The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan reminds us that it’s not always about what we need, but also about what we want. See how practicality meets German engineering.
Oftentimes, as families, we are forced to fit into one specific category when it comes to our needs and wants. Some folks love big homes so they can have room to stretch and store all the junk they could ever want. Others enjoy smaller spaces that allow them to spend less time cleaning and more time doing other things. Well, the same thing can be said about our cars.
Of course, sometimes there simply isn’t much of a choice. If you have three or four kids, a minivan is hands down the best and the only way to go. All of these debacles recently came to mind when we got our hands on the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan. The charismatic crossover came in a funky Habanero Orange Metallic that made it impossible to misplace it at the grocery store’s parking lot.
At first glance, the Tiguan is just like every other crossover out there. It has four doors, a rear hatch, it seats five, and it has all the creature comfort and safety features like blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, a touchscreen and a sunroof. The latter was blatantly ignored during a harsh Midwest winter.
It’s not until you pay close attention to the smaller details that the Tiguan stands out from the rest by offering more interior space and a considerably better driving experience than most American and Asian offerings. For example, the cabin boasts 101.1 cubic feet of passenger volume, 39.6 inches of front head room and 40.2 inches of front leg room. In the rear, the kiddos can enjoy 38.9 inches of headroom and 38.7 inches of leg room.
When it comes to “trunk” space, we exploited every bit of the 73.5 cubic feet of cargo room by folding flat the second-row seat in order to accommodate stuff from a trip to IKEA. With the second row up, the 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space was just enough to fit about two weeks worth of groceries, as these somewhat embarrassing photos show. We promise we’re not pack-rats!
All those figures might sound great and all, but how do they stack to a Tiguan’s competitor? For comparison, the 2018 Ford Escape boasts 98.7 cubic feet of passenger volume, 39.9 inches of front head room, and 43.1 inches of front leg room. In the back, the Escape features 39 inches of rear head room and 37.3 inches of rear leg room. When it comes to cargo, only 68 cubic feet adorn the back of the Ford crossover with the second down and 34 cubic feet with the second row up. In a nutshell, the diminutive gains in the cabin of the Escape certainly reduce the amount of cargo space found in the back.
Circling back to needs and wants, the Tiguan seemed to provide us with everything we needed, and most of the things we also wanted. Sure, at the $32,000 price range we would’ve expected a few other niceties like xenon headlights, additional USB outlets for device charging, smart cruise control among others, but the basics are most definitely there. In some ways, it’s a simple, clean ride.
In the end, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan was able to accommodate everything we threw at it. From IKEA goodies to groceries and even some furnishings, the orange V-Dub fared rather well through a weeklong session of family torture.
2018 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T SE 4Motion
- Starts at: $30,230
- As-tested: $31,775