RSS icon Home icon
  • 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T S

    Posted on January 5th, 2018 ninarussin

    Compact crossover with three rows of seating

    By Nina Russin

    2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

    2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

    The Tiguan is the smallest member of Volkswagen’s crossover family, and one of the few crossovers in the compact segment to offer both three rows of seating and all-wheel drive. Like the larger Atlas, the Tiguan is built on the automaker’s new global modular transverse architecture. The second-generation Tiguan is ten inches longer than the original model creating room for the optional third row of seating with a small cargo area in back. Both second and third rows fold flat to extend the cargo floor. Buyers in four-season climates can also opt to add all-wheel drive for better traction on wet roads.

    The test car is the base S front-wheel drive model with the optional third row of seating, priced from $25,195 excluding destination. Power comes from a two-liter turbocharged direct injection gasoline engine rated at 184-horsepower and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

    Standard convenience features include 17-inch alloy rims, halogen headlamps with daytime running lamps, roof rails, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, manual climate control, rearview camera, Bluetooth interface, six-speaker audio system, cruise control and electronic parking brake. Final MSRP is $26,095.

    Test drive in Southern Arizona

    2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

    2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

    The Tiguan should appeal to growing families who need seating for seven but don’t want a full-size SUV, either due to fuel economy concerns or who need to park in urban centers where garage ceiling heights and the slots themselves are smaller. Standard roof rails enable families to add an extra cargo carrier or gear rack up top.

    The two-liter engine produces 221 pound-feet of peak torque at engine speeds as low as 1600 rpm. The torque gives the engine excellent acceleration off the line and in the 20-50 mile-per-hour range drivers use merging onto the highway. There was some noticeable engine noise in the test car, which might or might not bother potential buyers. The eight-speed automatic transmission is a nice departure from CVT units, offering crisp shifts throughout the power band.

    An electric power steering system produces ample assist at low speeds for maneuverability in crowded parking lots. On-center response is soft, but drivers shouldn’t feel disconnected from the wheels.

    2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

    2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

    A four-wheel independent suspension consisting of struts up front and multilink setup in the rear does a good job of absorbing bumps in the road without feeling mushy. Anti-roll bars on both axles keep the chassis flat in the corners.

    Ventilated front disc brakes and solid rear rotors stop the Tiguan in firm, linear fashion.

    Visibility around the car’s perimeter is good. The rearview camera makes it easier to back out of slots in busy parking lots and helps parents see children who might be playing in the driveway. Although the test car didn’t come with blind spot monitoring, I had no problems seeing traffic when merging onto the highway or monitoring vehicles in adjacent lanes.

    Except the for noticeable engine noise, the interior is pleasantly quiet, so passengers in all three rows can converse or enjoy the audio system.

    Versatile interior

    Volkswagen Tiguan Interior

    Volkswagen Tiguan Interior

    The Tiguan’s simple but functional interior works well for buyers with active lifestyles who don’t necessarily want leather upholstery or a bunch of bells and whistles. Cloth seats are easier to clean than leather and staying cooler in the hot Southwestern summers. I found the manual seat controls easy to use: I was-able-to move the seat high enough for a clear forward view, with plenty of lower lumbar support for longer drives.

    The tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel enables smaller drivers to maintain a safe distance from the front airbag. Climate and infotainment controls are easy to reach from either front seating position and easy to operate.

    Second-row passengers should have enough leg and hip room for longer drives. Room in the third-row seat is limited, but it will work for kids on short trips around town.

    2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

    2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

    With the third-row seats in place the cargo area is very small and not particularly functional. I loaded some groceries in the back, not noticing that the cargo floor tilts ever-so-slightly down towards the rear hatch. When I opened the hatch bottles of root beer launched out the back, leaving me with the rather unpleasant job of cleaning up a lot of broken glass. A standard cargo net would solve the problem.

    Standard safety

    The Volkswagen Tiguan comes with six airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, an intelligent crash system that automatically cuts off the fuel, unlocks the doors and illuminates the interior lights in the event of a serious collision and tire pressure monitoring. Standard VW Car-Net includes smart phone interface and automatic crash notification of first responders.

    Volkswagen builds the Tiguan at its Puebla, Mexico assembly plant.

    Like: An affordably priced compact crossover with available third-row seating and all-wheel drive.

    Dislike: Engine noise. Cargo area with the third-row seats in place is not functional.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Volkswagen
    Model: Tiguan S 2.0 T S
    Year: 2018
    Base price: $25,195
    As tested: $26,095
    Horsepower: 184 HP @ 4400 rpm
    Torque: 221 lbs.-ft. @ 1600 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: Yes
    Off-road: No
    Towing: No
    Fuel economy: 22/27 mpg city/highway

    Comments are closed.