DENVER, Colorado — In case you haven’t heard it enough but, crossover and SUV income had been going gangbusters everywhere in the globe, driven heavily by way of a soaring call for inside the U.S. Volkswagen have by, and large had to watch this feeding frenzy from the sidelines. America has always been the uncrackable nut for VW. Still, with the growing older Touareg being outdated with the aid of the handsome Atlas and the similarly dated first-era Tiguan being changed for 2018, matters are probably on a long-overdue upswing.
Slowly but actually, Volkswagen is making up for the lost time. And for broken promises. VW suffered greater than a flesh wound inside the wake of its notorious Dieselgate scandal, but the prescription going forward is to introduce plenty of recent metallic to win returned clients. “We’re running to regain our clients’ believe and rebuild the emblem,” said VW product and general manager Mark Gillies. “New cars are the lifeblood of this commercial enterprise.”
We headed to Colorado to launch the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan, which must make VW into a bigger player inside the critical mid-size SUV area, peeling customers far away from stalwarts like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Ford Escape.
The 2018 Tiguan rides on the equal MQB architecture as the Golf and Atlas, sharing with the one’s cars VW’s polished understanding in packaging. Although Europe receives both brief- and lengthy-wheelbase variations of the Tiguan, the best latter could be offered right here within the States. That method is 10.6 inches of extra period compared to the first-gen Tiguan and fifty-eight percent more shipment potential on-row models. Front-wheel force fashions come well known with a 3rd row of seating, whilst all-wheel-pressure models can upload it as a stand-on my own $500 alternative on any trim stage.
Unsurprisingly, the 0.33 row is suitable most effective for youngsters, but a median-sized grownup could manage for short rides in a pinch, which is greater than may be said for the jump seats within the Nissan Rogue. Where the Tiguan shines is how effortlessly the second row folds down and slides forward, revealing a generous opening for rear-seat passengers. In phrases of general length, the Tiguan is slightly larger than the maximum of its key competition, however still well shy of lots of large Atlas.
Although the Tiguan stocks its underpinnings with the Golf, dynamically, they feel greater like distant cousins than near siblings. That begins with Tiguan’s new 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, the only engine for U.S. Models. Mated to an eight-velocity automatic, the 184-hp “B-cycle” engine uses a changed Miller combustion cycle for stepped forward performance, yielding 35 lb-toes more torque but 14 fewer hp than the outgoing 2.0T.
The new engine is slow off the line as we climb from Denver up into the encompassing mountains, snaking through twisting ribbons of pavement and hard dirt roads aboard a front-wheel-power Tiguan with three rows. Peak 221 lb-toes torque comes in early at 1, six hundred rpm and remains perfectly flat until 3,940 pm, however the long pedal journey way the Tiguan is constantly a step or in the back of where you anticipate it. Even inside the meat of the rev variety, from 4, four hundred rpm to six,000, in which the brand new EA888 four-cylinder makes max hp, the engine feels coarse and resistant. It doesn’t assist that the 8-speed automatic transmission is now and again lazy to downshift, even though this may be mitigated via switching the shift lever into Sport.
A huge caveat is that our entire direction changed altitudes starting from five, one hundred ft to roughly eight,000 feet. No doubt the thin air was played a component in all that huffing and puffing despite a turbocharger on board. However, while we previously drove a pre-production Passat with this engine, it was dissatisfied compared to the pleasantly zippy 1.8-liter rapid it replaces. Volkswagen may even tag within the B-cycle 2.0-liter to replace the 1.8T inside the Beetle, in addition to the next-generation Jetta.
On the plus facet, the Tiguan rides like a dream. It tracks optimistically down the toll road. Potholes and enlargement joints are of little challenge to the MQB-platformed family hauler, at the same time as bumpy dust roads don’t transmit much inside the way of nasty vibrations into the cabin. Germany engineered the Tiguan to satisfy Americans’ choice for easy driving, and in that admire, it’s spot-on. The brakes, too, aren’t overly grabby and intuitive to modulate.
Steering feel and handling may be the sufferers of this consciousness on comfort — none of the Golf’s a laugh or maybe the Atlas’ poised capability come thru. There’s a fairly massive dead spot on-center, and even though the steering does build weight as it techniques locks, it doesn’t benefit much of whatever in the manner of remarks. In all-wheel-drive fashions with the Active Control rotary pressure pick knob, you can customize the guidance or powertrain to your liking. However, even those modes provide simply minor upgrades.