THE PROS & CONS
- What’s Best: The 2018 VW Tiguan has all the bells and whistles a family needs in an SUV.
- What’s Worst: The exterior is still very plain looking but just open the door and – wow!
- What’s Interesting: The 360-degree view from above makes getting out of tight parking spaces a breeze.
It’s often said you can’t judge a book by its cover.
That saying kept popping into my head during a week in the all-new 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan.
VW’s SUV is 10.7 inches longer than its predecessor but it still has that plain, underwhelming look about it.
There is nothing flashy about the exterior of the Tiguan though I did like the Habanero Orange Metallic paint.
But, open the door and the Tiguan takes on a whole new feeling.
This is one very smart looking interior.
My tester for the week came with the digital cockpit which reminded me a lot of the cockpit of the Audi R8 Spyder I had driven just a few weeks ago. But I’m jumping ahead of myself.
The Tiguan comes in three trim levels, the Trendline, the Comfortline and the Highline.
My tester was the Highline with the optional driver assistance package that includes adaptive cruise control, remote start and my new favourite option on new vehicles, the 360-degree view from above the car.
All three trim lines feature a 2.0 TSI engine producing 184 hp 9221 lb/ft) mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Comfortline and Highline get standard 4Motion, all-wheel-drive while that is an option on the Trendline.
The AWD system allows you to choose from four settings depending on the driving conditions; on-road, snow, off road and customer off-road. You can also choose between normal, sport, eco and individual drive modes. I left the Tiguan on eco since most of my driving during the week was highway driving.
The Tiguan handled the highway driving with ease, responding when needed for passing and offering a comfortable ride on long stretches.
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Any Volkswagen I have driven lately offered a sense of safety behind the wheel and the Tiguan was no different.
It offered blind spot detection, front assist emergency braking and front and rear park distance control.
It can take a while for a driver to get to know the feel of a new car so I find options like park distance control helpful.
Also very helpful when parking the Tiguan, or getting out of tight spots, was the 360-view from above. Put the Tiguan in reverse and the rear-view camera comes on to fill most of the infotainment screen.
To the left pops up a view of the vehicle from above, giving you a very clear view of anything that might be in your way. The 360 view stays on for a few seconds as you start to drive, which is a very nice effect.
As I said earlier, the outstanding feature of the Tiguan is the interior, in particular the digital cockpit.
The dashboard can be set up in various ways, but like the Audi Spyder, I liked having the map fill the entire dash with the speedometer and rpm gauges sitting at the side. It is stunning to look at.
Like all VW’s the infotainment screen is a snap to use and features the proximity sensor which pulls up additional data as you bring your finger towards it.
The panoramic sunroof is a nice styling option that sets the Tiguan apart from its competitors but I used it only once during the week, to see how it works. I find sunroofs make the interior of the vehicle too hot.
Volkswagen has made a big deal about the optional third-row seating available on the Tiguan but I can’t imagine there would be much room for adults in that third row.
Other nice features in the Tiguan are: interior ambient LED lighting, power tailgate and a great-sounding 400-watt digital sound system with eight speakers.
When you go to take a look at the new Tiguan, don’t just walk away when you see the exterior. Give it a chance by opening the doors and seeing what it has to offer on the inside.
You will like what you see.
Also Read: Mazda debuts a more refined CX-5
2018 Volkswagen Tiguan
BODY STYLE: Four-door SUV
DRIVE METHOD: 4Motion all-wheel-drive standard on Highline and Comfortline, option on Trendline; eight-speed, Tiptronic automatic transmission
ENGINE: 2.0-litre twin turbo TSI inline four-cylinder (184 hp, 221 lb/ft of torque
FUEL ECONOMY: (Regular) 11.3/8.8/L/100 km, city/highway
CARGO: 78.5 cu ft
TOW RATING: 1,500 lb
PRICE: Base Highline, $39,175. Driver assistance package $1,470.
WEB SITE: www.vw.ca