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

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