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2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium 4Motion

2.Zero-liter DOHC inline-four (184 horsepower @ four,400 rpm; 221 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm)

Eight-speed computerized, all-wheel drive

21 metropolis / 27 freeway / 23 mixed (EPA Score, MPG)

11.three metropolis / Eight.Eight freeway / 10.2 mixed (NRCan Score, L/100km)

25.9 mpg [9.1 L/100 km] (Noticed)

Base Value: $26,245 (U.S) / $30,820 (Canada)

As Examined: $38,745 (U.S.) / $42,540 (Canada)

Costs embody $900 vacation spot cost in america and $1,895 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, due to cross-border tools variations, can’t be instantly in contrast.

It took Volkswagen eternally. However lastly, in 2008, greater than a decade after the compact SUV craze started, the first-generation Tiguan landed on U.S. shores. The Tiguan was extra premium-priced than it deserved to be and smaller than it wanted to be, however with a potent powerplant and fun-loving on-road habits, those that might afford it and slot in it had been blissful.

It took Volkswagen eternally. However lastly, in the summertime of 2017, almost a decade after the primary Tiguan arrived and ultimately watched the discharge of two new Honda CR-Vs, two new Hyundai Tucsons, numerous rival redesigns, and a bevy of latest opponents, the second-generation Tiguan landed on U.S. shores.

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is now competitively priced. It’s correctly sized — marginally bigger than many rivals slightly than distinctly smaller. This time, nevertheless, due to additional weight and an intransigent powertrain, the Tiguan doesn’t really feel fairly so punchy off the road. And instead of a dynamic repertoire vaguely harking back to an Mk5 Golf GTI — full of life steering, fast turn-in, grippy cornering — the 2018 Tiguan is comfort-focused, eager on absorbing and mollifying and coddling.

Greater, extra comfy, and arguably extra engaging? The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan lastly feels like a Tiguan American crossover patrons would possibly really need.

They definitely didn’t need the primary Tiguan. Blessed by value reductions, a renewed give attention to fashions that weren’t beforehand offered with outlawed TDI diesels, and a rising pro-SUV tide, Tiguan gross sales peaked within the U.S. at solely 43,638 items in 2016, the ultimate 12 months of its nine-year run. Even then, Volkswagen represented only a drop within the bucket by claiming lower than 2 p.c market share in America’s small SUV/crossover phase.2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Habanero Orange - Image: © Timothy CainMeasurement Issues

For an organization with lofty gross sales targets — forged apart by a diesel emissions disaster — failure to adequately compete in one of many greatest new car segments is unacceptable. So the second-gen Tiguan is greater than 10 inches longer than the undersized first Tiguan. The truth is, at 185.1 inches lengthy, the Tiguan stretches 7 inches previous the bumper of the Ford Escape, 5 inches farther than the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, and three inches past the Nissan Rogue.

Under no circumstances does the Tiguan really feel huge. It’s nonetheless half a foot shorter, bumper to bumper, than the Volkswagen Passat. However the newfound size pays enormous dividends within the second row, which has a broad vary of fore/aft movement and presents a great deal of legroom. Three throughout? It’ll be tight — there’s a tall middle hump and solely 56 inches of shoulder room — however that’s not irregular for the category.

Out again, too, the Tiguan is now a succesful hauler of cargo. The earlier mannequin’s 24 cubic ft of storage was laughable. The 2018 Tiguan competes nicely towards the CR-V (39 cubic ft) with a squared-off 38-cubic-foot storage space.2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Habanero Orange - Image: © Timothy CainSound Issues

With a beautiful and up-to-date MIB II infotainment unit, a collection of obtainable security methods, a easy start-stop system, and an optionally available panoramic sunroof, the 2018 Tiguan additionally competes with a contemporary array of apparatus. Removed from outdated, the second-gen Tiguan, at the very least on this high grade instance, does a succesful job of feeling extra premium than its counterparts.

Materials high quality helps. So does the combination of the Eight-inch touchscreen. The Audi-like customizable digital show shames the utilitarian gauge clusters of mainstream compacts. The fully muffled wind noise and usually hushed tire hum lend an air of luxurious to the proceedings, as nicely.

Granted, the refined silence serves to focus on some disagreeable sounds. The entrance door panels and B-pillar covers periodically squeaked and moaned in unison, typically all through lengthy drives. There have been nonetheless only one,300 miles on this Habanero Orange Volkswagen Canada-supplied press automobile when it completed its tour at TTAC’s Prince Edward Island bureau.2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Interior - Image: © Timothy CainType Issues

Magnificence stays eternally within the eye of the beholder, however absolutely it’s protected to say the first-gen Tiguan’s awkward proportions, whereas masked by nice styling components, have been changed by a extra conventionally good-looking car. Admittedly, the 2018 Tiguan does a poor job in photographs of showing its cohesive design. However from the second this new Tiguan set wheel on my driveway, I used to be struck by how nicely the uncluttered scheme appeared in summer season mild.

Or possibly it was simply the colour, the lone premium shade on the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s a $295 possibility, an aesthetic mix of pink and orange that happily doesn’t seem burnt.

The brand new Tiguan isn’t a looker; it’s not the Vary Rover Velar of mainstream compact crossovers. But it surely’s inoffensive with out being painfully boring, and the outside design bolsters the case for Tiguan normalization.

Spirit Issues

Normalization is definitely what occurred beneath the 2018 Tiguan’s physique. The idea that Volkswagen would construct upon the primary Tiguan’s foremost declare to fame — a fun-to-drive nature — with the second mannequin was fully incorrect. Alter drive modes with a console-mounted rotary dial all you want, swap from Eco to Sport, tailor the Customized menu. It received’t matter: the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan will not be the Mazda CX-5 or Ford Escape rival you anticipated.

Perhaps, simply possibly, that’s a very good factor. In any case, it’s not as if the Tiguan became a pot of overcooked spaghetti. There’s nonetheless a stiff construction and usually composed habits. And hustling down, say, County Line Highway, at a brisk tempo is a breeze. The 2018 Tiguan absorbs brutal pavement with ease, remaining fully unflustered by poorly patched pavement. Monitoring straight and true on the freeway in a comparatively muted setting with light-effort steering and simply sufficient energy for necessary overtakes? That’s the brand new Tiguan in its prime.2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Habanero Orange - Image: © Timothy CainHowever the 2018 Tiguan prefers to finish these duties at a barely slower tempo. Absolutely loaded, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Premium SEL weighs round 300 kilos greater than a full-spec 2017 Tiguan, in accordance with Automobile And Driver’s scales.

With a minor horsepower loss and a modest quantity of additional torque, the brand new Budack-cycle 2.Zero-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is unfavorably linked to an eight-speed computerized. There’s turbo lag on the one hand, a transmission that slurs early shifts on the opposite. The long-travel throttle pedal requires a vigorous proper foot, but the two.0T’s disagreeable noises discourage your heavy-hoofed method. You understand the 2018 Tiguan isn’t sluggish; you’ve made use of the mid-range torque when a tractor refused to maneuver over to the shoulder. However in lots of circumstances, whether or not the Tiguan is sluggish on paper or not, it’s decidedly underwhelming in observe.2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Interior Detail - Image: © Timothy CainFinancial savings Matter

The unresponsive 2.0T/eight-speed combo doesn’t counteract its lackadaisical method with unparalleled gas economic system, both. Although fortunately unencumbered by the 2017 Tiguan’s premium gas suggestion, the 2018 Tiguan 4Motion is rated at a mere 23 miles per gallon mixed.

With a 1.5-liter turbo, the Honda CR-V AWD hits 29 mpg mixed. The Nissan Rogue AWD is rated at 27 mpg. The Ford Escape does Tiguan-like mileage, however that’s with its hi-po 2.Zero-liter turbo producing 33-percent extra horsepower and 24-percent extra torque than the Tiguan’s 2.0T. In largely rural driving at highway-aping speeds, our 2018 Tiguan tester managed 26 mpg, not fairly nearly as good because the CR-V’s metropolis score.

However the case for the Tiguan, as with all car, isn’t only a easy financial argument. It doesn’t boil right down to and cents. The 2018 Tiguan is ze Deutschland entry, albeit the Mexican-made one. It provides a $500 third row (that’s normal on front-wheel-drive fashions.) Notably with orange paint, it stands out in a sea of CR-Vs, Rogues, RAV4s, and Escapes — 4 autos that collectively generate 2.5 extra U.S. gross sales in a typical month than the Tiguan does all 12 months lengthy.

Nah, the argument for Tiguan exceptionalism is simply too troublesome to make. The all-new, second-generation, 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is nothing just like the distinctive providing its predecessor was. Much more suited to the mainstream now, the Tiguan has however misplaced its major declare to fame, and it now should compete — whether or not as a $38,745 instance similar to ours, or a $26,245 base mannequin, or as a extra appetizing $31,280 mid-grade SE 4Motion — smack in the course of the mainstream compact crossover enviornment.

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is sufficiently aggressive to earn consideration, however not aggressive sufficient to trigger concern among the many phase standard-bearers.

[Images: © Timothy Cain]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Reality About Vehicles and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.web. Comply with on Twitter @timcaincars.

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