2021 Volkswagen Tiguan revealed: price, specs and release date

Nick Lette van Oostvoorne
July 01, 2020

An updated VW Tiguan is on the way. It’ll have a new look (kind of), some new tech and, most importantly, two new models – a hot R version, and plug-in hybrid model with low running costs.

And here’s everything you need to know about the new VW Tiguan range.

  • New design highlights
  • Details on 320hp Tiguan R
  • New Tiguan plug-in hybrid new for 2021
  • Prices yet to be revealed – expect costs to rise
  • Customers can order new Tiguan from the autumn
  • Winter release date for Tiguan R and eHybrid
  • Updated interior, new options
  • Advanced safety kit, including matrix LED headlights
  • Basic Tiguan specs revealed, too

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan design

Clearly, the 2021 Tiguan is a case study in the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach to car design. The changes to the Tiguan’s looks are subtle, to say the least. Although, that’s not entirely surprising given the car was VW’s biggest seller last year.

The most obvious changes are to the front of the car. The bonnet is higher and the grille is wider than before, making it look more like a mini Touareg. The bumpers have been redesigned too, but when the official VW press release states that the ‘4Motion’ lettering on four-wheel-drive models has been redesigned you know that this is the mildest of mild updates.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan R

No, the big news is the introduction of two new models. The first of which is this VW Tiguan R, which aims to put the sporty into Sports Utility Vehicle.

The Tiguan R comes with a 2.0-litre 320hp turbocharged engine and while VW hasn’t revealed much more about the engine or its capabilities, take a look over at what stablemate SEAT can do with the Cupra Ateca.

It also has a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine but with 300hp – and it can manage 0-62mph in under five seconds. That gives you a taster of what to expect from the Tiguan R.

The Tiguan R gets a seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard and also comes with a torque vectoring system which distributes power between the right and left rear wheels (and the front and rear axles) to help go around corners quickly.

And like the Cupra Ateca, the Tiguan R also gets Adaptive Chassis Control that allows you to change the suspension settings to make the car feel harder or softer over bumps. It has Comfort, Sport, Race, Individual, Offroad, Snow and Off Road Individual settings. The Race mode, which is like turning everything up to 11, can be activated by a button on the Tiguan R’s steering wheel.

The R also gets its own bumper design, a rear diffuser and 21-inch alloy wheels. It also gets more powerful brakes and the car has been lowered by 10mm compared with its wheels to make it feel a bit sportier to drive. There are four tailpipes for the exhaust and you can upgrade to a titanium exhaust system made by the sports exhaust specialist Akrapovič.

Inside there is a R-branded sports steering wheel, R seats and you get R graphics on the digital driver’s display (which also has a lap timer). You will see various R badges around the cabin, too.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid

If it’s efficiency rather than power you’re after in your next Tiguan, you could opt for the new Tiguan e-hybrid. This is a plug-in hybrid car that can manage around 30 miles on electricity alone, which should cover most people’s daily driving habits – according to VW, at least. You can drive at up to around 80mph on electricity alone, too, though that will run down the batteries pretty quickly.

Just like the Peugeot 3008 plug-in, you can charge up the car’s batteries when you’re out for a drive and save it in the batteries for later so you can cruise the final miles home on electric power.

No economy figures have been released for the eHybrid but a Passat plug-in hybrid has an official average fuel economy of more than 200mpg. The Tiguan’s total power output is 245hp – so a little higher than the Passat – so it should be pretty quick as well as efficient. All of its power can be made available at once by hitting a GTE button next to the gearshift.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan price and release date

There’s no word on Volkswagen Tiguan prices yet, but expect an increase on the current model, which starts at around £25,500. You’ll be able to order a new Tiguan in the autumn, but you’ll have to wait until the end of the year for the Tiguan R. The Tiguan plug-in hybrid comes in early 2021. No details yet on updates to the seven-seat Tiguan Allspace either – revised versions of which are expected to go on sale sometime next year, too.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan interior

The main difference between the old and the new cars’ interiors are the climate controls, which now have touch-sensitive sliders that you swipe left and right to control the fan and temperature, rather than physical buttons.

As an option, you can now get a new 10-speaker, 480 was Harman Kardon sound system.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan engines

Apart from R and eHybrid models, VW is keeping schtum about the rest of the engine options for the moment. So you can expect it won’t differ dramatically from the range of petrol and diesel engines on offer now, with two- and four-wheel drive versions and manual and automatic gearbox options.

VW does say that the diesels should emit less nitrogen oxide (NOx) thanks to them having two catalytic converters, each with its own AdBlue injector. Volkswagen says this ‘twin dosing’ system should significantly lower NOx emissions, which are known to cause poor air quality in high-traffic areas.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan infotainment

The latest Tiguan comes with MIB3 – not a reference to a Men In Black sequel, but the latest VW infotainment software. Depending on the specific model you choose, MIB3 includes a range of internet services including map updates, internet radio and Apple Music. It also has voice control that’s supposed to understand ordinary speech. But that had its flaws when we tested it in the latest VW Golf.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan safety

The updated Tiguan comes with upgraded automated driving systems. It can take over the steering, braking and accelerating functions at speeds of up to 130mph. Crikey. VW says that to do this the driver must keep their hands on the steering wheel, and it has fitted sensors and alarms that’ll warn you if you don’t.

The new Tiguan also has the latest version of VW’s adaptive cruise control, so it’ll automatically alter the car’s speed according to local speed limits, town boundary signs, junctions and roundabouts.

The car can also come with LED matrix headlights – already seen in the Golf, Passat and Touareg.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan specs

Exact specifications will be revealed later but the line up should include an entry-level model that comes with a 6.5-inch infotainment screen, LED headlights and a multi-function steering wheel.

Move up to Life trim and your Tiguan comes with automatic headlights, roof rails and 17-inch alloys. Elegance and R-Line cars get upgraded LED matrix headlights and a 10inch digital driver’s display. R-Line looks a bit sportier, like the full-fat Tiguan R, while Elegance focuses on comfort and gets an automatic bootlid.