The third-generation Volkswagen Tiguan has been spotted before, but this is the first time we're seeing the compact crossover carrying around its own body. We're getting the impression of a larger vehicle compared to the current standard model, so we might be looking at the long-wheelbase Allspace version. It's unclear whether the next-gen vehicle will retain the two size options or the peeps from Wolfsburg will merge them into a single model.
In typical VW fashion, the clever camouflage wants to trick the untrained eye into believing this is nothing more than the Tiguan on sale today. However, look past the fake stickers on the lights and you'll notice the character line is no longer an uninterrupted line at the door handle level. The crossover now has creases on the fenders and doors that don't meet in the middle. In addition, the door handles seem to be sitting a tad lower than before.
While those quad tips reserved for the R-Line model are just decoys, look underneath the bumper and you'll see the exhaust's muffler. In March 2021, VW announced there would be a next-gen Tiguan with combustion engines, and logic tells us it'll be the last one before switching to electric power. Looking at the front, the prototype had a surprisingly wide air intake and some sneaky disguise on the upper grille with white stripes to mimic the current model's horizontal bars.
The easiest way to identify this Tiguan as the next-gen model is by taking a peek inside the cabin where the infotainment touchscreen's is now sticking out from the dashboard. On the existing model, the display is neatly integrated into the center console as per VW's previous interior design language. A black piece of cloth appears to be hiding a small digital instrument cluster à la ID.4. A big screen tacked onto the dash usually means a simplified layout with fewer physical buttons, in a move traditionalists tend to criticize (with good reason).
As a refresher, the German mainstream brand won't end sales of ICE-powered cars in Europe until 2033-2035, according to Klaus Zellmer, Volkswagen board member for sales, cited by Reuters. That means it still has plenty of time to sell a Tiguan with gasoline and diesel engines. There should also be a plug-in hybrid into the mix to lower average fleet emissions, especially since Euro 7 is due in a few years.
Expect the next-gen VW Tiguan to go on sale at some point in 2024, with the US-spec model already confirmed to get more power but without earning the R badge.