By on June 5, 2017

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited, Image: Volkswagen

The enlarged, second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan arrives at Volkswagen of America’s dealers this summer, leaving room beneath Volkswagen’s Honda CR-V challenger for a smaller, more affordable utility vehicle.

No, not the T-Roc. That’s later. Automotive News has received confirmation from a Volkswagen spokesperson regarding a rumor we already knew well: the existing Volkswagen Tiguan will survive as the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited.

We would have preferred the City Tiguan nomenclature, but so be it.

Volkswagen won’t be the first automaker to replace an old model, only to provide the old model with a stay of execution. You’ll fondly recall the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu Classic, which is decidedly not a classic, that cohabited with the seventh-generation Malibu in GM’s sedan lineup for fleet purposes. Chevrolet then did the same with the Impala Limited, a continuing ninth-gen full-size sedan that fought for fleet sales while the current Impala became a retail-oriented car.

Then there’s the Nissan Rogue Select — the first-generation Rogue you wouldn’t select — which ran as a distinctly affordable compact crossover from 2014 to 2015 in conjunction with the current Nissan Rogue.

But it’s also a strategy Volkswagen knows well, even here in North America. The Volkswagen City Golf and City Jetta were Mk4 Volkswagen compacts that continued for four model years following the launch of the fifth-gen Golf (initially known as Rabbit) and Jetta.

Likewise, America’s 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan will become the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited. Yes, the 2018 model year will be its tenth. It’s somewhat cramped: with 23.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the rear seats and 95.4 cubic feet of passenger volume, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited will be 39 percent and 10 percent less voluminous, respectively, than a 2018 Honda CR-V.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Highline 4Motion, Image: Volkswagen

However, the Tiguan Limited won’t be Volkswagen’s primary CR-V competitor. The 2018 Tiguan (sans Limited badge) is ten inches longer than the Tiguan Limited and is big enough to offer a third row of seating. Instead, the Tiguan Limited will stack up, size-wise, against vehicles such as the Honda HR-V. Granted, even the HR-V provides slightly more passenger and cargo volume than the Tiguan Limited.

But while the outgoing Tiguan/incoming Tiguan Limited is old and small, recent demand hasn’t reflected those facts. 2016 was the Tiguan’s best U.S. sales year ever by a wide margin — sales jumped 74 percent between 2014 and 2016, alone. The Tiguan’s best ever sales month came in December of last year when 5,575 were sold.

That wasn’t enough to make the Tiguan a mainstream choice in the compact crossover sector. Numerous small luxury brand utility vehicles can sell distinctly more often than that. But it highlighted Volkswagen’s ability to, like every other automaker, sell SUVs if there are SUVs to sell (and if the price is right).

The price of the 2018 Tiguan Limited, Automotive News says, won’t be known until late June. It’s Volkswagen’s intention to severely limited the number of models in the Tiguan Limited lineup. Volkswagen Canada, for example, sold the City Golf and City Jetta as de-contended entry-level compacts with subcompact-aping prices and were sufficiently popular for Volkswagen to provide the cars with a mid-cycle facelift.

Volkswagen Canada’s plans for the first-generation Tiguan may not be identical to Volkswagen of America’s.

“We are presently working on a Canadian version and hope to announce details in the coming weeks,” Volkswagen Canada media relations manager, Thomas Tetzlaff, told TTAC earlier today.

Here’s hoping Volkswagen Canada skips the Limited naming scheme. Consumers are prone to link Limited with top-spec models, but this Tiguan Limited is actually going to be a lower-spec version of the old model.

City Tiguan? Nah, that doesn’t make sense for a utility vehicle.

Country Tiguan. There it is. The 2018 Volkswagen Country Tiguan. Like a rugged, utilitarian, farm implement in Saskatchewan.

Regardless of the badges, the old Tiguan’s protraction, the new Tiguan’s arrival, the Touareg’s continuity, and the ramping-up of the Atlas effectively doubles the size of Volkswagen’s SUV/crossover lineup over the span of mere months.

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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21 Comments on “Confirmed: With a New Volkswagen Tiguan Incoming, the Old Volkswagen Tiguan Becomes the Tiguan Limited in America...”


  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    A bigger car is always better, until it isn’t. My wife loves her Tiguan, partly for its compact size. As a cubicle commuter, she has to navigate modern parking garages daily. Designed by urban creatives and shaped by market imperatives to jam in as many spaces as possible, these garages are not optimized for jumbo SUVs. So maybe “City Tiguan” would be a good name for her car.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    The excitement is palpable.

  • avatar
    TCragg

    Since the “City” nomenclature has some history (how many Tiguans are taken off-road, and how many are registered outside of urban/suburban areas?) I think they should stick with it. “Limited” sounds like some sort of brougham-ized version. Perhaps VW should resurrect some of the interior styling of the Westmoreland-produced Rabbits, add some opera lights, a half-vinyl top, some rich woodgrain applique, and wire wheel covers. Then they’d have a winner.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Velour too? And was there an official “Brougham” trim?

    • 0 avatar
      mmreeses

      My parents had an Olds Cutlass Ciera Brougham Deluxe. I guess it was a thing and meant something worth paying for.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldsmobile_Cutlass_Ciera

  • avatar
    brettc

    The Tiguan “Limited” does have one thing that the HR-V, C-HR, Qashqai and the other crossovers in that size class don’t have – respectable HP and torque numbers. If I had to buy a tiny CUV, it would probably be a Tiguan just because of that.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Tiguanito

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Kleiner Tiguan

  • avatar
    deanst

    Tiguan Special K – for Kurz /short

  • avatar
    z9

    This is really unfortunate. VW has a great-looking smaller Tiguan in Germany that they are not bringing here, just the gargantuan version. When it comes to the US market, it’s another reminder that V in German sounds like F. And while I’m at it, where is our Golf R wagon?

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Give the Seat Ateca a chance. Brand it as VW over here.
    http://www.seat.co.uk/new-cars/ateca/overview.html?intcmp=atc:atc_carwld:fst_nav

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      The Seat would be nice… but so would the Skoda Yeti.

      • 0 avatar
        Oberkanone

        I forgot about Skoda. How about a Skoda Octavia vRS Estate?

        I prefer the styling of Skoda and SEAT over VW. Skoda has better front end and SEAT has better lines, even if they are basically the same products as VW.

        While Tiguan is a decent product I just don’t see any compelling product attributes where it wins over Toyota, GM, Ford, Hyundai, Mazda (not in order of excellence).

        VW has a long way to go in it’s two steps forward three steps back performance in North America.

  • avatar
    xantia10000

    I love VW weird decisions: the old, smaller-than-an-HR-V City Tiguan comes with a 2.0T making 200 hp, while the new, huge Tiguan has the same displacement engine but with 16 fewer horses!

    I know the new engine has more torque and is more fuel-efficient, but try explaining that to Aunt Emily, the intended customer.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    The existing Tiguan isn’t that bad but it’s cramp for tall people and those with broad shoulder. The front seats can not be adjustable down/upwards so one sits high while driving which is not good for tall people.

    The AWD version sucks gas but it handles well esp. in the rainy or winter seasons. It’s just too small.

    The upcoming Tiguan looks bigger and roomy. If I was in the market to buy a CUV, I’d consider the newer Tiguan AWD (but prefer a hybrid) or the hybrid AWD versions of the newer Nissan Rogue SV or Toyota XLE models.

    Don’t need a CUV but it’s practically to carry stuff in the back or rear areas but none are that roomy for tall people… yet. Bring on the hybrids and lower their prices!

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