The first press day at the Frankfurt International Auto Show is winding down and I've spent most of the day here in Volkswagen Groups massive hall of displays. More importantly I got to spend time in each of the European version Tiguan models on display and came away impressed.

This new Tiguan is based on the new MQB component architecture and takes the best parts of the award winning Golf 7 and builds upon that as a base. The new model is 2.4 inches longer, 1.2 inches wider, 1.3 inches lower in height and 110 lbs. lighter than the outgoing Tiguan model. In person it looks far more substantial than the outgoing model, with shorter front and rear overhangs, a stout appearance that sits firmly on the wheels (as opposed to looking jacked up on top of the wheels) and sheet metal detailing you usually find in cars costing a bit more. Volkswagen has found a way to make the new model retain VW's typically restrained design, while somehow looking far more substantial and even expensive looking.


The interior has all the quality pieces you find in the Golf 7 with a more angular design theme. Materials have new patterns and themes that overall look more progressive and modern while looking upscale and substantial. The Tiguan on display here at Frankfurt is the European version which is the short-wheel-base (SWB) version of the new Tiguan. Interior space is still huge with the flow of the center console and dash combined with the expansive window glass giving the feeling of expansive room. Likewise the back seat space is generous even with a six foot driver sitting in front of you. Rear storage hatch space is deeper than the Touareg but with slightly less vertical height due to the roof profile.

The U.S. version of the Tiguan will be a long-wheel-base (LWB) version that will be nearly 4 inches longer in the wheelbase to support the option of a third row. Our Tiguan will be available in both a standard seating configuration and an optional third row. Part of VW's overall strategy is to offer a full lineup of SUV models from the smaller subcompact models to the full midsize three row to be built at Chattanooga. Volkswagen is also looking at a few "coupe-like" variations as well. One of our discussion forum moderators, Silverspeedbuggy created this photoshop of what a potential R-Line LWB version would look like:


Volkswagen is currently tooling up the factory in Mexico to build the Tiguan alongside the Golf 7 lineup. Expect the U.S. version to be available end of 1st quarter of 2017. The Engine lineup should include 2.0T gasoline and a TDI model depending on emission regulations at the time of launch. Volkswagen also plans to offer a GTE version after the first year. Expect to see a diverse set of trim levels available as production in Mexico will give North America flexibility to tailor our models more specifically to our market.

This will be a big piece of VW's overall SUV strategy and they can't get it here soon enough.

Click on the thumbs below for larger images...