Since coming on the scene in 2007, the Volkswagen Tiguan has lived between the cracks, being a little too big to be a subcompact CUV yet not quite large enough to match up with most other offerings in the compact crossover category. Still, with over 2.6 million sold, it has been an important vehicle for VW.

At the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show VW revealed the second-generation Tiguan, which is all new from nose to tail. It is the first VW SUV to be built on the company’s new MQB platform (first seen in the Golf Mk7), and it has grown in size to better run with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3, Audi Q5, etc.

The 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan comes on the world market in April 2016.

The reimagined Tig is cleaner and more aggressive looking than the outgoing model, featuring sharper edges and a more planted stance. With a higher belt line and a couple of character creases down its flanks, it’s a handsome crossover that appears elegant from any angle.

It is the first VW SUV to use dual LED headlights. It gains a significant 77 mm in wheelbase, is 60 mm longer overall, is 30 mm wider and the roofline drops by 33 mm. You’ll find an additional 50 litres of cargo space behind the rear seats and it will tow up to 2,500 kg (5,512 lb). Despite all this, the new Tiguan weighs up to 50 kg less.

The cabin is all new as well, and shows typical VW quality and attention to detail. The information screen is high and angled toward the driver. The rest carries forward with the ergonomics and control layout familiar with other Volkswagen products. Available is a 12.3-inch Active Info display (interactive, fully digital main instruments with five information profiles) and a head-up display. And yes, Volkswagen is offering a full suite of radar and camera-based safety systems along with the latest in connectivity.

Back seat environment is considerably improved – along with the extra 29 mm of legroom, the seats slide 18 cm longitudinally and the seatbacks have a recline adjustment.

In Europe the Tiguan will initially be offered with eight different engines – four diesel and four gasoline. No official word for North America, but we can be sure of getting VW/Audi’s new-gen 2.0L TSFI turbocharged four and probably a diesel. The Tiguan will be launched with both front-wheel drive and 4Motion AWD.

Tiguan, as she is known: Test Drive: 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan Highline R-Line

There will also be a longer wheelbase model coming late 2016 for “certain” markets, of which China will be one.

Volkswagen also trotted out the Tiguan GTE here at the Frankfurt show – a plug-in hybrid version with a total of 218 hp and electric range of 50 km. It sports a roof with solar cells that the automaker claims will greatly increase the car’s range.

Volkswagen says it is sending a clear message with the Tiguan GTE – “We believe in electric motivation.” By the end of the decade, VW promises 20 new electric and plug-in models, and every series will offer a plug-in hybrid.

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