Preview: 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan
After a highly successful first generation, Volkswagen recently previewed the new Tiguan SUV at the Frankfurt motor show. Not scheduled to arrive until late 2016, the new Tiguan is a revolution instead of an evolution, and the first Volkswagen Group SUV whose design is based off the forward-looking MQB platform.
For Volkswagen, the new Tiguan marks the beginning of an SUV product offensive. In the coming years, the brand will be launching other innovative SUVs that are tailored to specific markets in a wide variety of segments, including in North America.
The modern MQB architecture improves all aspects of the Tiguan. The proportions of the latest Volkswagen SUV are even sportier, the design is truly charismatic, and weight was reduced by more than 110 pounds compared to the previous model. A gigantic leap forward has been made in terms of the vehicle’s interior and trunk space: the capacity of the trunk has increased by 1.8 cubic feet, to 18.4 cu ft, and the load space can be enlarged to 21.8 cu ft by sliding the rear bench seat forward, by up to 7.1 inches. When the rear seat is folded, the cargo capacity is 58.5 cu ft, a gain of 5.1 cu ft.
As well, the new Tiguan has class-leading connectivity and driver assistance features. The assistance systems include standard Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring, Lane Assist and Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. Connectivity services include automatic accident notification, online traffic and parking space information, and a vehicle status report, while App Connect integrates all current smartphone platforms with the infotainment system.
New, larger dimensions and proportions elevate the Tiguan from the previous model. The new model is 2.4 in longer, and its wheelbase has been increased by 3 in to 105.6 in. It’s also 1.2 in wider than before. Meanwhile, height was reduced by 1.3 in. The coefficient of drag of the new Tiguan was reduced to 0.31 as well, thanks to numerous aerodynamic improvements, such as the door mirrors that were perfected in wind tunnel testing and airflow simulations: this has resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in overall air drag losses on the body.
The completely redesigned interior of the Tiguan has a decidedly sporty yet typically SUV character. The central elements are the instrument cluster (available as the digital Active Info Display) and the infotainment system that is positioned high in the centre stack and angled toward the driver. The dash panel and centre console form a single unit. The centre console itself is dominated by an array of buttons that are laid out around the gear lever. As on the exterior, the designers also systematically applied the “Form follows function” principle and create a cockpit style atmosphere. The designers also emphasized the SUV nature of the interior in their choice of surface textures.
Thanks to clever packaging, seating space has been significantly improved in the new Tiguan, which has 1.0 in more interior length. Three passengers in the rear seating area, for instance, have 1.1 in more knee room. The size of the luggage compartment has also increased. At 18.4 cubic feet, the cargo capacity of the new model has increased by 1.8 cu ft (with five persons on-board). In addition, the rear bench seat is asymmetrically split and adjustable longitudinally. The reclining angle of the seat backrest can also be adjusted. The cargo area can be enlarged to 21.8 cu ft by sliding the rear bench seat forward (by up to 7.1 inches). When the rear bench is folded, this results in a volume of 58.5 cu ft. If necessary, the backrest of the front passenger seat can be folded fully forward for stowing very long items. Last but not least, it is now even easier to load the Tiguan, because the load sill has been lowered further.
There’s also seamless connectivity with today’s Apple and Android smartphones via App Connect. In addition to MirrorLink, App Connect also integrates Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto into the infotainment systems. The Media Control app makes Volkswagen one of the first automakers to also offer an interface to the infotainment system for tablets.
A rotary/pushbutton switch for the new 4MOTION Active Control is located on the centre console. The driver uses it to activate four higher-level modes and various popup menus. When the driver turns the switch to the left, one of the Onroad or Snow profiles can be activated for on-road driving. When the driver pushes the switch in one of these modes, a popup menu appears on the infotainment system’s touchscreen, showing the driving profile selection with five profiles. When the switch is turned to the right, the driver can select one of the two off-road profiles: Offroad (automatic setting of off-road parameters) or Offroad Individual (variable settings). Here too, pressing the switch opens another menu level. When driving off-road, 4MOTION Active Control lets drivers switch the assistance systems in just seconds.