New Model News

Volkswagen introduces refreshed Tiguan, but the U.S. won't get it until Fall 2021

Volkswagen has given the Tiguan a thorough once-over. European model shown.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Over 6 million Volkswagen Tiguans have been produced since the automaker kicked off production of the model 13 years ago. In 2019 alone, the company sold nearly 1 million of the SUVs. As part of a mid-generation refresh, the model is getting new exterior and interior styling, additional driver assist features, and more comfortable surrounds.

The front end of the refreshed 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan will now match the refreshed 2021 Atlas. It has a new grille that combines with standard LED headlights and new bumper to give the car the appearance of a wider front. The new Volkswagen badge sits front and center at the front.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan (European Model) The longer wheelbase version of the Tiguan will continue to be sold in the U.S. European model shown.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

At the rear, there are new bumpers as well as "Tiguan" lettering below the centrally located VW badge, which features a new design. Models equipped with all-wheel drive have redesigned "4Motion" letter as well.

Each model has new wheel designs. Buyers can upgrade to a hands-free open and close power lift gate.

Europe will continue to get the short wheelbase version of the model. The Tiguan for the U.S. will continue to be the long wheelbase version. Only photos of the European model are currently available, but word from Volkswagen is that the modifications are the same for the U.S. and European models.

Volkswagen has not changed the engine in the Tiguan for the new model year.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan (European Model) The rear of the SUV features new "Tiguan" lettering and Volkswagen badging. European model shown.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The cabin of the SUV has gotten a tech-heavy upgrade. Its steering wheel now features illuminated touch islands and sliders. A new climate control touch module is available on midrange models. It can be used to turn on or off the Tiguan's new standard heated front seats, rear window defrost, and open the SUV's air conditioning menu. Illuminated USB-C ports sit until the module.

The Tiguan gets the latest generation of Volkswagen Group's modular infotainment system (MIB3) with a standard configurable digital instrument panel. Each Tiguan also gets Volkswagen Digital Cockpit. An 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen is standard and a 10.25-inch is available.

Tiguan owners can personalize their experience in the vehicle from the driver's seat and mirror settings to driver assist technology preferences.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan (European Model) It looks like Volkswagen Tiguan R models will receive a paid interior. European model shown.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

A 15-color ambient lighting system is available. Each trim level has new decor options.

New driver assist technology, called Travel Assist, is capable of steering, braking, and acceleration of the Tiguan at speeds up to 130 mph. The system is not hands-free. It uses functions like adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist to guide the SUV. It's available in an Advanced Driver-Assistance Package on base models and comes standard on midrange models.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan (European Model) An 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen is standard. European model shown.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen has also upgraded the SUV's adaptive cruise control. It now proactively takes into account speed limit changes, town boundary signs, junctions, and rotaries using a combination of data from the Tiguan's front camera, GPS system, and map data.

The U.S. version of the Volkswagen Tiguan will arrive in Fall 2021 as a 2022 model.

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Improved hot hatch

The 2022 VW Golf GTI gets new handling tech

Improvements to the GTI's handling and steering should make it even faster in the curves.

Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of the most recognizable and popular cars the automaker sells. After a bumpy few years that ended with the standard Golf model being nixed from VW's U.S catalog, we're starting to see concrete details on the upcoming performance variants of the car, which will thankfully end up heading our way. The eighth-generation Golf GTI and Golf R will make landfall in the United States as 2022 models, and will both feature a load of new tech and refinements. VW just announced the changes that are being made to the GTI's handling and performance systems, and they are extensive, to say the least.


2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI VW is offering the 8th-gen Golf only in high-performance GTI and R configurations.Volkswagen


Volkswagen is giving the legendary hot hatch a host of improvements, which the automaker says will give the car more precise, stable handling at its limit. The GTI's front suspension has been reconfigured with new wishbone bearings and damping hydraulics. VW says that the car's springs and buffer stops have also been revised, which will give the font axle spring rate that is five percent higher than its predecessor. A new aluminum subframe is also in place, which will reduce weight by seven pounds over the previous car.

The eighth-generation Golf brought a new VW Vehicle Dynamics Manager system which will also benefit the upcoming GTI. The system integrates the car's electronic stability control with its electronic differentials, and in GTI models equipped with the optional DCC adaptive damping system, the system adjusts individual wheel damping up to 200 times per second. The differential itself will now come standard with all GTI models. It's an electronically-controlled torque-sensing limited-slip unit, which varies the levels of its intervention based on how the car is being driven and on how the other traction control functions are being used.


2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI The GTI's steering is now more responsive.Volkswagen


The GTI's steering system has also been revised to now include an enhanced progressive steering function that uses software to help turn the vehicle with less steering effort, depending on speed. Volkswagen says that the GTI's steering takes just 2.1 turns of the steering wheel to go from lock to lock when it's equipped with 18-inch wheels.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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