The Tiguan is about to get a lot better.
The Volkswagen Tiguan is, by far, the brand's best-seller in the United States. In fact, out of the company's 363,322 units sold in 2019, the Tiguan accounted for 109,963 of them (just over 30 percent). The Tiguan is also the best-selling SUV in Europe and a top-three seller worldwide, so its global importance can not be understated. VW released the second-generation Tiguan in 2016, so the car is due for a refresh.
CarBuzz had a chance to speak with VW (over Skype due to the coronavirus situation) to discuss what changes we can expect from the facelifted Tiguan, which will arrive in the US as a 2021 model.
VW is planning a summer reveal in Europe first with pre-sales opening up soon after. A concrete US timeline wasn't given, but it should be too much longer after the European reveal since the US-spec car is built in Pueblo, Mexico.
As you can see from the teaser (above) and spy shots (below), VW is planning to radically update the Tiguan's exterior. "The car gets a totally new front including the hood and everything," said Dr. Hendrik Muth, Head of Product Marketing for Volkswagen. "It makes it more dynamic and you see that as the design becomes a little bit less horizontal, very sporty and will look more masculine also in its stance. Some of the elements that you see with the LED front light design, I can tell you that the next face of Tiguan will become 100-percent LED front lights and taillights as well as an upcoming R-Line version coming up."
"I think the car physically, having seen it, is definitely sporty and more dynamic. The R-Line, as usual, really makes the car pop," Hein Schafer, SVP for Product Marketing and Strategy added.
When asked about a sportier Tiguan R model, which was recently spotted in prototype form, VW seemed eager to say that it wants to analyze the possibility for more powerful engine options. "We want to enrich the Tiguan's line-up with a performance version. Please understand that we will talk about that at a later point," a VW spokesperson said. The facelifted Tiguan will launch with carryover engines though, meaning a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 184 horsepower will be available in the US model. Europe will get a plug-in hybrid but its US availability seems unlikely.
As for the interior, the Tiguan will receive a slew of updates in the cabin. Some of these include a multi-color ambient lighting system, like the one found in the Jetta, and VW's all-new MIB3 infotainment system. "That means the Tiguan will be 100 percent connected will have will be upgradable," said Muth. "It will offer online services, available voice recognition, app Connect wireless, and some other features." This facelifted Tiguan will also include improved safety features such as Travel Assist, which is a semi-autonomous driving assistant like Nissan's ProPilot.