg and thigh support with plenty of head and leg room to spare. While the third row isn’t idealistically for adults, it can accommodate someone under six feet in height and if the second row passengers can scarifies a few inches in leg room, the seats can slide and recline to provide comfort for all parties.
Even with our base model S, the Tiguan comes available with a $850 Driver Assistance Package that features blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and forward collision warning with autonomous braking. The mid-range SE model comes standard with blind spot monitoring while the near range topping SEL will see adaptive cruise control.
The market has been saturated with compact crossovers. The once, unique, iconic Tiguan has fallen in line with the rest of the usual suspects. Offering a third row in this segment gives the Tiguan a huge advantage for the family requiring additional seating configurations at a cheaper cost. Considering the only other compact crossover in this segment that offers a third row is the smaller, less useful, Nissan Rogue, the Tiguan may just have the upper hand in versatility.