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Facelifted 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan revealed

Car Buyer logo Car Buyer 1 day ago Ben Custard
a blue car: Volkswagen Tiguan R © Carbuyer Volkswagen Tiguan R
• Tiguan gets Golf-inspired styling • Plug-in hybrid joins the range • Tiguan R has 316bhp

The updated Volkswagen Tiguan SUV has been unveiled with styling tweaks, extra technology and two new engines. You’ll be able to buy the new car shortly, although Volkswagen hasn’t released UK specs and prices yet. The Tiguan sits in the middle of VW’s five-strong SUV line-up and rivals the SEAT Ateca, Ford Kuga, Peugeot 3008 and Mazda CX-5.

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan facelift styling

Volkswagen has redesigned the front end of the Tiguan, which now looks more similar to the latest Golf. There’s a hint of Volkswagen Touareg in the styling, too, thanks to a taller bonnet, slimmer headlights and a bigger grille. The bumpers at each end are new, and most models get an exclusive bumper design (R-Line models get bigger air intakes and four fake exhausts, for example). You’ll also spot a new tail-light design and updated badging.

• Best medium-size SUVs on sale

Interior

Like the latest Volkswagen Golf, the Tiguan’s interior is now available with touch-sensitive panels for the climate control and steering wheel, replacing physical buttons. Volkswagen says these are optional extras but they may be fitted to some UK trim levels as standard. If they’re available at extra cost we’d recommend avoiding them; our experience in the Golf showed that they’re not as intuitive as physical buttons and are prone to noticeable fingerprint smudges.

Extra technology comes in the form of an embedded eSIM, which facilitates a range of online features through the infotainment system. Depending on spec, the new Tiguan can come with Android Auto, wireless Apple CarPlay and natural voice command recognition. A new Harman Kardon sound system, matrix LED headlights, scrolling indicators and predictive adaptive cruise control join the options list, alongside VW’s Travel Assist semi-autonomous driving tech, which combines the cruise control and the lane-keeping assist.

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan R

Marked out by grey mirror caps, a rear diffuser and 21-inch alloy wheels, the Tiguan R sits at the top of the range and provides a genuine performance option for the first time. It uses the same 2.0-litre petrol engine as other fast VW Group SUVs - the Cupra Ateca, Audi SQ2 and Volkswagen T-Roc R - but has 20bhp more power at 316bhp. Uprated brakes, a lowered dynamic chassis and a new 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system are fitted, with the latter able to portion out power to each individual wheel. Like the Cupra, a titanium Akrapovic sports exhaust is available as an option.

The Tiguan R looks just as athletic on the inside, with sports seats, a flat-bottomed R-badged steering wheel and exclusive dashboard trim. You also get paddles to change gear yourself but the Tiguan sticks with a conventional gear lever rather than the Golf’s small switch.

Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid plug-in hybrid

Alongside the Tiguan R, a plug-in hybrid model joins the lineup. A 31-mile range is promised from the battery and the hybrid will always start in electric mode if there’s enough charge. Different driving modes change how the car uses its petrol engine and electric motor. With 242bhp and the two parts of the powertrain able to work together, the Tiguan hybrid should offer brisk acceleration when required.

It’s the same powertrain as you’ll find in the Volkswagen Passat GTE and Volkswagen Golf GTE, plus the new Cupra Leon and Skoda Octavia vRS. When it reaches the UK, the Tiguan eHybrid may be rebadged as the Tiguan GTE.

What does it mean for car buyers?

Volkswagen says the Tiguan is Europe’s best-selling SUV and the facelift brings smarter styling and more choice - so it should widen the car’s appeal even further. But the extra technology will almost certainly push the Tiguan’s price up (it’s already more expensive than many rivals), and neither the fast R or the potentially eco-friendly plug-in hybrid will be priced as entry-level models. The Tiguan R will be expensive to run, too - the Cupra Ateca with the same engine manages around 32mpg - and it remains to be seen how much different it will be from the Cupra or the smaller T-Roc R.

Read more in our Volkswagen Tiguan review, or see where it places on our list of best family SUVs.

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