2018 Volkswagen Tiguan first drive: close to closure

June 22, 2017

We’ve paid our respects to “sport” leaving “sport utility vehicle,” but we haven’t yet found closure. We held on to the last vestiges of SUVs to the bitter end. Probably too long.

We started calling them “crossovers” so we wouldn’t be reminded that we weren’t sporting in them. We believed it when, to soothe our wounded egos, they told us crossovers would support our “active lifestyles,” which is not the same thing as sports. Michael Jordan was merely active like the pyramids were merely a group of sandcastles.

Here we are with the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan, which crosses the last mental hurdle that separates crossovers from simply being “cars.” It’s related to other cars in the VW lineup, looks less offensive than yogurt, and is built to transport people so well and comfortably that it may as well be called the Volkswagen Bus. (Eds Note: We’ll believe it when we see it.)

Consider the 2018 Tiguan a solid step in the right direction for VW. And not much for the automaker has been easy recently.

ALSO SEE: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio first drive

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

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Have trust, will travel

It starts with a remarkable warranty on the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan—6 years or 72,000 miles—transferable to successive owners and a warm feeling for shoppers who wonder if a new Volkswagen’s resale value would plummet quicker than its stock.

Confidence begets trust. VW has the former, evidenced by its warranty, and says it’s working on the latter.

MUST SEE: Read our 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan review

To that end, the Tiguan is squared off like a new iPhone box and packaged just as well. Touchable surfaces feel solid, and although it doesn’t take much to find where VW saved money, the Tiguan feels far from cheap despite its low entry price of $25,345. The interior is laid out to assimilate to our personal flavors so well that it’s practically tofu. Slide behind the wheel and the Tiguan is equally comfortable with teens or geezers.

There are no tricks to its interior layout or task. The hip point in the Tiguan, or how far passengers sit from the ground, is nearly as low as a mid-size sedan’s. Its windows drop lower on the Tiguan’s sides to afford better outward visibility, and the rear doors are wide for easier entry, exit, or stuffing a car seat into the second row.  

Most models will be equipped with an 8.0-inch glossy touchscreen for infotainment (a 6.5-inch screen is standard on base models) with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay capability. VW’s system is straightforward and simple, much like the sans-serif fonts it uses—both are appreciated. That sound can be channeled through a base and unremarkable six-speaker audio system that can mercifully upgraded to a nine-speaker Fender-branded affair that we’d highly recommend.

As a family car, the Tiguan overwhelmingly succeeds in space and safety.

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