The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan crossover SUV is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine with an output of 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. That is mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission and power is fed through either a front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The four-cylinder powerplant delivered sufficient acceleration but there was noticeable turbo lag. It took 8.4 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill, which simply felt slow compared to its rivals. The transmission also wasn’t able to shift down on time to deliver that rush of power needed when overtaking. Opting for the all-wheel drive was better for a more precise cornering. However, there was significant body roll that just did not inspire confidence. The steering was not tuned for spirited driving because there was a delay when changing direction. Its accuracy was also questionable because it lacking that centered feel of the steering wheel. The brakes were adequate but it wasn’t powerful either. It took 134 feet to stop from 60 mph, which was an expected figure in its category. The stopping force was predictable but the brake pedal was soft all throughout its stroke.
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The base S trim is equipped with heated side mirrors, automatic headlights, adaptive foglights, Bluetooth, USB port, Apple Carplay, Android Auto and an infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and six-speaker sound system. The Driver Assistance package includes advanced safety and driver aids. The SE trim adds heated front seats, power-adjustable driver seat, keyless entry and ignition, satellite and HD radio, voice controls, two additional USB ports, a larger infotainment 8-inch touchscreen display and an eight-speaker sound system. The SEL trim adds a power liftgate, remote start, navigation, and real-time monitoring for traffic, weather, and fuel prices. The top-of-the-line SEL Premium trim adds adaptive LED headlights, automatic wipers, a hands-free liftgate, a digital instrument cluster, and a nine-speaker Fender sound system.
The 2018 Tiguan was tested by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and scored “Good” in all crashworthiness tests, “Superior” in front crash prevention, but only “Marginal” for its headlights. Overall, it earned a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS. Advanced safety and driver aids that are available for the base trim include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. More features are added to higher trim levels and they include adaptive cruise control, a parking camera system, lane departure warning and intervention, front and rear parking sensors and automatic high beams. Volkswagen’s Car-Net Security & Service provides remote access via a smartphone, automatic crash notification, and a teen-driver monitoring system.
The 2018 Tiguan has a length of 185.1 inches, a width of 72.4 inches, a height of 66.3 inches and a wheelbase of 109.8 inches. The Tiguan looks simplistic and devoid of flashiness because of the inclination towards sensibility in German design. The front fascia has a lot of horizontal lines and the fenders are not exaggerated to achieve a sporty aesthetic. The base trim comes standard with 17-inch wheels but only higher trim levels have the option for 19-inch and 20-inch wheels. Roof rails are standard for the base trim but the sunroof only becomes available for the SE trim. The R-Line package for the SEL and SEL Premium trims adds a sporty-looking front and rear bumper and side skirts.
Entering the cabin was effortless because the doors opened wide and there wasn’t a significant step-up height to overcome. The first and seconds rows had comfortable wiggle room while the third row felt tight and would best suit the kids. Up to seven passengers can be accommodated by the three rows of seats. The seats provided all-day comfort and weren’t fatiguing on long drives. The leather upholstery was finished well but it felt insulating during hot days. The ride quality was definitely more focused on comfort and stability. In driving over rough patches, the impact was dampened well and wasn’t unsettling. The smaller wheels would be more effective in further reducing harshness. Road and wind noise was attenuated to a minimum level to provide a plush interior ambiance.
There is 12 cu-ft of space behind the third row of seats, and there is 33 cu-ft of space behind the second row. Folding down the second and third row of seats opens up 65.7 cu-ft of space available for cargo.