2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium with 4Motion

Conquer the city, discover the country
March 21, 2018 Updated: March 21, 2018

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is a stylish and roomy SUV that packs a lot of comfort and power.

The top-of-the line SEL Premium with 4Motion model I test-drove was in Habanero Orange Metallic, an exciting color that made it easy to spot even in a crowded parking lot. Inside, the Tiguan is immersed in amenities and laden with cosy and capable features.

The Tiguan delivers 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway for a combined 23 mpg. There is a need to work on the mileage to be more competitive. Still, using 4.3 gallons per 100 miles presents an estimated annual fuel cost of about $1,550. Of course, driving habits, traffic, and maintenance play into this estimate. There is no official government 5-star safety rating at the time of this writing.

Volkswagen’s 6-year/72,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty is one of the best in the industry.

The hood contours into a distinctive grille that announces your approach with a confident appearance. The 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in all-season tires are complemented by the adaptive front-lighting system with automatic LED headlights and LED daytime running lights.

The power-folding and heated side mirrors, with position memory and puddle lighting, provide good side visibility, while the power tilt-and-slide panoramic sunroof with ambient lighting always allows for a wide-open view. It is wonderfully satisfying when gazing at a star-filled sky.

The Tiguan is powered by a 2.0 L TSI four-cylinder turbo engine with direct fuel injection. 4Motion AWD with active control works on top of a four-wheel independent suspension. As conditions change, the 4Motion distributes power between the front and rear wheels as needed to help optimize traction and stability.

Driving modes can be switched to match the specific driving conditions. Just by turning a dial, you can choose to drive in on-road, off-road, snow, or off-road custom mode. During my week of testing out the Tiguan, the weather was terrible but it gave me a chance to try out all of these modes, and it was a great driving experience.

The turbo-engine power is handled by an eight-speed transmission, allowing for improved efficiency. In Tiptronic mode, you take control and switch gears manually.

Epoch Times Photo
The front dash of the 2018 Tiguan. (Courtesy of VW)

The 2018 Tiguan’s digital cockpit is customized to display information quickly. It replaces the traditional instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch display. The Composition Media 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with satellite navigation and App-Connect smartphone integration, plus Fender premium audio system, all together present a complete digital lifestyle in the car.

You can create up to four profiles, each one able to remember things like radio station presets and preferred cabin temperature. When you select the memorized settings, the driver’s seat will always place you back into that position.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $37,550 for the line-topping SEL Premium with 4Motion, and it comes with a neat feature called VW Car-Net. Items like App-Connect smartphone integration and Guide & Inform enhanced navigation and infotainment work together to keep you connected. In addition, Security & Service provides emergency assistance, remote access, as well as a vehicle health report to keep you safe.

There are four safety features that have been engineered to provide a more comfortable riding experience while also preparing for the worst-case scenario.

The Intelligent crash-response system can turn off the fuel pump, unlock the doors, and activate the hazard lights when it senses a collision. Seven stability-enhancing systems, such as electronic brake-pressure distribution and electronic-stability control, keep the vehicle in control.

The automatic post-collision braking system ensures the car will come to a stop should there be a collision. The safety cage incorporates front and rear crash zones that help absorb energy from the impact, while the rigidity of the cage helps deflect that energy away from the driver and passengers during a collision from any direction.

The Tiguan has a sporty personality, and with the two back-row seats folded down, its 65.7 cubic feet of cargo volume allows plenty of room for sports gear. Even with five passengers, you still have 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

The easy-open and delayed-close tailgate lets you operate it with a key in your pocket or by moving your foot under the rear bumper.

The Tiguan moves well in city traffic, is always alert on super highways, and eats up country roads that stretch into the horizon. The TSI powerplant provides 184 horsepower and 221 lb.-ft. of torque to make that happen.

The handling is superb, and it corners well while being obedient on the straightaway. Yes, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is affordable and a pleasure to drive.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at dcaussey@sbcglobal.net.