2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium Test Drive

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“2018 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0TR SEL Premium”
VW Extends Tiguan’s Wheelbase and Feature Content
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The Volkswagen Tiguan made its debut as a 2009 model and was the German automaker’s first compact SUV (actually considered in most circles as a CUV or Crossover Utility Vehicle). The initial impression of the Tiguan, was that it represented a blending of attributes present in VW’s GTI or Jetta and their larger Touareg SUV. For those inquiring about where the name originated, we were informed that it was derived by combining “Tiger” and “Iguana”. Come on – what’s up with that? At least Touareg has a meaning. Oh well, at least if you were even the least bit curious, you now know what a Tiguan is – or not.

Regardless of its name, this first V-Dub crossover was pretty impressive. It came at a time when smaller was actually considered to be better – particularly in terms of fuel economy. Yes, I know that there are more fuel conscious vehicles out there, but not necessarily with the same attributes and amenities served up by the Volkswagen Tiguan, which brings to the table elevated standards in design aesthetics, in driving dynamics, in technological safety features, and it comes with a healthy inventory of luxury and convenience content to an ever increasing category in the marketplace.

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The design remains European in flavor, and continues to remain true to Volkswagen’s heritage, instantly recognizable as a VW, with several GTI visual influences. The exterior of the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan displays a crisp, sleek aerodynamic image, based on VW’s design DNA, which includes the horizontal front-end design prevalent in other Volkswagen models.

In profile, the new Tiguan showcases a raked-back windshield, rising waistline, large side windows, along with an instantly recognizable, trademark “C”-pillar at the rear. On SE models with higher trims, a distinctive chrome trim surrounds the side windows, visually enhancing the overall look. At 185.1 inches front to rear, 71.4 inches wide and 66.3 inches tall, it fills a size bracket that is ideal for maneuvering about in either urban or suburban environments.

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan lineup consists of 4 models, each with varying degrees of progressive feature content: S; SE; SEL; and SEL Premium . An R-line trim package will rejoin the lineup this year as well. Base pricing begins at $25,345 and rises to $37,550. Add $900 Destination charge for all. Each trim level is available in either Front-Wheel Drive as the standard configuration or in 4Motion permanent AWD system as an option.

All Tiguan models are now powered exclusively by a 2.0 TSI turbocharged/intercooled, DOHC, 16-valve four-cylinder engine with gasoline Direct fuel Injection that produces 184 horsepower at 4,400 rpm while also developing 221 pound feet of torque at 1,600 rpm.

The returning R-Line® will be the most dynamic and sport-focused model, with a comprehensive list of standard features including the SEL content along with Specific R-Line features.
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VW-Tiguan-RInt
The interior has been thoughtfully refreshed; even the cloth seats of entry models now feature a rhombus pattern that serves up a premium look. The Tiguan now features the optional Volkswagen Digital Cockpit display, offering drivers a reconfigurable display of key data and the ability to position navigation data front and center for easy viewing. The available Volkswagen Car-Net® system provides a suite of connected vehicle services, including standard App-Connect technology that offers compatible smartphone integration with the three major platforms—Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®. The new Tiguan also offers an available Fender® Premium Audio System.
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The Tiguan now offers a comprehensive suite of driver assistance technology. A rearview camera comes as standard fare and available features include: Adaptive Cruise Control ,upgraded for use in stop and go traffic; Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist) with Pedestrian Monitoring; Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert; and Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist).
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Flexible seating is key, with reclining rear seats providing six inches of fore and aft travel, allowing for increased legroom or cargo space depending on individual requirements. The front passenger seat folds flat to accommodate carrying longer objects. The cabin also includes a variety of clips and storage bins making for a safe space for all types of items.

The suspension features European-flavored tuning for a connected handling feel, but with a smooth and compliant ride quality, and like all Volkswagens, Tiguan incorporates VW’s Prevent and Preserve Safety System, consisting of 45 safety features, which includes as standard fare, six airbags and Electronic Stabilization Program. Rear side airbags are optionally available.

A host of options are available to enhance both comfort and convenience, such as: a huge, panoramic sunroof opening up to nearly 13 square feet of sky; a state of the art navigation system, combining a sophisticated radio with a precise touch screen navigation system and easy to use map views through its high resolution wide-screen display. The system also includes a 30GB hard drive for storing map data and audio files that can be transferred into the device via the optical drive or SD card slot. The optical drive reads CD, DVD and DVD Audio formats. In conjunction with the media device interface, the system can interface with either an iPod or USB stick, and offers offers available Sirius Satellite Radio audio services and Sirius® Traffic service, for streaming real-time traffic
data into the navigation system.

My test 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan was a FWD SEL Premium model, with the exterior finished in Dark Moss Green metallic with the interior done in Black. The base price was set at $36,250 while the final tally registered $37,150 after adding the Driver Care Package and Destination charge.

SUMMARY: The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is truly a global vehicle that fits virtually into every potential environment worldwide. There is only the four-cylinder engine available, with no six-cylinder variant currently planned.

As with the Atlas, the Tiguan is based on Volkswagen’s Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture. When compared with its predecessor, the new Tiguan delivers more interior space. It is 10.7 inches longer than the current version and provides up to 57 percent more cargo capacity The 109.9-inch wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than the new Tiguan sold in Europe and comes with both sliding 40/20/40 second-row seats and an optional 50/50 split third row.
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Outside, the all-new Tiguan adopts Volkswagen’s clean design DNA. The MQB platform allows for a wider, lower stance. The exterior design also enhances the Tiguan’s utility, from a 26-degree approach angle for off-roading to a lower lift-in height for the tailgate.

The Tiguan is sized right, drives well – borders on sporty, is definitely fun to drive, and it rides comfortably. The handling is precise and readily responsive despite its CUV categorization. It also delivers in the functionality department with its versatile seating configurations. The rear seats both slide and recline, and also fold flat. The front passenger seat folds flat as well. For those who have too much gear to carry inside, the Tiguan is capable of towing up to a maximum of 2,200 pounds, given that the trailer is equipped with braking and, up to 220 pounds of cargo may be carried on the roof.
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The 2018 Tiguan’s six-year/72,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty includes powertrain coverage for their engines, transmissions and optional 4Motion® all-wheel-drive system. The Volkswagen SUV bumper-to-bumper warranty is longer than its competitors, and all of its elements may be transferred to subsequent owners up to 6 years or 72,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

My test Volkswagen Tiguan proved to be a delight in every respect. Think of the Tiguan as the GTI of sport utes.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium

Base Price: $36,250.
Price as Tested: $37,150.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve TSI® turbocharged/intercooled inline four-cylinder with gasoline Direct Fuel Injection.

Horsepower (bhp): 184 @ 4,400 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 221 @ 1,600 rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed Tiptronic automatic.

Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – Strut type with lower control arms, coil springs, telescopic damper and anti-roll bar.
Rear – Multilink, coil springs, telescopic dampers and anti-roll bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted, dual circuit four-wheel discs (vented front) with standard four-wheel ABS, EBD and ESC.

Tires: Continental ProContact TX 235/50 R19 99H M&S mounted on 5-spoke Silver painted alloy wheels.

Wheelbase: 109.8 inches
Length Overall: 185.1 inches
Width: 71.4 inches
Height: 66.3 inches
Curb Weight: 3,404 lbs.
Turning Circle: 37.7 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 15.3 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 22 mpg city / 27 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.35
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.

Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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