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New 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan facelift arrives with design and tech updates

The facelifted Volkswagen Tiguan adds plug-in hybrid power and a hot 316bhp ‘R’ model to the SUV’s line-up

Volkswagen has launched a revised version of the Tiguan SUV. The facelifted Mazda CX-5 rival has been given a thorough cosmetic and technology update, as well as a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and a 316bhp R-badged variant. 

The facelifted Volkswagen Tiguan will go on sale during autumn this year, with the SUV’s most popular petrol and diesel engines (such as the 1.5-litre TSI and 2.0-litre TDI units) reaching showrooms first. These will be joined by the new R variant towards the end of the year and the new PHEV model in early 2021.

In essence, the new Volkswagen Tiguan R is a rebodied version of the recently revised Cupra Ateca. It uses the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as its Spanish sibling but, as Volkswagen sits above Cupra in the Group’s pecking order, its output increases to 316bhp – which is 20bhp more than the 296bhp Ateca.

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The Tiguan’s R’s range of chassis revisions are similar, though. Buyers get four-wheel drive, adaptive suspension, bigger brakes and a set of unique 21-inch alloy wheels. There’s also an aggressive exterior styling package, an optional Akrapovic exhaust system and a new, seven-stage configurable traction control system.

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Volkswagen has also fitted the Tiguan R’s four-wheel drive chassis with a torque vectoring system, which can send up to 100 per cent of the engine’s power to the outside wheels when cornering.

Meanwhile, the new plug-in Tiguan shares the same 242bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor as the Mk8 Golf PHEV, which Volkswagen says will give the SUV a maximum all-electric range of 31 miles. The system also allows the Tiguan to travel at speeds of up to 81mph in electric-only mode.

Volkswagen Tiguan: styling and interior revisions

Cosmetic revisions over the outgoing Tiguan are fairly extensive, as Volkswagen has tried to bring the SUV’s styling in line with the new Mk8 Golf hatchback. As such, the updated Tiguan features the same winged LED headlamps, radiator grille and broad bumper intakes as the hatchback, along with a new bonnet, new LED tail lights and a tweaked rear diffuser.

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Inside, there’s a new sports steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls and new capacitive buttons for the air conditioning and ventilation systems. Buyers also can also have a configurable ambient lighting system and a 480-watt 10-speaker Harman/Kardon surround sound system as optional extras.

Volkswagen’s latest MIB3 infotainment system has been added, too, which comprises a 10-inch digital instrument cluster and a central infotainment screen in either 6.5-inch, 8.0-inch or 9.2-inch sizes. The system offers support for natural voice commands, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

There’s also some extra safety technology, such as lane-keeping assist, front assist, predictive adaptive cruise control and Volkswagen’s new “Travel Assist” semi-autonomous driving function, which can assume control of the vehicle’s steering, acceleration and braking on the motorway at speeds up to 130mph.

Volkswagen Tiguan: trim and specs

Volkswagen has also revised the Tiguan’s trim-levels with a new four-tier structure, giving buyers the choice of a base-model, as well as the mid-range Life, comfort-focussed Elegance and sporty R-Line variants. Standard equipment includes LED headlamps, autonomous emergency braking and a multifunction steering wheel.

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The middling Tiguan Life replaces the outgoing Tiguan Match and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, main-beam assist, roof rails and an automatic air conditioning system. Volkswagen’s range-topping Elegance and R-Line models offer further upgrades, such as Matrix LED headlamps, a digital gauge cluster, a larger infotainment system and a heated steering wheel.

Elegance models also receive an electrically opening and closing boot lid and silver roof rails, while the R-Line model will receive a sporty body kit, figure-hugging sports seats and a new sports steering wheel. Buyers will also have their choice of 12 alloy wheel designs in sizes ranging between 17 and 20 inches, as well as few extra paint finishes.

Volkswagen Tiguan: engines and drivetrain

Specifications for the rest of the Tiguan’s engine range are yet to be confirmed but, like the recently revised SEAT Ateca – with which the Tiguan shares its platform – we expect it’ll consist of a familiar line-up of Volkswagen Group petrol and diesel powertrains.

So, the base-model should be powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit, with 148bhp and 250Nm of torque. The engine will come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, although a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic will be optionally available.

There’ll also be a less powerful version of Volkswagen 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which will sit below the flagship R model with 187bhp and 320Nm of torque. Unlike the lower capacity petrol engines, though, it’ll likely only be offered with a seven-speed DSG and four-wheel-drive.

Buyers should also get a choice of diesel engines, all based on the Volkswagen Group’s versatile EA288 2.0-litre four-cylinder. Like the Ateca, there’ll be a 148bhp variant – although it remains to be seen whether Volkswagen will continue offering the old Tiguan’s 187bhp and 237bhp diesel engines on this facelifted model.

What do you make of the facelifted Volkswagen Tiguan? Let us know in the comments section below…

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