SIn 2016, the second generation of the successful Tiguan SUV from VW has been on the market. The mid-range model is being built at four locations, in Kaluga, Russia, in Shanghai, in Puebla, Mexico, and in the parent plant in Wolfsburg. A Tiguan rolls off the production line every 35 seconds, more than 2,490 units a day. So that it remains Europe’s number 1 SUV, it does not get a complete overhaul, but a comprehensive refresh and two additional model variants. The two gasoline and three diesel versions will be joined by a plug-in hybrid and a new top model, the Tiguan R, at the end of the year. The price list for the conventional versions starts at 28,205 euros, the plug-in will probably cost around 42,000 euros , the R variant for just under 60,000 euros.
Up front, the SUV has become more dramatic, its radiator grille has grown significantly. LED light is standard equipment all round, and LED matrix light is also available for an extra charge. The fact that VW has really started a major facelift is shown by the newly shaped bonnet with its sharp beading and edges, so not only soft parts such as bumpers and headlights have been modified, but new tools are needed to model the sheet metal.
Inside there will be slider controls introduced with the latest generation Golf. Rotary actuators and buttons are on the decline, but the Tiguan doesn’t really make things easier for its driver. Especially since the new multifunction steering wheel is almost completely populated with touch-sensitive buttons.
The Tiguan E-Hybrid gets a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 13 kWh with almost the same dimensions as the previous nine-kWh battery. It weighs 135 kilograms and is sufficient for around 50 kilometers of all-electric travel. The 1.4-liter turbo gasoline engine delivers 150 hp, the electric motor contributes 115 hp. The system output is 245 hp and 400 Newton meters of torque. In cooperation with the navigation system, the hybrid’s computer controls the interaction of both drive motors. For example, that an overland route is preferably covered with a gasoline engine, in order to then have the electric motor go to work in the city and drive locally emission-free. The battery is charged on a wallbox in three hours and forty minutes, on a conventional 230-volt socket it takes a little more than five hours.
The two-liter turbo gasoline engine of the Tiguan R has 420 Newton meters of torque at 2100 revolutions per minute and a whopping 320 hp. They should be heard, but the sporty compact SUV has a two-pipe exhaust system with valve control that trumpets in “Race” mode of Jericho. At least subjectively, because the interior is filled with sound from an actuator that makes the pilot in the bucket seat make a good noise. Driving fun is more likely due to the active chassis, which is lowered by one centimeter, the active steering and the all-wheel drive with a newly developed rear axle drive. This distributes the drive force variably not only between the front and rear, but also between the left and right rear wheel.
With all its sporty genes, the R also proves its everyday talent. It can hang up to two tons, there is a trailer assistant that supports carriage rides at an additional cost, and 615 to 1655 liters of luggage fit in the trunk.