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2012 Tiguan: V-Doubling Their Efforts

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On: Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 12:13PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2012 Tiguan: V-Doubling Their Efforts

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you may have noticed that the small SUV segment of the marketplace has become a bit, saturated.  It seems that Americans still love the idea of an SUV, but somewhere between the invention of the Suburban and V10 Expedition, those same Americans decided they didn't quite like their high-riding 'Utes when it came time to refill their very big, very empty gas tanks. 

So, the car makers gave to the world smaller, more refined versions of those big boys and their popularity sky rocketed, and in fact did so well that just about every car company has at least one hat in the ring. But with so many choices, obviously there have to be some sales winners and some sales losers.  One of those losers in the last few years has been the Volkswagen Tiguan.

For those of you that don't know, the Tiguan has actually been around for several years already and has actually done very well worldwide outside of the US, but thanks mostly to some serious competition from Honda's CRV, and Toyota's RAV4, the Tiguan has been relatively Das Unknown Auto. So for 2012, VW has decided to tweak its little truck in the hopes that it will become a bigger success than it has been so far here in the States. Visually, VW decided to give the Tiguan a new grille, new squared-off tail lamps, and adds in some chrome trim pieces to help give the Tiguan a bit more of a dignified appearance. Inside, the interior stays relatively the same except for new HVAC controls and new steering wheel controls for the radio.

The big changes for the 2012 Tiguan however, are actually more like small modifications. But in such a crowded class, VW has definitely realized it needs to sweat the small stuff big time. VW has tweaked the gearing in the Tig's six-speed auto to help maximize efficiency, as well as added lower-rolling resistance tires to help the SUV attain 15 percent better fuel economy than its current 20/26 city/highway mark. Other than those tweaks, the Tiguan still retains its 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder motor that makes a competent 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque despite having to pull 3500 pounds or so of German metal around everywhere. The aforementioned six-speed auto is available with front or 4Motion all-wheel drive, while the six-speed manual (!) is available only as a front driver. There is no price set for the Tiguan just yet, but the expectation is for it to come in right at about 25 grand, which puts the VW right in the mix with all of its best competition.

So will this new facelift and modest improvements be enough to bring up the Tiguan's lagging sales? Only time and sales reports will tell, but at least now you know that there is at least one more viable option out there for your small-SUV needs.

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