2021 Volkswagen Tiguan: What’s new with the flagship SUVW?
The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan gets fresher styling compared to its predecessorShot by Abhishek Benny for evo India

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan: What’s new with the flagship SUVW?

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan gets a major powertrain change and subtle design updates to widen its appeal

I have always held a soft corner for the Volkswagen Tiguan. A few years ago, I spotted a first-generation example of the SUV at an event in Mumbai’s BKC, and even amongst the glitzy luxury cars which are a common sight in the city, something about that silver Tiguan with its solid lines appealed to me greatly. My dad would later spot one in the office parking lot and describe it as a ‘sober’ design. I get where he’s coming from. Most SUVs today are all about shock and awe when it comes to styling, with designs that are likely to get more tongues wagging, with comments by the bucketload on social media. Not the Tiguan. With a design that looks genteel and well-groomed, the Tiguan was always an SUV that meant business rather than polarising opinion. And In its latest avatar, the Tiguan now looks livelier and youthful, without losing any of the charm that made it a favourite of the boardroom brawler. Here’s a look at what has changed for 2021 with Volkswagen’s flagship SUVW.

Roof box an optional accessory on the Tiguan
Roof box an optional accessory on the TiguanShot by Abhishek Benny for evo India

Exterior of the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

In this updated avatar, the Volkswagen Tiguan now wears a larger chrome grille that stretches out till the headlamps, with a generous dose of chrome to amp up the bling. Nestled in the centre of the grille of course is the new Volkswagen roundel, with the two-dimensional logo appearing more aesthetic and cleaner than the three-dimensional iteration, while also being better suited for viewing on screens as well as for digital content.

The Tiguan also gets LED matrix headlamps and DRLs, with the more contemporary design making the SUVW look much nicer than before. Take a look at the redesigned front apron and you also notice the omission of conventional fog lamps, because the headlamps of the Tiguan now feature adaptive lighting tech dubbed IQ.Light, with the cornering function being integrated into the headlights itself. The IQ.Lights also adapt the intensity of the beams with the ambient lighting conditions when driving.

Moving towards the rear, the positioning of the ‘Tiguan’ badging has also changed, now sitting prominently under the Volkswagen roundel on the tailgate. Meanwhile, the tail lamps continue to retain the same housings as before but they now feature updated light signatures for the LEDs, which definitely make for a striking impression as the sun goes down.

Speaking of striking impressions, the Tiguan gets 18-inch alloy wheels, with a snazzier looking Frankfurt design for 2021. The Tiguan that you see here is also equipped with accessories like the Dynamic Volkswagen Hub Caps which self-level while driving – just like those on ultra-luxury cars. Such a cool touch!

Refreshed interiors of the 2021 Tiguan pack in more kit
Refreshed interiors of the 2021 Tiguan pack in more kitShot by Abhishek Benny for evo India

Interior of the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

Step inside and the interior of the Tiguan features an all-black theme, accentuating the sportiness of the cabin. You now get a new flat-bottom steering wheel wrapped in leather wearing the new Volkswagen roundel. Get behind the ‘wheel and you will notice that the Tiguan ditches the old-school analogue dials in favour of a fully digital instrument cluster.

The digital cockpit is very easy to read
The digital cockpit is very easy to readShot by Abhishek Benny for evo India

This 10-inch Digital Cockpit Pro is one of the best in the business, with customisable menus to display all the information you might need while driving. The display is easy to read and legible, while looking extremely cool at the same time. And of course, if you still continue to miss the earlier clocks, you can always set the digital cockpit up to show the speedo and the tacho in all their glory.

Also new to the Tiguan are the controls for the automatic climate control, which are touch sensitive, similar to Volkswagens like the Taigun. Unlike earlier, the rear passengers in the Tiguan now get separate temperature controls as well. The beautifully bolstered seats of the Tiguan are done up in Vienna leather, with the front seats getting a heating function that will be particularly useful in the winters.

The Tiguan gets ambient lighting with 30 shades to choose from!
The Tiguan gets ambient lighting with 30 shades to choose from!Shot by Abhishek Benny for evo India

You get an 8-inch touchscreen for infotainment in the Tiguan, with the AppConnect suite of features. This system also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, albeit in a wired form. For connectivity you have two USB-C ports up front, while a third one is present on the centre console in the rear. The touchscreen also allows you to customise the ambient lighting of the Tiguan and you can choose from the 30 shades on offer. You also get an 8-speaker sound system that works really well when you’re in the mood to crank up those tunes on a road trip.

2-litre TSI promises to pack a punch
2-litre TSI promises to pack a punchShot by Abhishek Benny for evo India

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan engine

Possibly the biggest change on the Tiguan lies under the hood. TDI makes way for TSI power, with the Tiguan getting a 2-litre TSI petrol engine that makes 187bhp of power and 320Nm of torque. We’ve seen this engine before, in the Tiguan Allspace, but this is the first time that the five-seater Tiguan will be getting this powerplant. No diesels for the Volkswagen lineup in India, hence this is the sole engine option on offer, mated to a quick-shifting seven-speed DSG ’box that sends power to all four wheels via Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system.

LED tail lamps get a refresh with the 2021 Tiguan. Note the newer alloy wheel design
LED tail lamps get a refresh with the 2021 Tiguan. Note the newer alloy wheel designShot by Abhishek Benny for evo India

How is the Volkswagen Tiguan to drive? Our full review of the SUV will be dropping here soon as well as on our YouTube channel. Stay tuned to this space!

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