According to our friends over at Car and Driver, VW plans to release its next generation Tiguan PHEV sometime next year, most likely as a 2025 model. The Tiguan, in case you don’t know, is (currently) a compact crossover SUV. VW confirmed that the next generation will be about one inch longer and be built on the same MQB Evo platform as the VW Golf and the Audi A3. What’s more, the Tiguan will also support DC level 3 fast charging (something rare in PHEVs which mostly only support slower AC level 2 charging). Improvements VW is making also suggest the new Tiguan will be more capable and comfortable in its handling.
62 miles is not quite twice the average daily distance driven by US drivers, and is significantly more than the range of most other compact PHEV SUVs like the Kia Sportage PHEV, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the Ford Escape PHEV, the forthcoming Honda CR-V PHEV and even the current range champ for compact PHEV SUVs, the Toyota Rav 4 Prime. This much EV range in a compact SUV means it needs a bigger battery. According to Autoevolution.com the new Tiguan’s battery will be sized at 18.5 kWh, which in my book seems like it might be the usable “size” of the battery, with the full size actually being slightly larger. I say that because at that size, it means the Tiguan would get about 3.4 miles per kWh which sounds about right for its size (assuming it is daily aerodynamic). But it would have to use 100% of that 18.5 kWh to do so and as such I assume the battery is larger, likely between 20 and 22 kWh in full. Regardless, hopefully it will offer a more electric (EV) experience and not engage the gas engine until the battery is depleted or at least until the accelerator is close to the floor.
Let’s also consider the size of the current Tiguan and then based on the little we know about it, draw what conclusions we can regarding its standing among competitors before its likely reveal in the fall. The current 2023 Tiguan sold in the US is 186.1” long, 72.4” wide, and about 66.5” high. Compared to all the others mentioned above, the Tiguan is close in size to most of them though the Mitsubishi may be the largest of all the above (if measured only externally), and as such it will likely be among the larger in its class (though there are certainly other makes and models it directly competes with that could be larger still). Suffice it to say, it gives other compact SUV hybrids (plug-in or otherwise) a serious challenge and, at least for those who seek to minimize their gasoline consumption and are not looking for a fully electric vehicle, it may be the top choice given its class leading electric only range and more generous interior space. Perhaps its bottom line price and availability will factor equally into its sales numbers once it becomes available in the US market, but I predict that VW still has something to prove against its (mostly) Asian competitors, namely features, design, efficiency and reliability being competitive. These are all things people may overlook, initially (if the price is right or the EV range/efficiency is the most compelling feature), but if VW doesn’t deliver on them over time, it will likely mean poor sales, overall.
What are your thoughts on the Tiguan PHEV’s competitiveness? Would you be more inclined to consider this plug-in hybrid SUV over others, given its expected greater range? Please leave your comments or questions below.
Image courtesy of VW.
Justin Hart has owned and driven electric vehicles for over 15 years, including a first generation Nissan LEAF, second generation Chevy Volt, Tesla Model 3, an electric bicycle and most recently a Kia Sorento PHEV. He is also an avid SUP rider, poet, photographer and wine lover. He enjoys taking long EV and PHEV road trips to beautiful and serene places with the people he loves. Follow Justin on https://www.torquenews.com/kia for regular EV news coverage.