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Full details: Volkswagen tinkers with Tiguan

Revised design: The new Tiguan is distinguised by a Toureg-like front end, with the now signature VW 'letterbox grille' and more angular headlights.

Facelifted Tiguan launched in Europe as VW reveals midlife makeover details

26 May 2011

VOLKSWAGEN has launched its facelifted Tiguan in Europe, where extensive technical details have been announced ahead of its German release in June and its Australian launch in September.

The midlife makeover for VW’s first compact SUV was first seen at the Geneva motor show in March, when the German giant revealed fuel consumption reductions of up to 0.7L/100km and a number of new driver assistance technologies for the new-look Golf-based crossover wagon.

Now, VW has revealed a base fuel consumption figure of just 5.3L/100km for both (81kW and 103kW) versions of Europe’s entry-level Tiguan 2.0 TDI diesel with front-wheel drive and BlueMotion technologies including idle-stop and battery regeneration systems.

The latter also increases the efficiency of the all-wheel drive ‘Tiguan 2.0 103TDI 4Motion BlueMotion Technology’ to 5.8L/100km, but is also unlikely to be offered in Australia, where the Tiguan is so far unavailable in fuel-saving front-drive or BlueMotion configurations.

The Golf became VW’s first full-blown BlueMotion model earlier this week in Australia, where the new Touareg will be offered not in BlueMotion – let alone hybrid – guise but with BlueMotion “technologies” later this year.

Currently in Australia the three-year-old Tiguan returns a best of 6.5L/100km in 103TDI 4Motion manual form, according to Australia’s ADR 81/02 fuel standard.

3 center imageWith three of the seven forced-induction direct-injection four-cylinder engines being new to Europe’s Tiguan, however, expect upgrades for the rest of VW Australia’s three-model 2.0-litre Tiguan line-up.

Currently opening with the 125TSI manual at $33,990 and closing with the auto-only 147TSI at $42,990, Australia’s Tiguan range became available with VW’s latest seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission (to replace the six-speed automatic) for the MY11 version released in September last year.

In Europe, while the 103kW TDI diesel remains (and continues to be accompanied by 81kW and 125kW versions), the Tiguan’s former 125kW 2.0-litre petrol engine will now deliver 132kW and the range-topping 147kW version will be increased to 155kW.

Bringing the number of petrol engines in the overseas range to four, VW also produces 90kW turbo/supercharged 1.4-litre and 118kW turbo 2.0-litre versions of the Tiguan.

Other new Tiguan technologies include the Fatigue Detection anti-drowsiness system, which will be standard in premium European versions, the camera-based main beam Light Assist function, the bi-Xenon-equipped Dynamic Light Assist feature, the Lane Assist lane-departure warning system and an XDS electronic differential lock.

The upgraded Tiguan is distinguished by revised Touareg-look front and rear-ends featuring new headlights, tail-lights and bumpers, and greater differentiation between the on-road and off-road versions offered outside Australia, with specific front-end designs delivering 18 and 28-degree approach angles respectively.

Confusingly, the off-road version will now also be available in top-shelf ‘Track & Style’ specification in Europe, mirroring the on-road ‘Sport & Style’ on-road flagship, while the entry-level on-road ‘Trend & Fun’ and off-road ‘Track & Field’ equipment lines continue in Europe.

In Australia’s much slimmer Tiguan model range, a $300 optional off-road technology package comprises hill descent control, revised throttle pedal mapping, more sensitive electronic differential lock operation, loose surface-friendlier ABS brakes and, in automatic cars, the ability to preselect maximum gear and optimised engine braking.

The Tiguan’s vital statistics remain unchanged at 4426mm long (4433mm for the off-road version), 2041mm wide and 1703mm high, with the wheelbase continuing at 2604mm and cargo capacity unchanged at between 470 and 1510 litres.

There are no changes to the Tiguan’s electro-mechanical power steering system, or its MacPherson strut front or four-link independent rear suspension systems. The 2500kg braked towing capacity of AWD models also continues.

All Tiguans continue to come standard with electronic stability control, ABS brakes, six airbags, air-conditioning, power windows/mirrors, multi-function display, alloy wheels, remote central locking and height-adjustable front seats, with two solid and eight metallic exterior paint colours available – the latter currently costing $800 extra here.

The extensive options list currently available in Australia is likely to continue, including a ‘Media Device Interface’ cable ($270), Bluetooth connectivity ($550), rear-view camera ($700), bi-Xenon headlights ($2000) and a panoramic glass sunroof ($2000), among many others.

The Tiguan is produced at Wolfsburg in Germany, as well as Russia and China, and has found nearly 700,000 homes globally since September 2007.

VW says the Tiguan remains Germany’s top-selling SUV so far this year despite announcing the facelifted model in February. Before production ceased, it was VW’s fourth most popular VW model after the Golf, Polo and Passat.

In Australia - which ranks as the Tiguan’s sixth biggest market worldwide after Europe, Russia, the USA, China and Brazil - it has amassed more than 13,000 sales since being released here in May 2008, becoming VW’s second best selling model behind the Golf. Sales are 8.8 per cent down so far in 2011, with 2204 examples delivered.

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