NAIAS 2017: Volkswagen Presents America With a Larger Tiguan

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
naias 2017 volkswagen presents america with a larger tiguan

Volkswagen showcased its second-generation Tiguan at the 2016 Frankfurt Auto Show, so it is a little underwhelming to see another one at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show. However, the Frankfurt debut was the Euro-spec model. A modestly sized SUV simply won’t do for a nation that has experienced decades of drive-through grease burgers, cross-country camping excursions, and massive expanses of multi-lane highways. America has bigger people, bigger roads, and more junk to haul around.

A perfectly adequate-sized vehicle in Europe is a tiny baby’s toy in the United States — and we all know which country Volkswagen is eager to please right now. With this in mind, the German automaker delivered a stretched version of the Tiguan crossover specifically for North American consumers.

The new North American Tiguan is a long-wheelbase version of the European model. While still part of the MQB Bodengruppe, its wheelbase — at 109.9 inches — is 4.4 inches longer than the one sold in Europe. While those updated dimensions make the new model nearly a foot longer than the Tiguan of a decade ago, Volkswagen is just following the industry trend of sizing up small SUVs.

“The new Tiguan demonstrates how we plan to give American customers the usability and versatility they demand without sacrificing style or Volkswagen’s trademark driving dynamics,“ said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of VW North America. “Every detail of the Tiguan has been thoughtfully engineered for our U.S. customers to maximize space and convenience, while retaining its performance, agility, and value.”

Taking up extra space outside creates more available room on the inside. Reviews have been almost universally unkind to the existing Tiguan’s limited storage. The magnified model addresses that by increasing cargo space up to 57 percent, and that number is adjustable (since the 2018 model can slide its second row forward or backward a full seven inches).

The front-wheel-drive version of the 2018 model-year Tiguan will have standard third-row seats, which will be optional on all-wheel-drive models. Regardless of which wheels are being driven, the crossover will get a 2.0-liter direct-inject turbocharged engine with 184 horsepower, mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Available safety systems include forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, and a lane-departure warning.

While this would be the perfect model to offer with an optional diesel motor, VW will have to launch its SUV offensive in North America without one.

“I truly believe that this auto show marks a real turning point for Volkswagen in the United States, based on an upcoming strong product momentum with vehicles that are truly tailored to what American buyers want,” said Woebcken at NAIAS.

Volkswagen hasn’t announced any delivery dates for the U.S., though the long-wheelbase Tiguan will launch in Europe in the second half of 2017 (carrying a Tiguan Allspace moniker). It’s a fair assumption that it should arrive in North America around the same time.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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6 of 44 comments
  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Jan 10, 2017

    Looking forward to seeing interior volume numbers, which will determine how well this flies. But at least in theory the idea of extending the wheelbase and back door, at the cost of rear overhang, isn't a bad idea. It will result in a bigger back seat (ideal for those monster car seats) and a bit less cargo space.

    • See 1 previous
    • Mike978 Mike978 on Jan 10, 2017

      @Wheatridger At the loss of rear seat space I presume.

  • Trucky McTruckface Trucky McTruckface on Jan 10, 2017

    That wheelbase stretch in the rear doors looks goofy. Is the torture chamber third row in this, the Rogue and Outlander (and last generation Rav4) really a selling point? It has to be worthless for anything other than emergencies. Offering this vehicle in two lengths internationally (neither of which seem to be properly sized) is the sort of thinking I expect from GM.

    • See 1 previous
    • VoGo VoGo on Jan 10, 2017

      @gtem That was the same gen of Rav4 that lost its sales crown to the more appropriately sized CR-V.

  • Dartman It was all a scam just to gin up some free publicity. It worked. Tassos go back to sleep; no ones on your lawn. Real ‘murricans prefer hot dogs to gyros.
  • ToolGuy I plan to install a sink in the crawl space soon. After that I plan to put washer and dryer hookups on my roof.
  • ToolGuy "That power team adds an electric supercharger"YES!
  • Cardave5150 UAW is acting all butt-hurt that their employers didn't "share the wealth" when they had massive profits. They conveniently forget that they have a CONTRACT with their employers, which was negotiated in good faith, and which the Remaining 3 are honoring, paying them exactly what they negotiated last time.
  • Kwik_Shift That's a shame.