Better late than never, Volkswagen is finally delivering the style of crossover SUV American consumers’ desire. Bigger and definitely better than before; this is the all-new 2018 Tiguan. With nothing but the aged Touareg and undersized Tiguan in their lineup, VW’s 1-2 punch of this 2nd generation Tiguan and brand new midsized Atlas couldn’t come soon enough. As cars sales continue to give way to more the versatile sport utility, automakers need as many as they can get. And I’m glad to see that VW has done a fantastic job with this new Tiguan. It’s not just a tiny bit bigger, it’s 3rd row seat bigger, so the size issues of the previous model have been completely erased. Thusly, I was concerned with VW’s engine choice, but no worries – the updated 2.0-liter turbo is torquey and smooth working beautifully with the new 8-speed automatic to produce a powertrain with premium-level refinement. 23mpg on regular beats the previous Tiguan’s 21mpg on premium, the 4Motion all-wheel drive system’s Active Control has 4 driver selectable settings to compliment the additional 1” of ground clearance and light off-road proportions, and the interior design is as plush and as fresh as anything we’ve seen from VW in a long time. There are 8 trim levels starting with the front-wheel drive Tiguan S priced from $26,245 but this here is the most luxurious model – the SEL Premium with 4MOTION and the optional 3rd row, with an MSRP of $38,950. That’s pushing the top-of-the-line price envelope in the segment but this Tiguan feels worth it. It includes such high-end features as the reconfigurable Digital Cockpit Display, real leather seating surfaces, ambient lighting, rain-sensing wipers, a heated steering wheel, memory settings, a 9-speaker Fender Premium Audio System and a hands-free liftgate. The brighter, faster, 8” touchscreen navi with 3 USB ports features across the board smartphone integration and remote access via the VW Car-Net app. It’s a fantastic new system. I love using the overhead view camera when parking in tight spots and other helpers like auto high beams, active blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control make life safer and easier.There’s a huge panoramic roof, the second row seats slide to give kids in the 3rd row a little more leg room and the cargo area is smart with a place to neatly stow the removable cover and remote handles for
dropping the middle seating for expansive hauling space. Roof rails are standard. The sizing of the Tiguan is spot on. At 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, the Tiguan delivers just right power, never feeling too slow with all of the premium driving precision we’ve come to expect from VW; tight steering, European ride quality, controlled body motions. Plus, there are ECO and Sport modes if you like. If you’re thinking of towing though keep in mind it can only handle 1,500 pounds.For the Tiguan, the second time is most certainly a charm. .