Meet VW's baby 4x4
29 November 2006

This is the much-anticipated new Volkswagen Tiguan 4x4, unveiled as a concept at the Los Angeles motor show today (29 November 2006).

The Tiguan is VW's first serious attempt on the competitive small SUV market. It will be aiming to break the dominance of the Toyota RAV4 and fend off the new Land Rover Freelander and Honda CR-V.

While nowhere near as dramatic as the Concept A, which previewed the Tiguan at February’s Geneva motor show, the new five-seater appears much more stylish than scoop pictures of the car have indicated. Gone is the Concept A’s coupé-like profile, replaced by a more upright body similar to that of the Touareg.

“It was important for us to have the car appear muscular,” says Klaus Bischoff, the exterior designer. Still, the car you see here is not exactly what VW has in mind for the showroom. There will be further tweaks to the styling before the production version is shown at the Frankfurt motor show next September.

According to Bischoff, the nose is likely to be toned down slightly, the wheelarches reduced and the 19-inch wheels replaced by smaller, less costly items, albeit in the same style.

At 4400mm long, 1850mm wide and 1690mm high, the Tiguan is much shorter, narrower and lower than the Touareg. These relatively compact dimensions are one of the reasons why VW sees its new 4x4 appealing to British buyers more than the Touareg does. The other is price. At around £20,000, base versions of the Tiguan will be pitched close to the RAV4.

The Tiguan is based on the Golf but has wider tracks for added stability. Production versions won’t ride quite as low as this concept, and VW says the Tiguan will be suitable for light off-roading.

Secrecy continues to surround the exact specification of the production version, although it is understood front-wheel drive will be standard, with four-wheel drive optional.

The LA show car is powered by a VW’s new Clean TDI. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel, it uses new Bluetec emissions technology. The catalytic converter is injected with urea to reduce nitrogen oxide levels by up to 90 per cent.

With up to 170bhp, the engine will replace today’s 2.0-litre diesel in 2008. The Tiguan will also come with other established VW engines, including the Golf GTi’s 197bhp 2.0-litre turbo.

Greg Kable

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?