Volkswagen Tosses Out an R-Line Tiguan as It Waits for More Crossovers

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
volkswagen tosses out an r line tiguan as it waits for more crossovers

Volkswagen’s American fortune will not come by way of an electric, next-generation Beetle. No, the automaker’s U.S. game plan rests firmly on the success of existing and future utility vehicles. With no new models kicking around to bring to L.A., the automaker decked out its recently introduced second-generation Tiguan in ever-so-edgy R-Line trim and headed to the show.

Featuring an added (but not heaping) dose of visual aggression, the Tiguan R-Line, available in the first quarter of 2018, should give crossover buyers something new to look at while the company fleshes out its lineup with new tenants. It’s early days yet, but it seems the company’s crossover push is already working.

Let’s be honest — finding the differences between the R-Line and another uplevel Tiguan would be much more difficult if the model shown above wasn’t white. Clearly, adding the R-Line package brings a revamped lower fascia with black-ringed air intakes, front fender badging, a blacked-out rear diffuser, and a choice of edgier 19- and 20-inch aluminum wheels.

Inside, there’s no shortage of glittery reminders that this Tiguan is an extra-special one. Even the welcome screen informs you of this fact.

The removal of the stock Tiguan’s side sill and wheel arch cladding lends the impression that this Tiguan’s home is the mean streets of Anytown, USA, not the woods. Of course, appearances aside, there’s no real difference between the R-Line and its Tiguan siblings. The same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder rests under the hood, making the same 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, and connected to the same eight-speed automatic. (A powertrain described as “unresponsive” and “lackadaisical” in a recent TTAC review.)

If R-Line is your thing, prepare to pay more for it. The package only applies to the Tiguan SEL and SEL Premium, and the markup amounts to 1,795 for the lesser trim, $1,495 for the range-topper.

When it debuted in early summer, the 2018 Tiguan represented a more Americanized version of the crossover, stretching some 5 inches longer than a Toyota RAV4. The former Tiguan (which soldiers on as the Tiguan Limited), was often criticized for its puny size. There’s even a third row on offer if you feel like handing over an extra $500.

While the new Tiguan’s performance isn’t exactly scorching, the model’s sales performance is (so far) quite the opposite. By keeping the old model on hand, the nameplate recorded its second-best U.S. sales month in October, with volume rising 54 percent, year-over-year. September saw a year-over-year sales gain of 44 percent.

Meanwhile, there’s new volume rolling in from the midsize Atlas SUV, introduced this past spring. Between them, the Atlas and Tiguan are making up for lost sales in the traditional passenger car segment. So far in 2017, only one month has seen a sales drop compared to last year’s Volkswagen brand figures. North of the border, sales are on track to surpass last year’s figures by a healthy margin.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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4 of 9 comments
  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Nov 28, 2017

    It's astonishing how differently VW is viewed in Canada than in the USA. In Canada VW is accepted as a European marque and Passats, CC's, even Tiguans are therefore generally considered more upscale than more mundane/mainstream Domestic, Korean and Japanese segment competition. More in line as a 'junior' Volvo. And in Canada their comprehensive warranty is 'only' 4 years/80,000kms, which equates to 50,000 miles. We can however still get deals on Jettas, but not so much on other VW products.

    • Hamish42 Hamish42 on Nov 28, 2017

      Exactly true sir. The way the brands are presented up here I would consider my wife trading her Corolla for a Jetta an appreciable step up. Similarly, I consider my brother's Tiguan to be in a demographic above the RAV4 and the CR-V twins. We just consider European to be intrinsically a class above Asian.

  • Kosmo Kosmo on Nov 29, 2017

    I'd look hard at a Tiguan GTI (or Sportwagen, or Alltrack). Otherwise, passing interest only.

  • Akear The Prius outsells all GM EVs combined, which is really not saying much.
  • Akear The sad truth is the only vehicle FCA sold that broke the 200,000 sales barrier was the 200. I rented one and found it impressive. It is certainly better than the Renegade. At this point I would buy a used 200 over a Renegade. Who in their right mind would buy a Renegade?
  • Akear I just realized 80% of these EV vehicles producers are going to be liquidated within the next five years. It is not possible to survive by selling only 3000 vehicles a year. This reminds me of the bust of the late 90s and early 2000s. Those who don't learn from history repeat it.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic I drove a rental Renegade a few years back. Felt the engine (TIgerShark) was ready was ready to pop out from under the hood. Very crude!! Sole purpose was CAFE offsets. Also drove a V6 Cherokee which was very nice and currently out of production. Should be able to scoop up one at a fair deal.🚗🚗🚗
  • Inside Looking Out This is actually the answer to the question I asked not that long ago.