2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Review: Selling Out For Mainstream Sales

– Los Angeles, California

Remember the first time you heard your favorite band on the radio? I know the feeling, it’s hard when you realize that what you thought was oh-so-cool is actually now part of the mainstream. A decade ago, compact crossovers were no more than niche vehicles, only finding homes with a small percentage of buyers. Now, they’re all the rage. If a car company wants to succeed – especially in America – it has to be on top of its small CUV game.

That’s why the Volkswagen Tiguan you see here is so vastly different than the model it replaces (though if you really hate it, VW will still sell you the old one). It’s a lot bigger and a lot softer, and honestly, that makes it a lot more approachable. VW is hoping this Tig will appeal to a much larger swath of American CUV shoppers, and as far as I’m concerned, it should. But what the 2018 Tiguan gains in practicality and mass-market appeal, it loses in behind-the-wheel verve. For better or worse, the once-plucky little Tiguan now plunges right into the heart of the crossover-hungry mainstream. It used to be unique, and now it’s just trying to be a better Nissan Rogue.




All grown up. While the old Tiguan looked a bit cartoonish, the new one trades too-cute features for refined maturity. Even in this shade of Habanero Orange, the Tig is handsome. Upscale, too, what with the full-LED headlights and taillights and 19-inch dark-finish alloy wheels of this SEL Premium test car. It’s like a five-eighths scale Atla...