2009 Volkswagen Tiguan Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2008
  • Pronounced (tig-wan)

  • Small SUV designed for agility and safety

  • Turbocharged four-cylinder engines

  • Standard four-wheel-drive system

  • Initial engine will be a 200 hp four cylinder

  • VW says electronics set a standard in the class

  • The first SUV available with automatic Park Assist

  • North American sales start in Summer 2008


The Touareg, launched in 2004, was Volkswagen's first official SUV. With a competent full-time all-wheel-drive system and solid mechanicals underneath, the midsize Touareg is heavy (and thirsty), but admirable off-road. To address those who do not plan a race across the Sahara in the Dakar rally, and those looking for more urban agility, on-road prowess, and fuel economy, Volkswagen introduces the 2009 Tiguan (tee-wan). This is the Touareg's little brother, and it bears a strong family resemblance to the bigger VW SUV. The Tiguan will find itself in US showrooms in the summer of 2008.

Model Lineup

Initially, all Volkswagen Tiguans sold in the States will be equipped with Volkswagen's 4MOTION permanent four-wheel-drive system and a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder as standard equipment. There will be two transmission choices: six-speed manual or 6-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automatic. An optional "Sport & Style" package will be offered, complete with electromechanical steering and an electronic parking brake. Options are expected to include two different wheel packages, a panoramic sunroof, an eight-speaker 300-watt audio system, automatic Park Assist, and a sophisticated touch-screen navigation system.

Volkswagen is expected to release a version of the Tiguan with the 2.0L "Clean TDI" BLUETEC diesel some time after the launch of the gasoline version. This four-cylinder turbodiesel is designed to meet stringent emission requirements for all 50 states using a special NOx trap catalytic converter and particulate filter. While final figures have not been released, the 2.0L diesel is expected to make 140 hp and more than 200 lb.-ft. of torque. Available transmissions will include a 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG.

Chassis and Technology

While the Tiguan may be small in physical size (it is four inches shorter than a Honda CR-V), Volkswagen's design team was determined to set benchmark standards in dynamics, comfort, and safety. The front axle is a MacPherson strut system with an aluminum support frame. In the rear, an innovative four-link axle is specially adapted to the permanent four-wheel-drive 4MOTION system with a robust high-strength steel sub frame. Steering is a new generation of electromechanical power steering with a revised steering gear. Benefits to the system include a very precise steering feel and the near elimination of road harshness, or off-road impacts, being transmitted to the driver through the steering wheel.

The Volkswagen Tiguan's electronics are also designed to set new standards in the class. The available radio navigation system includes a 6.5-inch wide touch-screen color display and an internal 30GB hard disk to manage navigation, telephone, rear-view camera, radio, CD and MP3 players. For deep off-road adventures, the navigation system is able to record waypoints and tracks off the digitized map, allowing drivers to orient themselves and easily find their way back home. The Tiguan will also be the first SUV to offer automatic Park Assist, which automatically steers the SUV into a parking space.

For More Information on the 2008 BMW M3, watch a video

Explore car shopping guides
10 Most Popular Midsize SUVs and Crossovers
10 Most Popular Midsize SUVs and Crossovers
Families flock to midsize SUVs for their seating capacity, cargo capability, and available all-wheel-drive systems. This guide provides an overview of the 10 most popular, non-luxury midsize SUVs and crossovers in America.
Read the full review
Warning Signs You Need New Brakes
Warning Signs You Need New Brakes
They may not be something you think about very often, but your vehicle's brakes are one feature that should always be in top working condition. Let's look at how to know when you need new brakes.Look, listenThere are two ways to check for brake wear on disc brakes: by looking and by listening. First, check for wear by looking at your brake pads through the spaces between the wheel's spokes. The outside pad will be pressed against a metal rotor. Generally, there should be at least 1/4 inch of pad. If you see less than 1/4 inch of pad, you may want to have your brake pads inspected or replaced.
Read the full review
Most Reliable Crossovers and SUVs in 2017
Most Reliable Crossovers and SUVs in 2017
According to J.D. Power, these are the crossovers and SUVs that are expected to provide the best reliability over time.
Read the full review
Read all articles
New Car Preview
2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC Preview
Most Dependable
2019 Vehicle Dependability: Most Dependable Luxury Coupes and Convertibles
Most Popular
10 Most Popular Large Cars and Minivans
New Model Update
New for 2019: Ford Trucks, SUVs, and Vans
New Car Preview
2020 Cadillac CT5 Preview
More related
Compare 0 of 3