- A redesigned, larger Volkswagen Tiguan will hit dealer showrooms in 2016 and feature a more competitive price, Edmunds has learned.
- The price point will be more competitive with the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape.
- The compact SUV will have more functionality and cargo space.
SAN FRANCISCO — A more fuel-efficient, price-competitive and larger Volkswagen Tiguan SUV will hit dealer showrooms in 2016.
"The U.S. market (demands) a lengthened vehicle, something that is longer," Kevin Joostema told Edmunds during a press event in San Francisco. Joostema is Volkswagen of America's general manager for product planning.
Volkswagen has struggled to sell the Tiguan in the U.S. market. It holds a tiny portion of the booming compact-utility market, composed of such vehicles as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Volkswagen estimates the segment at 2.3 million vehicles. Last year, VW sold about 30,000 vehicles. By contrast, Honda sold about 304,000 CR-Vs and Ford tallied nearly 296,000 Escapes.
Joostema said surveys show there are several reasons why shoppers shy away from the Tiguan.
"The main reasons are cargo space, fuel economy and performance, and overall price positioning." Joostema said. "We need to make a broader offering like we did with the Passat and make sure we can strongly, properly participate in all trim levels of this booming segment."
Joostema said a wider range of Tiguan models will be offered in the future with more attractive price points. Future models will have a longer list of standard equipment.
The 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan starts at $24,170, including an $865 destination charge. In comparison, the 2014 Honda CR-V starts at $23,950 and the 2014 Ford Escape starts at $23,505, including an $895 destination charge.
The 2014 Tiguan with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission returns 18 mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA. In comparison, the 2014 Honda CR-V with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission returns 23 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA.
Joostema said Volkswagen also is focusing on "how can we design a car that helps us maximize the space of the storage area? How can we design a second-row seat that slides so that if needed, we get maximization, versatility, flexibility of the cargo space?"
VW is looking for ways to reinvent the console area between the front seats, too.
On the plus side, Joostema said consumers like Volkswagen's styling.
"Our designers are fantastic," he said. "They create the most beautiful-looking cars — super refined, super elegant, a premium feel and look no matter where they are made in the world."
Edmunds says: Now that Volkswagen has determined what compact SUV buyers want, expect the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan to be a more competitive vehicle.