VW Tiguan gets PHEV and 316bhp R 01 | 07 | 2020

    VOLKSWAGEN HAS LAUNCHED a significantly updated version of its Tiguan SUV, including a 243bhp plug-in hybrid model. The range has also been supplemented by a new 316bhp R-Line variant. The facelifted range will go on-sale in the autumn, with first deliveries just before the end of the year. (Related: VW ID.4 unwrapped in China)

    First to reach the UK showrooms will be the top-selling petrol and diesel engines — including the 1.5-litre TSI and 2.0-litre TDI engines — with the new R model arriving before the end of the year. The Tiguan eHybrid PHEV will go on-sale at the beginning of 2021.

    Worth highlighting here that last 2019, more than 900,000 Tiguan’s were built, making it the best-selling car in the entire VW Group. So getting this update correct is a critical moment for the company. (Related: 2020 VW Golf prices and trims)

    The first images show VW designers appear to have hit the nail on the head. The new front-end brings the SUV closer to the rest of the VW family, while the bumpers and trim have been tidied up  to keep ensure the 202 Tiguan is fresh from all angles. It’s also impossible to miss the new, bold brand design and badging.


    Tiguan eHybrid PHEV:

    Sure to be one of the big attractions in the new Tiguan range, the eHybrid PHEV (Pix of white Tiguan) combines the 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and 13kWh battery pack — the same combo as found in the Golf MkVIII PHEV — and offers up to 31 miles of zero-emission electric range. (Related: VW reveals 341-mile range ID.3)

    The power combination is impressive too, with both sources delivering around 243bhp. Significantly, when the PHEV starts when it is fully charge, it does so in E-Mode as it VW aims to reduce local emissions.  The system also allows the Tiguan to travel at speeds of up to 81mph in electric-only mode.


    Tiguan R

    Powered by a revised 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 319bhp, the Tiguan R (Pix of blue Tiguan) is, in essence, a rebodied version of the recently revised Cupra Ateca. Worth highlighting though that as VW sits above Seat in the Group pecking order, the Ateca ‘only’ gets 296bhp.

    There’s no doubting the looks of the Tiguan R, with its aggressive exterior styling package, unique 21-inch alloys, plus there’s four-wheel drive as standard, adaptive suspension and bigger brakes. Just for good measure, the options list includes an Akrapovic exhaust system and a new, seven-stage configurable traction control system. (Related: VW unveils portable EV charging station)

    significantly, VW boffins have also a torque vectoring system to the Tiguan R’s four-wheel drive chassis; the tech can send up to 100% of the engine’s power to the outside wheels when cornering.


    Styling and interior updates:

    This is no mild, midlife facelift; the cosmetic changes to the 2021 Tiguan are significant as VW has strived to tie the SUV’s styling in with that of the new Golf MkVIII hatchback. As a result, the Tigaun now boasts the same winged LED headlamps, broad bumper intakes, and radiator grille as the hatchback. To further enhance the Tiguan’s looks, there’s also a new bonnet, LED tail lights and tweaked rear diffuser. (Related: VW e-up! prices and spec)

    Inside the cabin the driver gets a new sports steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls, plus there’s new capacitive buttons for the air conditioning and ventilation systems. The options list now also includes a 480-watt 10-speaker Harman/Kardon surround sound system and a configurable ambient lighting system.


    The updated Tiguan also gets VW’s latest MIB3 infotainment system; this now includes a 10-inch digital instrument cluster and a central infotainment screen in either 6.5in, 8.0in or 9.2in sizes. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are now also supported by the system, as is support for natural voice commands. (Related: 2020 VW Golf prices and trims)

    As you would expect, safety technology is also high on the list, with the Tiguan now adding predictive adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and front assist. There’s also VW’s new “Travel Assist” semi-autonomous driving function; this can assume control of the vehicle’s steering, acceleration and braking on the motorway at speeds up to 130mph.



    While Volkswagen has yet to confirm the full engine line-up for the Tiguan, like the Ateca it’s fair to assume the range will include VW’s stable of popular petrol and diesel powerplants.

    Expect the entry-level model to get VW’s turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit, delivering 148bhp and 250Nm of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, though a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic will be on the options list. (Related: VW teases all-new Arteon Estate)

    A less powerful version of the Group’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, delivering 187bhp and 320Nm of torque, will sit below the ‘halo’ R model. Likely the 187bhp version will only be available with a seven-speed DSG and 4WD.

    Diesel lovers are likely to get a choice of 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines. The 148bhp variant will certainly be in the range, though VW has yet to announce whether it will be supplanted by the 187bhp and 237bhp diesel engines of its predecessor.


    Trim and specification:

    Buyers will be able to choose from four trim levels: a base-model,  the mid-range Life, comfort-focussed Elegance and sporty R-Line. Autonomous emergency braking, a multifunction steering wheel and LED headlamps will be standard across the range.

    The new Life spec replaces the outgoing Match trim, and adds roof rails, adaptive cruise control, automatic air conditioning, main-beam assist, and 17in alloys.

    Buyers stepping up to the Elegance gain silver roof rails and an electrically opening and closing boot lid. The range-topping sport-focussed R-Line gets figure-hugging sports seats, a sporty body kit, a new heated sports steering wheel.

    Standard kit on both the Elegance and R includes a larger infotainment system, a digital gauge cluster, a heated steering wheel and Matrix LED headlamps.


    Related: Review — VW T-Roc 1.0TSI Design

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    Jim McGill

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