The original Tiguan soldiered on for almost ten years, as good as it was it has slowly been falling behind the class-leaders in many key areas, so VW’s all-new 2017 Tiguan released earlier this year was long overdue.
The new compact SUV is not quite so compact anymore, having gained a few pounds and grown in size, good news for passengers and cargo space but it now also makes do with slightly less power than before. Let’s see if these changes have significantly altered the Tiguan’s character.
Functional and efficient are two words that stand out as you survey the interior of the new Tiguan. The larger dimensions make for a roomier interior and front-wheel drive models now come standard with a third row of seats which is an option on all-wheel drive models. While the first and second row have plenty of head and legroom the third row is best left to young children.
Oddments space is good with large cup holders in the doors and the overall quality of the interior is a cut above most of the competition. Base models get fabric upholstery while leather is available higher up the range.
The increases size and weight have toned down the new Tiguan’s enthusiasm for corners and where the old model felt nippy the new SUV is less inclined to hustle down a winding road. Body control is good though and while some competitors may be better in the handling department, the new Tiguan is still surefooted and capable enough.
Where the new Tiguan does excel is in the way it rides over less than perfect pavement. The larger 18-inch wheels which are standard on SEL models (The S and SE get 17-inch wheels) do not upset the ride quality and the cabin is generally hushed too, save for some engine noise when pressing on.
A 2.0-liter turbo inline-4 provides 184 horsepower which is down 16 hp from the previous generation and the increased weight means acceleration is more sedate than sizzling. Torque is up to 221 lb-ft though and the standard 8-speed automatic transmission responds well enough. But with a full complement of passengers and their baggage even the extra torque may have you reconsidering more ambitious overtaking manoeuvres.
Fuel economy is pretty average for this class although the new engine is happy to run on regular gas unlike the premium only previous generation Tiguan.
The Tiguan is available in four variants, namely S, SE, SEL and SEL with a Premium pack. There is only the one 184 hp 2.0-litre engine and 8-speed automatic transmission and any variant can be had with either front or all-wheel drive. The front drive versions come standard with a third row of (small) seats.
S variants come standard with daytime running lights, VW Car-net (offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality), cloth seats, 6.5-inch touchscreen sound system with 1 USB port, 17-inch wheels, Rearview camera, LED taillights, Bluetooth with audio streaming and a rollover sensor system.
In addition to this the SE comes with an 8-inch touchscreen, 3 USB ports, dual-zone climate control, blind spot monitor, heated front seats with power driver’s seat. SEL adds 18-inch wheels, keyless access, sunroof, navigation system, 12.3-inch virtual cockpit and adaptive cruise control.
The top-spec SEL Premium model further adds a 9-speaker Fender audio system, hands-free power liftgate and adaptive front lights.
Safety features such as forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking and blind spot monitor are optional on the S and standard on the rest of the range.
In the all-new 2017 Tiguan, size, weight, torque, equipment levels and technology have all moved up a notch. Power and sportiness is however slightly down. This changes the focus of this newcomer in the compact SUV ranks and the increased interior space and higher quality fittings mark it out as a mature and practical new alternative in the compact SUV market.