2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

Bigger and better-looking



  • 박재승 (james@koreatimes.net) --
  • 28 Dec 2017

By James Park


   VW let the little Tiguan soldier on for almost ten years before giving it the complete makeover. Ten in ‘car years’ is like triple the ‘dog years’ so the previous Tiguan is about as ancient as Methuselah.

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Mercifully, VW finally put the old one out to pasture; let it rest in peace.

 

   The completely restyled 2018 Tiguan is bigger in every dimension, which translates to more room. The new Tiguan, however, retains the old model’s GTI-like agility and handling characteristics the loyal fans have come to love and to expect.

   The new model’s exterior does nothing to change people’s mind about VW’s somewhat dowdy approach to styling. Nonetheless, the boxy design is far from being unattractive, especially to those who put function ahead of form.

   There is clear similarity between the new Tiguan and the VW’s all new and much larger crossover, the Atlas. Whereas the Atlas looks slightly cumbersome – at least to this writer’s eyes – the Tiguan is better balanced. Both are boxy, but the Tiguan appears sleeker than its larger sibling.

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   The familiar engine is the two-litre turbocharged and direct-injected four that motivates many VW products. It is tuned for more torque in the new Tiguan.

   Compared to the outgoing model, the horsepower is reduced from 200 hp to 184 hp, but the twisting prowess increases from 207 lb-ft to 221 lb-ft. This peppy motor delivers power to either the front-wheels (FWD) or to the all four wheels (AWD) via the new eight-speed automatic transmission.

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   The old Tiguan is truly compact with dimensions closer to that of the Golf. Its replacement is longer by 268 mm and wider by 186 mm. The new car is so much roomier that VW is even offering third-row seating as an option.

   Don’t succumb to the temptation, though. Putting third-row seats in the Tiguan is like squeezing three people in a love-seat. You can do it, but nobody is comfortable. If you truly need to carry more than five people, upgrade to Atlas or better yet, go for a minivan.

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   Without the third-row option, the Tiguan is at least as roomy as other compact CUVs in the market and the rear passengers enjoy ample legroom. Thanks also to the practical boxy design, there’s more than adequate space for cargo.

   VW makes one of the most comfortable and supportive seats in the industry. And these fit in well with the interior that looks modern and sophisticated, if a tad sombre.

   First thing that catches the eye is the new digital gauge cluster the driver can configure to his or her liking. I guess such design motif is trickling down from Audi to VW.

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   From steering wheel to all the buttons, switches, dials and levers are familiar VW fare. They don’t look shabby and all are quite functional. The infotainment system has also improved, but the volume knob not only kills the stereo but the whole system as well. This seems unnecessarily strict: can’t it just turn off the radio?

   Among the Tiguan lineup, the base Trendline with FWD starts from $28,925. My test-vehicle, the Highline with AWD (4Motion in VW-speak) demands $39,175. The ‘Driver Assistance Package’ adds another 1,470 dollars.

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   As it is, the test-car is equipped with slew of goodies including the keyless entry, push-button start, navigation, Fender audio, panoramic sunroof, 18’ alloys and more. The contingent of electronic nannies, such as blindside monitoring, forward collision warning, etc are also present.

   The force-fed four cylinder engine sounds noisy at times, but it has no problem pushing the somewhat porky 1,750 kg (3,858 lb) vehicle up to speed.

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The force-fed four cylinder engine sounds noisy at times, but it has no problem pushing the somewhat porky 1,750 kg (3,858 lb) vehicle up to speed.

   VW is also no slouch when it comes to suspension tuning and the new Tiguan displays poise and confidence through fast corners. Steering is accurate but I wish it is little heavier. Overall, the ride is firm but pliant enough not to upset the passengers too much over bumps and other irregularities.

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   The drive mode consists of Eco, Normal, Sport and Custom. For everyday driving, Sport seems to work better than Normal, although this may hurt the fuel economy. Officially the Tiguan with AWD gets 11.3 litres per 100km in city and 8.8 litres on highway. For the week I had it, I averaged about 10.4 litres.

   The new Tiguan is bigger, more mature and better looking than the model it replaces. Even in the compact utility market saturated with able competitors, the new Tiguan is good enough to attract its fair share of attention. (James Park is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.)

 

2018 VW Tiguan Highline

Price: $39,175

As tested: $40,645

Engine: 2 litre turbo four

Power: 184 hp/221 lb-ft

Transmission: 8 spd auto

Drive: AWD

Fuel: 11.3 litres per 100km (city), 8.8 litres (highway)

Best: agile, sophisticated interior

Worst: radio button kills the whole infotainment system

Competition: Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson

세부 카테고리 작성일
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2018 Honda Fit 03 Jan 2018
2018 Volkswagen Tiguan 28 Dec 2017
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2017 Ford Mustang GT 15 Nov 2017

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