Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Is Inexplicably Lacking a Hybrid Option

There are lots of compact-crossover SUVs for buyers to pick from, but the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan provides an excellent ride and plenty of technology. It also has good safety ratings and seating for either five or seven.

However, one feature the 2021 Tiguan does not offer is a hybrid option. Here’s a look at what you do get with the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan.

Driving the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

A new Volkswagen Tiguan on display
A new Volkswagen Tiguan on display | PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images

As to be expected from a Volkswagen vehicle, the Tiguan has an excellent driving feel, according to Kelley Blue Book. Its engine has good fuel efficiency and performance, although it isn’t as powerful as some rivals.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine has 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the Tiguan is able to tow up to 1,500 pounds.

At 3,777 pounds, the front-wheel drive Tiguan is 450 pounds heavier than the base Honda CR-V, so it doesn’t have the best highway acceleration. It’s also longer than some competitors, but it’s still easy to see out of and maneuver in parking lots.

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan’s interior

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The Tiguan offers an optional third row, which is unusual for a compact-crossover SUV. It is also bigger than the Mazda CX-5 and offers more luxury than either the Honda CR-V or the Nissan Rogue.

Kelley Blue Book found that the Tiguan has comfortable seats, a quiet interior, and plenty of storage spots. It also said that the interior “excels in design, execution, and quality of materials.”

The second-row seat has a 40/20/40-split and can slide and recline. The optional third row is available in all-wheel drive models. However, the third row does take up most of the available cargo space. Without the third row, the Tiguan has 37.6 cubic feet of storage, which is more than some of its competitors.

The SE trim adds automatic climate control, heated front seats, keyless access, plus a push-button start. The SEL Premium R-Line trim has a power front passenger seat, which is new for 2021. Other optional upgrades include a panoramic sunroof and a hands-free liftgate with walk-away closing.

Technology in the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

The 2021 Tiguan includes a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster on SEL and Premium trims, which Kelley Blue Book calls out as one of its favorite features. The digital instrument cluster provides what looks like an analog speedometer and tachometer, plus it has the available navigation system’s map and other function displays.

The infotainment touchscreen is 6.5 inches on the base S trim and eight inches on higher trims. It is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Standard tech features include a Wi-Fi hotspot, a rearview camera, and Bluetooth and USB connections for smartphones.

The SE and higher trims include an upgraded infotainment system plus wireless charging. There are also several subscription-based packages that can be added to the infotainment system, including the Security & Service group, Family Guardian, and Guide & Inform group.

The Tiguan comes standard with forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert with emergency braking. An overhead view camera is an optional feature, which provides a bird’s eye view. The SE trim also has active cruise control, which is new for 2021.

There’s no hybrid option in the U.S.

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While buyers in the U.S. have just the one powertrain available, European buyers also have the performance Tiguan R and a plug-in hybrid version to pick from. While there’s a chance the Tiguan R could come to the U.S. for model year 2022, the hybrid is not expected to be available.

It is rare these days for an SUV not to offer a hybrid option, but Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President of Product Marketing for Volkswagen, explained to Motor1.com,

“I do believe that our group hybrid technology is very good and very strong, however it is not affordable. Looking at how much we’d invest and how much we’d sell [in the US] … that business case just doesn’t make sense. No plans for a plug-in hybrid or a normal hybrid.”

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is more expensive than similar competitors when fully equipped, and its resale value is just average. However, it offers buyers a strong option, even without a hybrid version.