Sporting a new look and some efficiency-enhancing tech touches, the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan made its world debut in Geneva. This enthusiast-grade compact crossover now serves up its GTI power and enthusiasm with an added measure of purposeful panache.
Key visual changes to the U.S.-spec 2012 Tiguan include a redesigned front fascia that now fully embraces the current VW corporate face. That reset includes a wider grille with two horizontal chrome strips and trapezoidal lower intakes that also house the fog lamps. Still available in S, SE, and SEL trims, the top-line version also will offer new bi-xenon headlamps with VW's corner-following AFS advanced headlight system for the first time. Out back, revised tailllghts have new LED elements arrayed in a VW-signature "Double L" configuration. Beyond a couple of new colors, the 2012 VW Tiguan also will be available with "Savannah" design 19-inch alloy wheels designed by R GmbH to complement its sport-tuned suspension.
Underhood, the 2.0-liter/200-horswpower TSI turbocharged four-cylinder also used in the GTI remains unchanged. However a variety of focused friction- and energy-reduction efforts -- including the addition of low-rolling resistance tires -- coupled with some ratio juggling in the six-speed automatic transmission (a six-speed manual is still standard in the S model) are expected to lift the Tiguan's highway EPA figure from 25 to 29 mpg. As now, all three trim levels will offer the choice of front- and 4Motion all-wheel drive.
Volkswagen also revised the interior trimouts across the entire 2012 Tiguan lineup. The 2012 Tiguan S gains a new higher-quality black cloth upholstery while the SE will get VW's V-Tex leatherette in black or beige and the seats in the SEL will mirror the SE's color palette but add a driver-side memory. SEL buyers will also be able to select the Premium Navigation System with the big-screen display as an option. All Tiguan models will come with a new design steering wheel, reshaped shifter and Bluetooth connectivity. The 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan will be available this fall, and the automaker says it intends price the vehicle at a level that will make it an even better value than the current model.