2018 Volkswagen Tiguan – All-New Generation

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is a tremendous improvement over the vehicle’s first generation.

Because it’s been completely restyled – inside and out.  In fact, it even has an optional third-row of seating!  And for a compact crossover SUV, that’s a very big deal.

Plus, third-row is not only accessible but functional.  Sure, it’s for smaller adults and kids but nevertheless VW gets high marks for this all-new redesign.

We sent Bernadette Sanicola to Ontario Volkswagen to pick up a 2018 Tiguan for this review.

–>Continue reading or click play below to listen.<–

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan review banner 



Recorded at Benztown Studios in Glendale, CA

All-New 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

Bernadette: Awesome price point. Awesome look to the car. It’s stylish. I love the interior. And, I love the styling. I thought it was luxurious. And of course, the space. I loved it. I loved how much I could fit.

Tom: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California.

Tom Smith here, with Bernadette Sanicola. Bernie Sports @berniesports, if you follow her on social media. Today, we are talking about our good friends out at Ontario Volkswagen in Ontario, California, Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California.

2018 VW Tiguan front

2018 VW Tiguan

Specifically, their 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan, which Bernadette was just telling me that something that I didn’t know about the Tiguan. First off, Bernadette, thank you for joining us again.

Bernadette: Thanks for having me.

Tom: And the Tiguan is what, now? The name.

Bernadette: The name. Well, everybody mispronounces it, so it was my first question.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Bernadette: Via, Volkswagen has these different names. This is a tiger and an iguana.

Tom: Tiguan is…

Tiguan = Tiger And Iguana?

Bernadette: Tiger, iguana.

Tom: That was told to you by Scott.

Bernadette: Yes.

Tom: Scott Reed, at Ontario Volkswagen.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan passenger front

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan passenger front

Bernadette: Yes, and everyone around me.

Tom: So I know you’re not just making it up …

Bernadette: I am not.

Fact Check: Bernadette was actually correct!

Tom: And pulling my leg, and at the end of this recording, you’re going to be, like, “Oh, yeah, by the way, we have to do this all over, because I was totally joking”?

Bernadette: This is too much to edit, so if he isn’t …

Tom: Thank you.

Bernadette: And I did ask Scott, multiple times. This is true.  So I took the words from him, and then, I drove the car, and it lived up to the name.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan cargo area w. backseats down

Huge cargo space

Tom: Okay, so, tell me about that.

Bernadette: You’re still trying to think of how a tiger and an iguana can work together.

Tom: Yeah. Yeah, I’m just going to let you tell me about it. Yeah. I’m trying to process it, like, “Okay, this is, so it’s like this?” It’s like, ah, just tell me about it.

What Does the 2018 VW Tiguan Look Like?

Bernadette: Yeah, it’s funny, because I was trying to figure out what elements were, but the car was great. I mean, at for, again, awesome price point. Awesome look to the car. It’s stylish. It’s got that square look that I like, that kind of broad-shouldered look.

Okay, so, I drove the top of the line, the SEL Premium.

That one had everything in it. They all get the cool interior. They get the big eight-inch screen, they get the stylish third, at three rows, seven-passenger, which …

Tom: Yeah, that’s big for that class, right?

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan cockpit

Ergonomic cockpit

Bernadette: Huge! And still has a trunk, still has a space in the back. Which, I thought, “Wow,” so that was the big wow for me.

Tom: Now, I saw one. The pictures that you shared, you drove a dark gray color, and I saw one on Onatrio Volkswagen’s lot, that was this really good-looking, eye-popping, but conservative eye-popping, if that’s possible, kind of orange-ish, kind of a burnt orange color, that I thought looked gorgeous.

Bernadette: It’s bigger, it’s better, and everything’s coming out bigger, wider, taller.

But with this one, it’s also got the dynamics of the body, the outside of the exterior and interior. An exterior’s a little more square.

A little more like your Atlas. It’s kind of like the Atlas [crosstalk 00:03:53].

Tom: Yeah, it looks like a smaller Atlas.

Inside The All-New Tiguan

Bernadette: Right, so, and people that love the Atlas, Scott mentioned that this was the last Tiguan at the dealer, that day that I drove.  So they’re going quick.

Everything on it was, I mean, fully loaded. Honestly, Tom, it had, from adaptive cruise control, which means it could stop, and accelerate for you …

When you have cruise control on.  It had a frontal collision, it had the backup camera and side view cameras, instant Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, touch screen, big screen … I mean, the car, it is truly a German vehicle. I loved that third row, and you can really, easily, move them up and down. Third-row seats are usually like, how the heck can I figure this out?

Optional 3rd-row seating

Optional 3rd-row seating

Where do I … And how do you squeeze a kid or a person back there, to pull this?

This one, up and down, as easy as can be. I literally did it three times, to see if I was just lucky, the first time around. But I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, if I had more than one person or child or friend …” If my kid had a lot of friends, this is the car. I’d get in the second and the last row.

Tom: So it’s a, seven-passenger?

Bernadette: Seven-passenger, yeah.

Tom: Okay. So, gorgeous outside.

Bernadette: Stylish inside.

Tom: Stylish inside. Solid drive. Acceleration? So, from a performance perspective, getting on the highway, no problem.

Bernadette: Oh, yeah, it’s great. No problem.

Tom: Does having the desire to pass someone …

Bernadette: Absolutely no problem.

Tom: No problem.

2018 Tiguan Technology & Infotainment

Bernadette: I loved the hands free tailgate. I loved everything on it. That thing’s, if you think you have a…

Tom: You have a little air kick tailgate thing? I like that, too.

Bernadette: Yeah! If you have a bunch of people or let’s just say, kids, with you … Honestly, or dogs?

2018 VW Tiguan infotainment screen

Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

That was the most impressive part. I wouldn’t even consider the third row, until I saw this car, because the third is so easy to pull up, pull down, and it’s there, it’s not there. And you still have space. You don’t sacrifice anything with this car.

Tom: Yeah, yeah, but the way that these are done, they somehow manage to have plenty of space on the inside, but, yet, still have the third row. But the outside still looks …

Bernadette: Clean.

Fender Premium Audio System

Tom: Absolutely aesthetically pleasing, and like, you’re surprised to see the third row in there. A beautiful inside, beautiful outside, great performance, what, and the technology, obviously. The [inaudible 00:10:27] that I drove had a Fender audio system. Did you have …

Bernadette: Yes, Fender.

Tom: Okay, so you had the Fender audio system, as well?

Bernadette: Yes, which was awesome.


Huge panoramic moonroof

Tom: Which sounded, yeah, it sounded really, really good. Plus, it was just kind of cool. It was the first I had ever been in a car …

Bernadette: I’m seeing Fender, it’s like, a guitar.

Tom: Yeah, it was like, “Fender?”

Bernadette: It’s the first thing I thought of. It’s like, “Wait a minute!”

Tom: Yeah, and to clarify, yes, I am saying, Fender, F-E-N-D-E-R, but I’m not referring to Fender, as in the car part. I’m referring to Fender, as in the guitar and amplifier company. They’re putting in an audio system in the premium, top of the line Volkswagens, which is really cool.

Tom: I’m not sure about the other models, but in the top of the Line Tiguan, and the top of the line Atlas, you can get a Fender audio system, and it sounds fantastic.

Bernadette: It’s awesome, yeah. It was really good, and it’s the first thing I tested, yeah, was the music.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Top-3 Features

Tom: So, real quick, before we go to top three. What are we looking at for gas mileage?

Bernadette: It was great. It was, 27, highway, 22, city. It also had those elements to it, where it can go into those ECO PRO modes. Like, I noticed, when I pulled over, to kind of jump out and check out the tailgate, it turned itself off. It has elements to save you even More fuel, if you’re not thinking about it, which I loved. Even the auto stop start, which is something that, at a stop light, it turns itself off.

Tom: Awesome. Okay, top three.

Bernadette: Top three? Okay, the price is awesome. The interior, I really like …

Tom: What is the sticker on what you drove?

2018 Volkwagen Tiguan steering wheel

Compact crossover SUV

Bernadette: Uh, 30s. Mine was 37.

Tom: Okay.

Bernadette Sanicola: So, fully loaded. I mean, that’s great.

Tom Smith: Yeah. Great value.

Bernadette: Really great value.

Tom: A lot of car for the money.

Bernadette: A lot of car, a lot of people in that car, so …

Tom: Yeah.

Ontario Volkswagen – SoCal’s VW Destination

Bernadette: I’m like, I’m thinking, “A lot of people with that.” I love the interior, love the styling.  Plus, I thought it was luxurious. And of course, the space.

Also, I loved how much I could fit. I could probably use that car, as a moving car, if I was going to move again, which I would never, ever want to do it.

Tom: You talk a lot about moving, in relation to cars.

Bernadette: My dad would love to hear anything. When you’ve packed, when you’ve moved a lot in your twenties, you know that that matters, and so …

Courtesy of Ontario Volkswagen

Courtesy of Ontario Volkswagen

This car, when your kids want to borrow that car to move, you don’t need me. Take the car, and go. Because they can do it! My dad would be happy to hear that.

He would actually buy one for me, before he would want to move me again, so …

Tom Smith: Yeah, yeah, and I chuckle, folks, because I know Bernadette’s date, well, so, it’s funny. Sorry, it’s a little bit of an inside joke, but … At any rate. Bernadette Sanicola. Thank you so much for that vehicle review of the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan, from our good friends out there at Ontario Volkswagen. Go say hi to our pals out there, Earl Reed, Scott Reed, Randy Halcomb, and Jim Straley, the service director. For iDriveSoCal, I’m Tom Smith. Thank you, as always, for listening.