2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is a big boy compact SUV

Volkswagen has come out swinging in the SUV market, landing two powerful punches in the compact and full-size division with its Tiguan and Atlas. The 2018 Tiguan offers bigger proportions, roomier innards, classier looks—definitely more pleasing to the eye.

This year, the SUV has maintained its chunkiness and its conservative, Audi-esque looks. No, there’s nothing particularly flashy about the Tiguan’s exterior, but you certainly can’t slap it with a “BORING” label.

Inside the Tiguan, the design is tasteful, sensible, and appealing, with materials that are well made and solid. Space is abundant front and back, and seating is nice and tall with an outward view that is expansive. The comfort level of all the seating is excellent and provides more than adequate support for the lumbar and thighs. Legroom and foot space are great for tall folks. The Tiguan does come with optional third-row seating for up to seven, but that last row is tight and better suited for the tyke-to-tween set. If you opt for a third row, the second-row seating reclines and slides front to back.

All of the instrumentation on the dash is user-friendly, straightforward, and ergonomically sensible. The infotainment touchscreen system has quick responses, vivid graphics, and is uncluttered. The base S trim gets a 6.5-inch touchscreen, while the SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trims get an 8-inch display. There are more than enough nooks and crannies in the Tiguan, so stashers should have a field day. Thoughtful additions include bottle holders built into all the doors, a dedicated place under the cargo floor to store the retractable cargo cover, and the ability to lower sections of the second row using levers in the cargo hold. The only complaint that takes a few points away from the Tiguan’s interior is the short center bolster that doesn’t adequately support fatigued elbows!

Cargo room in the Tiguan has improved by 58% over the outgoing model. The SUV’s cargo area in the two-row models offers 73.5 cubic feet of max space with the rear seats folded and 37.6 cubic feet of space with the rear seats upright. The three-row models offer 65.7 cubic feet of max space with all rear seats folded and 12 cubic feet of space with all rows upright.

On the tech front, the Tiguan does not skimp and offers all the latest in smartphone connectivity, including standards like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay that integrate seamlessly with VW’s infotainment system. Safety highlights for all trims as standard or optional equipment include automatic post-collision braking, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, surround-view camera, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Powering the Tiguan is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that kicks out 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, delivering motive force to the front or all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission with a Sports mode. Additionally, drivers can choose between Eco, Normal, Sport, and Custom driving modes. The Tiguan definitely offers a solid, comfortable ride with first-rate braking. Accelerative punch? Nah. A smooth launch? Yep! It’s no speed demon but is fast enough for the average motorist’s needs. A few additional pluses–the vehicle has an impressively tight turning circle, is a breeze to maneuver when trying to fit it into one of those tight urban parking spaces, and at highway speeds, wind gushes are practically nonexistent.

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is a big boy compact SUV that not only families should peep, but also singles and couples who lead active lifestyles. It’s responsive, comfy, a hauler and gives the average compact SUV shopper more of what they obviously want. Prices start at $24,595.

Need more info? Visit www.VW.com.