2021 Volkswagen Tiguan unveiled with hybrid, R variants

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After months of teasers and spy shots, Volkswagen has unveiled the mid-life facelift for its second-generation Tiguan mid-size SUV.

Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line
Above: Tiguan R-Line

From the outside, the updated Tiguan adopts a revised look influenced by the new Mk8 Golf, with a taller front grille, new ‘IQ.Light’ matrix LED headlights and reshaped lower air intakes across the range up front. Changes at the rear are more subtle, consisting of restyled tail-light graphics, TIGUAN badging across the tailgate and mild tweaks to the lower bumper design.

Inside, tech updates to the refreshed crossover include a new multifunction steering wheel, Volkswagen’s latest MIB3 infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, a tweaked 8-inch (or 10.25-inch, as an option) digital instrument cluster and an optional 10-speaker, 480-watt Harman/Kardon premium sound system.


There’s also a new panel of capacitive-touch climate controls, a 15-colour ambient LED lighting system and revised trim and upholstery options.

The facelifted Tiguan gains Volkswagen’s latest ‘Travel Assist’ semi-autonomous driving package, which enables the SUV to steer, accelerate and brake on motorways at speeds from 0-210km/h.

The adaptive cruise control system is now predictive, integrating satellite navigation data to proactively slow down for junctions, roundabouts and changing speed limits.

Above: Tiguan eHYBRID (non R-Line)


European customers gain the addition of a plug-in hybrid variant for 2021. Badged ‘eHYBRID’, the powertrain combines a 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine with an 85kW electric motor and 13kWh lithium-ion battery for combined outputs of 180kW/400Nm and a 50km all-electric range.

The headline change to the powertrain range is the introduction of a high-performance R variant.

Volkswagen Tiguan R

Under the bonnet is the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine as the Arteon R unveiled last week, producing 235kW of power and 420Nm of torque. Drive is sent to all wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

The Tiguan R features the same ‘R Performance Torque Vectoring’ system as the aforementioned hot Arteon, capable of directing up to 100 per cent of the power to any individual wheel.

The hi-po SUV sits 10mm lower than the standard Tiguan and rides on 21-inch alloy wheels wrapped in performance Hankook rubber, with the machined spokes hiding 18-inch sports brake discs. An Akrapovic sports exhaust is available as an option.


Exterior changes to the R over its R-Line sibling include a revised front fascia with more aggressive styling, quad exhaust tips, sporty rear diffuser, silver R badging and mirror caps, and black trim accents.

Inside, R-specific revisions include sports seats with leather/Alcantara combination upholstery, blue contrast stitching, and a flat-bottomed steering wheel with blue inserts and a dedicated ‘R’ button that switches the vehicle into Race mode.


The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan will go on sale in Europe next month.

An Australian launch is scheduled for 2021, with the local powertrain lineup expected to carry over unchanged with 110kW, 132kW and 162kW 2.0-litre turbo-petrols. Volkswagen Australia says it would “love” to offer the Tiguan R Down Under – admitting it would be “a perfect fit for us” – but stopped short of confirming a local arrival for the hot SUV.

Volkswagen Tiguan R

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