• 2008 Volkswagen Tiguan

    2008 Volkswagen Tiguan
  • 2008 Volkswagen Tiguan
  • 2008 Volkswagen Tiguan
  • 2008 Volkswagen Tiguan
  • 2008 Volkswagen Tiguan

The Volkswagen Tiguan made its world debut at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show and starting the spring of 2008 it is also available in the USA. In here it can be ordered from three trim levels: S, SE, and SEL, with prices starting from $23,200.

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The standard engine is a 2.0L TSI engine that delivers 200 hp and 207 lbs –ft of torque. The combination of four valves per cylinder, direct fuel injection and turbo charging delivers the optimum balance of power and economy. European tuned suspension enables connected handling, while also providing a smooth and compliant ride.

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Both front wheel drive and 4Motion all-wheel-drive is available to suit any weather or road condition. The engine is mated to either a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.

As standard equipment, Tiguan includes six airbags, with rear side airbags available as an option.

Full details in the press release after the jump.

Today, the completely new and very quiet common rail TDIs already satisfy the Euro-5 standard that does not go into effect until 2009. Upon request, the Tiguan can be parked nearly automatically in the urban jungle by the Park Assist feature. Off-road, on the other hand, the latest radio-navigation system (RNS 510) navigates its occupants back to civilization using its off-road function. Meanwhile, with up to 1,510 liters of cargo space, the Tiguan exhibits van qualities. 2,500 kilograms of trailer load also define the absolute best value in the Tiguan segment.

2008 Volkswagen Tiguan
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2008 Volkswagen Tiguan

Very intentionally, Tiguan – offered in the equipment versions Trend&Fun, Sport&Style and Track&Field – is being offered in two body variants: The Trend&Fun and Sport&Style versions were specifically designed for primarily on-road use. Their agile, safe and highly comfortable driving behaviors are equal to those of a car. At the same time, these Tiguans do not shy away from either off-road drives or trailer loads. They leave the really rock-tough off-road routes to the Tiguan Track&Field.

The Tiguan Track&Field was specially designed for life off of the asphalted trails. Different than the Trend&Fun and Sport&Style versions, this especially adventure-friendly Tiguan exhibits a more extreme entry angle (28 instead of 18 degrees; maximum angle without the vehicle impacting the trail in front). As standard equipment the Tiguan Track&Field also
has a newly developed off-road mode that awakens an entire armada of assistance systems to make drives off-road especially safe.

First SUV in the world exclusively with charged engines

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As already outlines, the Tiguan is the first SUV in the world to be offered exclusively with charged engines. The advantage of engine charging: More power, less fuel consumption and lower emissions. Take the example of the gasoline engines: There will be three new TSIs – direct injection engines with turbocharging or turbocharging plus supercharging. The four cylinders deliver 110 kW / 150 PS, 125 kW / 170 PS and 147 kW / 200 PS. Take the example of the diesel: A completely redeveloped generation of noticeably quieter common rail four cylinder engines is being employed here. The two TDIs output 103 kW / 140 PS and 125 kW / 170 PS and smash the Euro-5 emissions standard.

Full-time 4MOTION all-wheel drive and two six-speed gearboxes

Full-time all-wheel drive is absolutely essential off-road. On paved streets an intelligent all-wheel drive also improves active safety. In the Tiguan the latest generation of 4MOTION all-wheel drive is used. It is shifted by manual, or optionally automatic, six-speed transmissions. Both transmissions satisfy special off-road requirements. The manual transmission can be driven at an engine speed of 1,000 rpm or vehicle speed of just 6.69 km/h, for example; this practically equals the crawler gear of a reduction gearbox. The automatic transmission has gear level preselect; in off-road use it prevents shifting to the next higher gear.

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A SUV interior with the variability of a van

The Tiguan is an all-round talent. This characterization not only describes its powertrain properties, but also the multivariable and very spacious interior. The rear bench seat is split with a 60:40 ratio, it can be adjusted 16 centimeters in the longitudinal direction, and the rear seatback has multiple tilt adjustment settings. This provides either more legroom in the rear or additional space in the cargo area. Available as an option is a double cargo f loor including cargo management system. Also standard on the Tiguan Track&Field and Sport&Style is a folding front passenger seat so that very long objects can be stowed. With regard to the seat position, the passengers travel exceptionally comfortably, not only in front but also in the rear. The reason: Similar to the case in a movie theater, rear passenger seating is a bit higher and therefore more relaxed.

The Tiguan parks independently and finds the way back from the desert all by itself

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On board an SUV for the first time is the Park Assist feature, with which the Tiguan turns into a parking space nearly automatically and impressively. The off-road mode already mentioned is a technology show; no other SUV in the world can call upon such a network of safety systems off-road at the press of a button. The Tiguan also exhibits its mastery when it comes to trailer load: It may range up to 2,500 kilograms, which is handled by the new, swiveling trailer hitch. In a class by themselves are the touchscreen radio and navigation systems; the top model (RNS 510) offers a standard 30 gigabyte hard disk memory, an off-road navigation mode and rearview camera. Any of the passengers can also look through a panorama sunroof at the sky of the savannah or the city.


Design & Dimensions

The new Tiguan has a high-end, mature and astute image. It transfers the Touareg idea of the sovereign cruising and off-road SUV to another class. Just like his larger brother, the more compact Tiguan also masters the ride through both worlds – taking on asphalt as well as natural trails. The design of the Tiguan matches this character precisely.

Front end

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A typical, trusted, friendly Volkswagen. And yet everything is new, everything different. The radiator grille was further developed and its design was significantly reduced compared to before. The headlights are distinctive; they form an integral unit with the grille and bumper.

The engine hood is cut into the contour of the headlamps and lends a very concentrated look to the car’s face. Shaped to be broad and powerful is the bumper beneath the headlamps, and on the sides the fog lamps complete the image in their own frames. The actual character of the front end, however, is generated by the interplay of all design characteristics. And in the process the 1.81 meter wide and 1.67 meter tall (without roof railing) Tiguan exhibits a clarity of form and proportion that make the approx.

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4.43 meter long SUV stand out distinctively from the crowd in the big city jungle. The front end of the Tiguan Track&Field – specially designed for uncompromising off-road duty – takes up a special position. With regard to achieving the greatest possible entry angle (28 instead of 18 degrees), it does not have the pronounced front spoiler with matching air inlets that is found on the Tiguan Trend&Fun and Sport&Style. Rather, here a distinctive integrated engine underbody protection plate extends diagonally from a line between the tires up to the radiator grille.

Side profile

In its side profile clarity and power also dominate the forms; here too there are no details that appear random or not thought out to completion. Viewed from the side, except for the small VW symbol in the wheel rims, there is no logo that “gives away” the Tiguan as a Volkswagen. And yet, there is no doubt that it can be made out as a Volkswagen at first glance. Clarity and power form very unique wheel arches, a window line that rises from front to back, the door and fender surfaces designed with strong modulation, as well as new, unmistakable C pillars. Each detail follows a logic of form and unifies the whole. The Tiguan thereby exhibits the same visual presence as the Touareg.

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Rear end

Typical of Volkswagen is the design of the rear end. But here too it is both typical and yet entirely different. Typical, because the basic layout of the taillights follow the pattern of the Eos and the Passat Variant and are part of the powerful shoulder section. It is different, because the overall design takes new paths, the steep tailgate extends far into the bumper and is part of a design and the classic, pure SUV elements are combined with contemporary, urban forms. The lowermost segment of the bumper is similar to the front end is not painted with a view toward impact resistance for off-road duty.



For the first time in the SUV segment buyers of the new Tiguan can choose from two different front ends. The equipment versions Trend&Fun and Sport&Style were designed specifically for mostly on-road duty. It ref lects precisely this goal in its classic front end with maximum entry angle of 18 degrees.

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They leave tough off-road duty to the Tiguan Track&Field. It was designed especially for life outside of the paved trails. Different than its counterparts for the “urban jungle” this particularly adventure-friendly version exhibits a more extreme entry angle of 28 degrees in front. The lower bumper area and engine underbody protection therefore exhibit a very steep angular profile. This is precisely why the vehicle can climb a ramp or level embankment up to the specified 28 degrees without the front end of the Tiguan contacting this ramp when approaching from the horizontal. Identical on all models: The rear departure angle of 25 degrees and the so-called ramp angle between the two axles of 20 degrees. Ground clearance is a uniform 195 millimeters here.

Torsional rigidity

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In the structural layout of the body the primary focus was on two aspects: Optimal comfort and the best crash properties. The fact is: The characteristic values of 45 Hertz each for static and dynamic torsional rigidity influence parameters such as driving dynamics, vibration behavior and acoustics in an extremely positive way. Even in tough off-road duty no torsional twisting whatsoever is detectable on the body.

Roof carrier and trailer load

Both the Tiguan Sport&Style and the Tiguan Track&Field equipment lines offer standard roof rails; it can be loaded with up to 100 kilograms payload. Far greater transportation tasks can be mastered with the swiveling trailer towing unit. If necessary, the Tiguan can pull a maximum of 2,500 kilograms (braked trailer at 12 percent incline) from its hitch, putting it in sole position at the top of its vehicle segment.

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Trailer hitch

The trailer hitch itself is manually swiveled out or folded back in just seconds by cable pulley technology. This eliminates complicated and time-consuming assembly of the trailer hitch with slot engagement and locking. Dirty hands are also passé, since the cable pulley with ergonomic knob is located at the upper left, housed directly on the bumper under a separate cover. When the tailgate is closed this protects the unit from dirt and makes it inaccessible to unauthorized persons. The mechanism operates so smoothly that just a small push with the foot is sufficient to securely lock the system in place. An LED lights green in the actuating knob as soon as the hitch is securely locked in place and ready for operation.

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Volkswagen gave attention right to the last detail in the new Tiguan, and gave it a decidedly ergonomic and very spacious interior along the way. At all five seating positions on board the Tiguan occupants are equally comfortable. The rear bench can be adjusted in the longitudinal direction and has an asymmetrically split folding sections. In this case, objects up to 2.5 meters in length of any type disappear inside the Tiguan; it is transformed into an all-wheel drive van.

Cockpit and instrument panel

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The instruments with their high-end visual and tactile quality are clearly arranged. All controls are located where one would intuitively expect to see them. Take the example of the center console: Integrated at the top, within the optimal viewing field of driver and front passenger, is the new generation of radio and navigation system. Main functions are controlled by keys and knobs, while sub-functions are controlled via a touchscreen. Just to the right and left of the audio system are two air vents each. The entire unit is encased by a high quality frame that has a stainless steel appearance.

Located at the next level down is the standard semi-automatic climate control system known as “Climatic”. Ergonomically designed switches for window lifts and mirror adjustment are also easy to reach in the upper area of the driver’s door.

Front seats

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The seating system in the Tiguan is available in three configurations, depending on the equipment line. The Tiguan Trend&Fun will be delivered with so-called “normal seats” that already offer good comfort on long trips and height adjustment on the driver’s side. Positioned above this is the Sport&Style equipment line. Here the seats are – true to the line’s name –
“Sport seats” with integrated adjustable lumbar support. Meanwhile, the Tiguan Track&Field is equipped with “Comfort seats”, each with adjustable lumbar support.

Rear seats

The three-part rear seating system is a bench split in a 60:40 ratio; in addition the center section of the seatback can be folded down to be used as a center arm rest, drink holder or cargo pass-through. The individual seat elements can also be adjusted by 16 centimeters in the longitudinal direction. Independent of this adjustment, the rear seatbacks can be adjusted over a reclining range of 23 degrees.

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Cargo area

Neat, variable, functional and level – these are key words that accurately describe the cargo area of the Tiguan. With five persons on board it already stows 470 liters. Up to 1,510 liters and 650 kilograms payload can be stowed in the Tiguan when the rear seats are folded down. This moves it right next to genuine mid-class station wagons. So-called gap f laps close the gaps that occur when the seat unit is folded away, thereby forming a level cargo f loor. Chrome-plated tie-down eyes, shopping bag hooks, a 12-Volt accessory plug and other functional elements make this a truly multivariable cargo area. A net partition also provides for safety when loaded to ceiling height.

Engines and Transmissions

The Tiguan will be the first SUV in the world to arrive on the market exclusively with charged TDI and TSI engines. The advantage: Greater power and torque, better fuel economy and lower emissions. In the starting phase, the new SUV will debut with a new 110 kW / 150 PS strong TSI and the first four cylinder commmon rail TDI of the Volkswagen brand; it outputs 103 kW / 140 PS.

2008 Volkswagen Tiguan
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Over the mid-term two other TSIs and a TDI will be offered. They are all new to the Volkswagen lineup. The TSI range will be extended by adding two four cylinder engines: 125 kW / 170 PS and 147 kW / 200 PS. Following up in the diesel area, there will be a powerful 125 kW / 170 PS TDI; it also sports newly developed common rail injection. The stated development goal here was to offer the quietest diesel engines of the class in the Tiguan.

Both direct-injection turbo-diesel engines will already fulfill the Euro-5 that does not go into effect until 2009. The engines of the Tiguan in detail: TSI with 110 kW / 150 PS.

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The new 110 kW TSI (with supercharger and turbocharger) accelerates the Tiguan to 100 km/h in 9.3 seconds. Its top speed is a respectable 192 km/h. Maximum engine torque: 240 Newton-meter, available from a low 1,750 rpm. Fuel consumption: 8.4 liters per 100 kilometers. Special feature: In combination with the Tiguan Track&Field, the supercharger on this TSI is always engaged in off-road mode, in order to be able to master even the most difficult off-road passages with high torque at low rpms and vehicle speeds.

TSI with 125 kW / 170 PS

In the mid-performance position, a newly developed TSI engine is being introduced with 125 kW / 170 PS. The two-liter directinjection turbocharged engine accelerates the Tiguan to 100 km/h in just 8.2 seconds. Its top speed is 200 km/h, and maximum torque is 280 Newton-meter (at 1,800 rpm). On average, the Tiguan TSI with 125 kW consumes 9.1 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. TSI with 147 kW / 200 PS.

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For the time being, the strongest engine on the new Tiguan will be the 147 kW / 200 PS version of the 2.0 TSI. Although its performance data match those of the engine used in cars like the Golf GTI, the engine used here represents a new engine generation. In this case, the maximum torque of 280 Newton-meter that is already available at 1,700 rpm remains constant up to 5,000 rpm. After just 7.6 seconds the most powerful Tiguan is moving at 100 km/h; and the forward propulsion does not end until 211 km/h. Average fuel consumption is identical to that of the 170 PS version at 9.1 liters of super unleaded.

TDI with 103 kW / 140 PS

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Both TDI engines of the Tiguan are completely new developments. On the light 166 kilogram common rail TDI, injection pressures up to 1,800 bar produce especially fine atomization of the fuel. Eight-hole injection nozzles drive the state-of-the-art piezo injectors. The result in the case of the 103 kW TDI: 320 Newton-meter maximum torque at a low 1,750 rpm. Only 10.4 seconds elapse during the acceleration to 100 km/h. This Tiguan TDI reaches a top speed of 186 km/h. Its fuel consumption is 7.2 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers.

TDI with 125 kW / 170 PS

The more powerful of the two new TDIs with common rail injection outputs 125 kW / 170 PS. Its maximum torque is a considerable 350 Newton-meter (at 1,750 rpm). After just 8.9 seconds this Tiguan is already 100 km/h fast. Its peak speed is 200 km/h. This contrasts with an average consumption of 7.0 liters per 100 kilometers. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

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All Tiguans are delivered with six-speed transmissions as standard equipment. As an option, the two strongest gasoline engines (170 PS and 200 PS) as well as the 140 PS TDI may be ordered with a six-speed automatic. Both transmissions fulfill special off-road requirements. The manual transmission can be driven at an engine speed of 1,000 rpm or vehicle speed of just 6.69 km/h, for example; this practically equals the crawler gear of a reduction gearbox. The automatic transmission has gear level preselect; in off-road use it prevents shifting to the next higher gear.


Right from the beginning it was clear: The new Tiguan should be a leader in its class when it comes to dynamics, comfort and safety. Consequently, in the context of chassis development the top priorities were agile handling properties, a high level of vibration and rolling comfort, low roll angle with harmonious roll dynamics, very good driving stability and yet optimal off-road driving ability.

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The development team pulled out all stops to attain these objectives. The results: Neutral to slightly understeering handling and exceptionally low roll angle. This goal was achieved with a chassis layout that actually sets new standards with regard to driving dynamics, active safety and convenience. Next year an electronic suspension control system will be added. Tuning will then vary situationdependently between the levels “Comfort“, “Normal” and “Sport”.

Details of the chassis: Front axle

Used in front of the Tiguan is a McPherson suspension specially tuned for the SUV with lower wishbones and wheel-locating struts. It is mounted on a one-piece aluminum subframe.

Rear axle

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The four-link rear suspension was tuned for the full-time 4MOTION all-wheel drive. The very robust but at the same time dynamically laid out axle geometry has already been proven out in similar form on the Passat 4MOTION. With regard to tough off-road duty, the Tiguan utilizes a frame made of high-strength steels. For the rear suspension newly developed shock absorbers were also developed with increased oil volume; the favorable temperature level makes the shock absorbers fit for even the toughest off-road drives. Like the suspension struts of the front suspension that were also redeveloped, both components offer exceptionally good comfort properties.

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One technological highlight indirectly related to the chassis is the completely redeveloped next generation of electro-mechanical power steering. The decisive advantage of the system: Despite very precise steering feel, no kickback pulses whatsoever are transmitted to the steering unit, even in off-road operation. This is primarily due to a newly constructed steering gear.

Wheels and tires

Handling the contact to the road or trail in the Trend&Fun and Track&Field versions of the Tiguan are 16-inch wheels with size 215/65 R16 tires. The Tiguan “Sport&Style” gets standard 17-inch alloy wheels and size 235/55 R17 tires. 18-inch wheels with tires in 235/50 R18 format will be offered as a special option.

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Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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  (701) posted on 02.17.2010

tiguan seems to me to be the new CRV. Honda’s CRV broke new ground on many levels 11 years ago regarding space, handling, packaging etc but now seems a bit of an also ran like the others. Quite like the no fuss look of the interior/exterior over the Japanese and Koreans.

  (345) posted on 02.11.2010

well i love the black color of the tiguan Plus was highlighted with color orange. i looks tougher and more aggressive than sorento and rav 4.

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