2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is All-New and Still Awesome

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

VW gave a total overhaul to the Tiguan for the 2018 model year and just about everything is improved. Based on the automaker’s new platform for its crossover-SUVs, the 2018 Tiguan now has more cargo space, more legroom, and a third-row option. The ride quality and fun factor the Tiguan was most well known for also remain.

The manufacturer says

When we say redesign, we mean function as well as form. The 2018 Tiguan is over 10 inches longer than its 2017 counterpart, so there’s more room for everyone to travel in style.

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Volkswagen
  • Year, Model: 2018 Tiguan
  • Class, Type: Small crossover-SUV
  • Propulsion system: Gasoline
  • Base Price: $24,595
  • MSRP as tested: ~$31,000
  • Availability: Now

Overview

The Tiguan has usually been the go-to “fun” crossover in the small SUV segment, offering a sporty drive and good handling but lacking many of the creature comforts and expected utility of most vehicles in the category. With its new redesign, though, the 2018 VW Tiguan jumps ahead to match those contemporaries while retaining the fun factor that kept it popular before.

The new 2018 Tiguan is about ten inches longer than its predecessor, allowing enough room to boost cargo space by about 30 percent, add more rear seat legroom, and to add a child-friendly third row. Standard equipment includes functional roof rails, basic infotainment connectivity, and automatic headlights. Trim levels start with the base S model and move up through the SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trims.

Powering the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that outputs a useful 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. An automatic eight-speed transmission is also standard. Front-wheel drive is stnadard in all trims and all-wheel drive is optional in all trim points.

The larger size of the Tiguan does not interfere with the engine’s punchy behavior and VW put effort into the ride dynamics to keep the Tiguan’s familiar fun handling characteristics. One note, however, is that the turbo’s spool takes a moment to ramp up when the engine has been running efficiently through traffic, so it may take a moment to get the punch forward you’re after in some situations.

Interior comfort is a high point for the 2018 VW Tiguan. The front seats are firm, but well-designed and very comfortable. Rear seating in the second row sees improvement over the previous generation, with better thigh bolstering and a lot more legroom. We like the Tiguan’s cloth and leatherette upholstery options. In the third row, seating is mainly reserved for kids and is right-sized for a couple of kids in safety seats. It is otherwise cramped and low.

Cargo space in the 2018 Tiguan is measured at 37.6 cubic feet behind the second-row and 73.5 cubes with both the second and third rows folded flat. That drops a bit with the third row seating due to the seats removing the lower pan under the rear cargo space, but that space is only marginally useful to begin with. Towing in the Tiguan is rated at 1,500 pounds.

Front-wheel drive models of the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan are EPA-rated at 24 mpg combined, with 22 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The all-wheel drive models are rated at 23 mpg combined, with 21 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway. The highest trim level sees the combined numbers drop by a further point thanks to higher vehicle weight.

What we like

Well-done build and design with a solid amount of utility.

Good real-world fuel economy for the vehicle’s size.

What we don't

Interior still a bit spartan compared to some rivals.

Exterior design still a bit blah compared to others in the segment.

Conclusions

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan brings a lot to the table in this new design for the small crossover. We like the improvements and are glad to see this often-overlooked vehicle now becoming very competitive for the market. We recommend consumers put it on their short list when shopping for a small crossover-SUV.

Test Period Length and Limitations
The 2018 Tiguan was a manufacturer’s press loan for about a week. During that time, various passenger loads and cargo items were carried in the vehicle for distances both short and long. A total of about 300 miles were put on the vehicle.

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