The weekend mud club at Bundy Hill is your usual cast of characters, from the battered old Wrangler and Cherokees to more lithe and stripped-down dune buggies. A moderately sized three-row family crossover, let alone one from Germany, is about as common here as a polar bear. Nevertheless, Volkswagen felt confident enough in the capability of the all-new 2018 Tiguan to have journalists navigate steep grades, ford mud puddles, and plow over soft sand.
Despite the show of, frankly, impressive capability, this latest generation of Tiguan is engineered more for spaciousness and efficiency than slinging dirt and climbing mountains. It rides on the same modular transverse (MQB) architecture as the plucky Golf and the midsize Atlas, a platform that improves packaging and driver-assistance technology availability while also slashing 110 pounds off the crossover’s curb weight.
Although the new Tiguan has already been on sale in Europe for more than a year, we’ve had to wait patiently for Volkswagen to kick off production of the long-wheelbase model, known abroad as the Tiguan Allspace, as the standard-wheelbase variant was not intended for North American consumption. The Puebla, Mexico-built, the 2018 Tiguan is a fair bit larger than its predecessor, adding 4.4 inches of wheelbase, 10.7 inches of overall length, and 1.2 inches of width (a dimensional tweener, it’s slightly bigger than compacts like the Honda CR-V but smaller than the likes of the Ford Edge and Dodge Journey). Thanks to that extra size, it is not nearly as claustrophobic as before, especially for back-seat passengers.
Pricing will be announced in mid-June, ahead of the late summer on-sale date. We expect front-drive models to remain where they are, at around $26,000, while the last-gen Tiguan (which will continue to be sold as the Tiguan Limited) will likely see a drop to somewhere around $23,000.