► New Volkswagen Tiguan SUV revealed
► Long-range eHybrid PHEV, all-new interior
► Launches in early 2024
Did you know the VW Tiguan outsells the Golf these days? It’s a massive seller, so a crucial car to get right. The brand is pretty keen to do just that, ensuring it’s fixed some of the brand’s infotainment quirks and improved the platform that sits beneath its latest Tiguan.
Here’s everything we know about the new-generation SUV, which is expected to go on sale in the first few months of 2024.
Well it still looks like a Tiguan…
It’s certainly a familiar shape, at least. The biggest difference is definitely at the front end, with shallow headlights (now available with IQ.Light matrix LED lenses) and a biiiiiiiig lower grille arrangement, which sort of looks like a basking shark grinning.
The design is clearly meant to show a family resemblance between the Golf 8 and the latest-generation Passat. Naturally, the R-Line spec (pictured in orange) looks more aggressive and sporty in its design compared to Elegance (pictured in green), the second trim VW is showing off.
As it has done with the MQBevo platform, the latest Tiguan copies much of the new Passat’s homework here. So, yes, that means a larger screen, a cleaner design and a steering column-mounted gear shifter – and a stubborn lack of physical switchgear that some (including many of us) are crying out for the return of. But the design itself looks tidy, with VW’s usual material quality remaining. Neat details include an all-new voice assistant named IDA, and high-up trims will be available with a twin wireless charger in the centre console.
The new infotainment is named MIB4, and is expected to be rolled out across more VW models in the years to come after its debut on the ID.7 electric saloon. As we’ve said before with the ID.7 and Passat, the system has had a major rethink over the older MIB3 system used in the current Golf and ID.3 in that it rows back some of the several-menus-deep settings and fixes some ergonomic irritations like non-backlit controls. There are some customisable quick-access areas that allow, er… quick access to certain functions or settings. The climate controls are also permanently affixed to the bottom row.
Something that’s all new for the Tiguan, though, is the new ‘driving experience switch.’ As well as incorporating a physical volume control (hurrah), the dial can also change your drive mode or… *cue eye roll*… atmospheres while you’re in the car.
‘With 4Motion models that come with off-road and snow modes, you can activate that here,’ says Tiguan product expert, Dominic Stern, ‘but if you press the dial and swipe on its little screen you can change the car’s atmosphere. This is basically a pre-set for the ambient lighting, and it’s connected with the sound system.’ The Energetic atmosphere, for example, spices the cockpit up with red lighting and turns the music up.
What’s new about the platform?
The latest Tiguan uses the MQBevo platform from VW Group, which is being nicknamed ‘MQB perfect’ in-house. It’s basically VW’s same modular architecture as before that’s been given some technical upgrades to see it through to the end of the decade.
Volkswagen has announced a full range of engines (although the options available to the UK haven’t been confirmed yet), including mild hybrid eTSI petrols, diesels, 4Motion models and plug-in hybrids. The least powerful is a 1.5 mild hybrid petrol developing 128bhp, with the engine options including 148bhp petrol and diesel variants and even a warm-ish 262bhp model. All use a DSG automatic.
VW says that, for the German market at least, 95 per cent of journeys are less than 31 miles (50km) long, and 99 per cent are shorter than 62 miles (100km). So it’s not a coincidence, then, that the eHybrid PHEV models are capable of around 62 miles of e-range before it needs to charge again.
What’s not been officially confirmed yet is a Tiguan R model, but it’s not a stretch to consider one part of the product plan. The platform is just an upgrade, and VW’s boss Thomas Schäfer has confirmed that combustion engine R models will continue until the ninth-generation Golf launches with an electric R in 2028. That and the fact that VW has already sold 10,000 of them.
How practical is the new Tiguan?
Still a pretty spacious family bus. The new Tiguan is a smidge taller and longer by 30mm, but the wheelbase hasn’t changed. That translates to no increase in rear legroom (which was actually pretty decent anyway), but 10mm more headroom and a 37-litre increase in boot space with the rear seats up (to 652 litres).
As well as loads of storage spaces and pockets in the seat backs for those in the second row, VW has introduced a new mechanism in the armrest that pops out to reveal two cupholder spaces and a slot to rest your phone. The panel can be angled towards either of the rear occupants.
Will there be a seven-seat Tiguan?
Sort of. Stern tells us the Tiguan Allspace (also nicknamed the ‘Biguan’ in the CAR office, thanks to fellow colleague Gareth Evans) will not make it to this new generation, but something will replace it. ‘There must be an SUV to close the gap between Tiguan and the Touareg in Europe,’ says Stern, ‘and there will be a second SUV which will replace the Allspace. It will have seven seats and a plug-in hybrid option if you want, but it’s not a Tiguan.’
That new model is the Tayron. It’s an SUV that’s currently on sale in China built by the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture, and has been rumoured to be making it to Europe for years. The Tayron is likely to be updated in the near future and, according to reports, is expected to also be built in Europe. It’s a seven-seater, and includes a coupe version called Tayron X.
When can I buy the new Tiguan?
It’s expected that VW will start to take orders in the first few months of 2024 in Europe