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2018 Volkswagen Tiguan: Detroit Auto Show

What Is It?

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is a new generation of VW’s compact crossover — except that this model stretches the definition of “compact,” because it has an extended wheelbase to accommodate three rows of seating. The whole vehicle is 10.7 inches longer than the outgoing version. It’s basically doing to the compact-crossover class what the roomy Passat has done in the midsize-sedan arena.

That extra length also gives the second seating row a range of 7 inches in which it can slide forward and back. Front-wheel-drive versions have the third row as standard; all-wheel-drive versions offer it as an option. Volkswagen also claims a 57 percent increase in cargo space over the first-generation Tiguan.

On the technology front, a rearview camera is standard, while advanced safety features such as forward collision warning with autonomous braking and adaptive cruise control are among the options. So are Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror Link smartphone-integration systems. Other tempting extras include a power tailgate, a panoramic sunroof and VW’s configurable driver information display called the Digital Cockpit.

A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine provides the Tiguan with 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, and an 8-speed automatic transmission sends that energy to the front wheels or all four in 4Motion versions.

ID Buzz Concept

In other news, as Ron Burgundy might say, VW also unveils the ID Buzz concept in Detroit. “A Microbus for the future” is how the company describes it. It’s an electric minivan with a claimed range of 270 miles and two electric motors providing 369 hp to drive all four wheels. It has self-driving systems (“the world’s first fully autonomous multipurpose vehicle,” says VW), an air suspension at the rear axle, a heads-up display using augmented reality, a touch-sensitive steering wheel (more of a touchpad) and wood flooring. It also saves each driver’s individual preferences, from seat settings to radio stations and phone contacts.

As with any concept, there’s always the question of whether it would be suitable for production. Right now, the ID Buzz is more of a nice idea than anything else, showing VW’s vision of an electrified future.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas R-Line

And finally, as every real newscaster might say, the 2018 Atlas ramps up the eager anticipation for its spring 2017 arrival with the addition of an R-Line appearance package. This all-new midsize crossover is another 7-seater and competes with rivals like the Ford Explorer, the Toyota Highlander and the Honda Pilot. The package includes 20-inch alloy wheels, special front and rear bumpers with different air intakes (front) and a gloss-black diffuser (rear), plus stainless-steel pedal covers.

How Much?

Nothing official yet, but VW says the new Tiguan will be “competitively priced.” A starting price of around $26,000 would be an educated guess.

When Can You Get It?

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is expected at dealerships in summer 2017.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because…

The Tiguan is based on the same platform as the Golf, which is refined and sophisticated far beyond the typical expectations of a mainstream compact car. And then there’s the third seating row, for those occasions when a couple more seats would be ideal.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Nissan Rogue — Compact crossovers with three rows are rare. The Rogue has been revamped for 2017.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander — Technically, it’s a midsize crossover, but the Tiguan in the same kind of price bracket. It should feel distinctly more upmarket, though.

Used Toyota Highlander — The Highlander gets you more space, three rows and Toyota’s famed build quality and reliability.

See all 2017 Detroit Auto Show articles

Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan specializes in writing about new cars. But he has also covered trucks, vans, 3-wheelers, even the occasional motorbike. That’s the kind of thing that happens while contributing to the Los Angeles Times, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Popular Mechanics, Variety, Mazda and Lexus customer magazines, as well as many enthusiast sites and publications. He was also a staff writer at BBC Top... Read More about Colin Ryan

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