It actually took us a little by surprise to learn that the Volkswagen Tiguan is the best-selling SUV in Europe. Some six million have been sold since it first went on sale in 2007 and in 2019 alone 911,000 found homes globally.
VW's refresh for 2021 will be the third version of the car and the first major overhaul in its near-14 year history, making it an extremely important one for the brand to get right.
Luckily for us, for the first time in its history the Tiguan is gaining an electrified powertrain thanks to the launch of the eHybrid PHEV variant. This will bring usable zero-emissions range for commuting as well as low tax and the major PHEV benefit of being a practical half-way house between ICE and EV.
Whilst you'll be able to get the new Tiguan in fast 'R' form with 319bhp the all-new eHybrid version shouldn't be too far behind in the everyday performance stakes thanks to its combination of the venerable 1.4 litre TSI turbo petrol engine and electric motor producing 243bhp.
A 13kWh battery provides juice for the EV side of things and should offer a range of around 31 miles on a charge in the WLTP test. The Tiguan eHybrid will default to electric-only mode on start-up and be able to reach 81mph before it runs out of electric puff.
As it's effectively the same PHEV powertrain as has been used in the VW Passat and new Arteon and Arteon Shooting Brake, we can surmise that the Tiguan will have the seven speed DSG auto gearbox and somewhere in the region of 300lb-ft of torque to help whisk it along. Official efficiency and emissions data hasn't been released yet, but you can bet it'll be VED and company car tax-friendly. One more thing VW is keen to point out is that the Tiguan eHybrid will be good for towing, just as previous generations with pure ICE powertrains have been.
The new Tiguan has been tweaked rather than reinvented in the looks department. Up front, new IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights (regular LEDs as standard) have the new VW signature shape as seen on the Arteon and Mk8 Golf among others. LEDs are standard at the rear of the car, too.
The grille shape is said to draw visual links with larger SUVs in the VW range, such as the Toureg and Atlas Cross Sport which is sold in North America. Given that the second generation Tiguan has been sold in the USA since the summer of 2017, you can bet that this design detail is down to VW's continuing desire to sell the car over there.
Bumpers both front and rear have been given a makeover and are arguably more cohesive than the current generation car thanks to accentuated air intakes. Up top, built-in roof bars will make for easy roof rack mounting. On the eHybrid the charging port can be found on the nearside front wing.
Inside, the main upgrades come in the form of VW's latest generation of infotainment (MIB3) with a choice of larger touchscreens adding to the premium feel. Naturally this will include wireless connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as VW's We Connect infotainment and information system which comes with an array of online-based services and functions. A 480-watt Harman Kardon sound system is available.
Expect full UK specs to follow soon.
Update 05.08.21: The new VW Tiguan eHybrid was originally planned to go on sale last Autumn, but it’s only now available to buy. Prices are lower than we forecast, with the base-spec Life version starting at £35,515, the mid-spec Elegance costing from £37,780 and the top-spec R-Line costing from £38,120.