What are car writers often asking for from global automakers? “Give us your hip European wares,” we plead, “give us your diesels and your manuals and your wagons, your tauter suspensions and Welsh B-street managing, your neat matrix lighting and your funky tiny Hello-Kitty-sized trailer hitches to haul the little Hello-Kitty-sized caravans that we’;ll also need you to start exporting.”
How do the automakers nearly always reply? At ideal, “We’;ll gauge demand.” A lot more likely, “No,” because for what ever explanation, “We just do not believe it’;s appropriate for the US industry.”
If that’;s how they had answered us in the case of the Volkswagen Tiguan “Track & Style” Bluemotion TDI, they’;d in fact be appropriate. Volkswagen lately brought this Euro-spec compact crossover to the US for a ‘Get to know me!’; tour, and whilst we detest to drag the cute tiny issue into the public square to acquaint it with the whip, properly, we have no option. See, it is just not proper for the US market place.
We like diesels, but this 1 is not the way to go in the US.
The difficulties start with the engine, a 2.-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged, direct-injected diesel with 174 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. That is 26 hp down and 73 lb-ft up on the Tiguan R-Line we just lately drove, and the doors to all of that torque open at just one,750 rpm. From the flywheel, it’;s sent to a 7-pace DSG transmission and onto the Haldex-managed 4Motion all-wheel drive. Of that R-Line model, we wrote, “That 207 lb-ft of warthog grunt comes on from 1,700 rpm, very same as the 200 hp, and the 6-velocity transmission did not want aid realizing in which to be in the rev assortment when known as to consideration,” and, “the compact crossover that seems like a huge shoe is a ideal hoot to drive.” You’;d consider that with buckets a lot more torque, a dual-clutch gearbox and another gear, the sweet knowledge we had in the R-Line would turn into diabeetus in the TDI.
You’;d be wrong. The engine sounds like it was sourced from a small farm employ, as if a deal VW ultimately was capable to strike with Fiat was to take its extra stock of New Holland tractor motors. It is not obnoxious, but it does sound like a Latin colossus shaking out a samba with 250-pound maracas, clattering in a way that announces specifically what sort of fuel it runs on and not letting you fail to remember right up until you get up to highway speeds and wind noise throws a blanket above it. We identified the clatter specially unusual because VW and sister brand Audi have been functioning so tough, so publicly, and so successfully at erasing the stigma of diesel engines with its North American TDI offerings. This engine does not do that. Then we remembered that it is not for sale here, and we have been glad. We like diesels, but this one is not the way to go in the US.
The transmission on occasion likes to sample several gears before it settles down and chooses a single.
You need to have this turbo going full bore to get the Tiguan TDI to do anything, which is not surprising. What is surprising is that you have received to punch the turbo in the encounter to wake it up – a tiny additional throttle when cruising won’;t lower it. Inside 25 miles of acquiring in the Tiguan TDI for the initial time, we had educated our right foot to curve through thirty degrees more arc than we would generally do, in purchase to leave the 7-velocity DSG no doubt it was time to downshift, get up and move. If we did not do that, there was a much less-than-pleasant rattling, akin to a smoker clearing their throat, as the 2.-liter attempted to use its naturally aspirated gumption to dig itself out from all around 1,500 rpm exactly where it likes to cruise. Keep the transmission in Sport and you will remove most of that, but at the other end of hard work, far more than after we detected a muted, vacuum-cleaner-like whine when decelerating from highway speeds that we feel was coming from the gearbox. And outside of all that, underneath a variety of throttle conditions the transmission on event likes to sample numerous gears ahead of it settles down and chooses 1.
The a single time the engine was by no means a disappointment was when taking off from lights. Lay a company foot on the throttle and it gets the crossover to giddy up. VW pegs its -25 kilometer-per-hour (-62 miles per hour) time at 75 seconds, but it feels quicker.
Not that you’;ll want to cease at lights, due to the fact the end/commence system is one particular of the roughest applications we’;ve experienced. No matter how long you’;d been driving, when it restarts, it emits 3 staccato whinnies and shakes the whole car thrice before the motor catches, as if it is currently being turned on after not having been utilized for days. This occurs each time.
All of this is a shame, since every little thing else about the Tiguan TDI is almost everything we really like about the compact crossover. It truly is great searching outside. The steering wheel feels great in the hands, the steering itself is fine and precise. Braking is assured and linear. It has the same beautiful managing you expect from a Tiguan, this kind of that you may get to the limit of its 235/50R18 Bridgestones before you reach the finish of its abilities. You can not take pleasure in B-roads in Drive, however, because unless you pistol-whip the transmission with the throttle or shift for oneself with the paddles, you won’;t get the engine to wake up just before the following flip. And we suspect that the Comfort/Sport button for the dampers is truly a blank that acquired mistakenly labeled, because we couldn’;t really come to feel any big difference in any setting.
The interior has every thing you need to have, nothing you don’;t.
The 2-tone seats are handsome, nicely completed and comfortable. The interior has every thing you need to have, practically nothing you never we have no idea the place the “Track” portion of this Euro Tiguan’;s “Track and Fashion” trim name is meant to reside, but the cabin surely lives up to the “Fashion” portion. There’;s much more storage in 4 compartments in the roof alone than you may locate in the entirety of some compact vehicles. There is plenty of area in the back seats – and tray tables! – for those of taller figure. Behind them is a deep and hungry boot. There is nothing at all not to like… if you ignore the engine and transmission.
However this engine in this application is the stage VW is attempting to make with the Tiguan TDI, claiming that it can go “much more than 600 miles per tank.” We had no curiosity in testing the claim since we had no interest in driving the automobile.
The little man has some poke if you poke it difficult sufficient, but although it shares its layout and cabin Tiguan-ness with every single other Tiguan, it will get its diesel refinement from the Scania truck side of the VW Group. We can see it generating sense in Europe, where diesels are a way of daily life and an oil-burner’;s table manners are more relaxed. Searching out on people automotive plains, who’;s going to recognize just an additional diesel wildebeest amid the herd? On top of that, when European petrol is $ 8 or more per gallon you will put up with some compromises to get crossover spaciousness in addition to 600 miles on a single fill-up. However, a single identify for a herd of wildebeest is an “implausibility,” and that is specifically what this Tiguan TDI would be if it have been for sale here.
The small guy has some poke if you poke it difficult enough.
But of program, VW would not sell that Tiguan TDI here prior to tuning it for the US industry. For the best comparison we could get on brief notice, we drove a 2014 Jetta TDI with the same 2.-liter diesel engine, in this application placing out 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. You still know you are driving a diesel engine, but a clear reminder comes only when you’;re stopped at a light and the radio is off. Turn the radio on or roll the windows down and you will barely notice it. At regular-state cruising anywhere over 25 mph, you’;d require a radar array to detect any traces of diesel-ness.
Most importantly, the 6-speed DSG transmission in the Jetta is programmed to get with the shifting, fast to uncover the gear we wanted with no making us pour on much more throttle to reconfirm the request. On the identical canyon roads we had driven in the Tiguan TDI, the Jetta turned in a fine enough performance in Drive. Placed in Sport, the Jetta was positively exciting, and in a single day of fulfilling mixed driving, it took 200 miles for the digital gasoline gauge to dip down to 3/4 of a tank.
Yes, at 3,161 pounds, the Jetta has a 574-pound advantage on the crossover, which the Tiguan’;s enhanced energy would not totally conquer. But if we used our imagination to give the Tiguan a opportunity, we can see the way to producing the tidy crossover a compelling option as a diesel. New shift tuning would right away erase its ugliest bugbear and if VW received its soft-touch division doing work on that cease/begin or, as on the Jetta, eliminated it fully, they would quickly double the refinement. Then throw some added sound deadening at it and now you’;ve acquired a Tiguan TDI that fits in the US diesel VW family and that would at least be able to give it the proverbial university attempt.
A Tiguan TDI could make a situation for itself merely by getting such a distinct and substantial-mileage proposition.
Yes, you’;d get a hit on mileage, but it would likely be small, and even if you stripped out cease/start and took the hit to close to-town fuel economy, you are nevertheless going to obliterate the lowly 18 city mpg of our recent Tiguan and very likely keep close to that touted tally of 600 highway miles on a tank. That theoretical crossover – a refined, fashionable, spacious, entertaining-driving and frugal Tiguan TDI – could restore our Pavlovian salivation for hip Euro diesels, assuming VW kept the pricing realistic. Comparing TDI charges on VW models that never have the Jetta’;s funky engine lineup, like the Beetle, and the premium is $ 4,300 more than the base model. Include that to the Tiguan S and you happen to be at $ 27,605 before you stump for possibilities.
So issues could get spendy, particularly compared to the competition, but a Tiguan TDI could make a situation for itself just by becoming this kind of a distinct and high-mileage proposition hey, there’;s a cause that even VW is amazed by its diesel uptake. Or to help it out, they could usually, you know, throw in 1 of these funky small Hello-Kitty-sized trailer hitches to haul a small Hello-Kitty-sized caravan…