Reviewing the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan: Is Bigger Better?
That’s right, the latest Volkswagen Tiguan is now out and available for testing, and it’s time to weigh in on whether or not the latest model is actually an upgrade over its predecessor. The first thing you’ll notice about this SUV is that it’s a whole lot larger than it used to be, but is that a good thing? It’s tough to decide right off the bat of the increased size is good or bad, and I’ll delve into all the details that come with that size change. There are also some media enhancements, changes to the interior and overall improvements to the model that deserve a mention as well, so let’s get right into it.
Is Bigger Better?
The new Tiguan is no longer like a RAV4 when it comes to size. It’s much more like the bigger brother the Highlander. That’s because it has a longer wheelbase by 7.3 inches. The total length of the Tiguan is upsized by around 10.6 inches as well, which might not sound like a lot, but is huge in the car world. These size changes add extra weight onto the Tiguan, which can make it feel a bit more sluggish, but they were made for good reason, to bring buyers added seating capacity and storage. That’s right, if you pick up the 2018 Tiguan you can have it with a third row and seating for 7. That’s great news if you have a large family and you couldn’t purchase the Tiguan before. It’s important to note that that third row is pretty cramped. You won’t be lounging in luxury at the back of the SUV, and you’ll probably want to stick to hauling children around using the rearmost portion of the SUV, but it’s nice to have the option anyway.
Performance and Handling Concerns
With the larger size of the Tiguan comes some performance concerns, and they are warranted. It gains around 373 lbs of added weight, and that’s going to take away from acceleration a bit. The Tiguan comes with a turbo-four engine and can put out enough power for you to drive comfortably, but it never really feels fast either. It comes packed with a very intelligent and capable eight-speed automatic transmission that takes the limited power the engine offers and makes the most of it. With short gearing and careful power distribution the Tiguan can get up to 60 from a standstill in around 8.6 seconds according to MotorTrend tests. That’s not lightning quick, but it’s very respectable for a mid-sized SUV. This makes it a good solid daily driver.
Excellent Off-Road Handling with All Wheel
The 2018 Tiguan can be equipped with all-wheel drive, but it’s not a mandatory enhancement. You have to get it as an added option and pay extra for it. When you opt for 4Motion All-Wheel drive, you get a much more capable SUV overall. It handles in tough driving conditions beautifully, and will help you get around through snow, dirt, sand or whatever you happen to be driving through without as much slippage. There are different driving modes to choose from, but the SUV seems to handle pretty well regardless of the mode that you have it set to.
While Volkswagen couldn’t deck out the Tiguan with lavish materials, the automaker did a good job making it look refined and almost luxurious using plastics and other low-cost materials. The inside of the Tiguan has a nice put-together quality to it, even if the seats aren’t quite as plush and the lumbar support isn’t as good as it is on more high-end vehicles. The overall result is a stylish interior and a vehicle that you’ll be happy to show off to friends and family members.
The SUV packs in features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support into its refined media console. The Media center looks very nice and is simple to use, and it’s a nice improvement over the outgoing model. If you value media and want enhanced connectivity through your smartphone and other Bluetooth devices, you’ll love how advanced the media system is in the 2018 Tiguan.
Overall the bigger Tiguan is an improvement over the 2017 model. It offers driving dynamics that are very similar, though it’s slightly more sluggish this isn’t something that most drivers are likely to notice. The Tiguan is now an option for those with larger families and it’s a decent improvement over some of the other large options on the market today.