NEW FOR 2009:

– All-new model

A new addition to the Volkswagen line-up, the Tiguan is the company’s new crossover vehicle that slots under the larger Touareg.

The Tiguan – an invented name that combines "tiger" and the German word for iguana – uses a 2.0-litre direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine. On the base Trendline trim line, the Tiguan can be ordered in front-wheel drive with a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic with manual shift mode, or with 4Motion all-wheel drive and the automatic transmission. The Comfortline and Highline come strictly with the automatic and 4Motion.

Features on the Trendline include 16-inch alloy wheels, Climatic climate control, 60/40 split folding rear seats with slide and recline feature, eight-way manually adjustable front seats, chrome front grille, keyless entry, cruise control, electronic parking brake, exterior temperature display, front and rear floor mats, CD player with auxiliary input, front fog lights, overhead console trays, heated mirrors and tire pressure monitoring system.

The Comfortline adds 17-inch alloy wheels, eight-way partial power driver’s seat, black roof rails, comfort seats with seatback pockets, six-CD premium stereo, heated seats, heated washer nozzles, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, trip computer, panoramic power sunroof, privacy glass and upgraded cloth interior.

The Highline adds 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, 12-way power driver’s seat with memory, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic bi-Xenon headlamps with Adaptive Frontlight System, chrome window surrounds, digital compass, interior lighting package, rain-sensing wipers, silver roof rails and Sirius satellite radio.

Available options, depending on the trim line, include a towing package, rear side airbags, navigation system and backup camera.

The Tiguan offers a gutsy engine, decent fuel economy for its segment, good handling and well-done interior, although cargo capacity isn’t as good as might be expected for its size, and so far, a diesel version isn’t planned for North America.

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