The plug-in hybrid is dead, long live the PHEV! Those who are said to be dead live longer. This is one of the themes of the third generation of the VW Tiguan. The compact crossover gets two plug-in hybrid modules strapped under the body. One with 150 kW / 204 HP and a significantly more powerful version with a system output of 200 kW / 272 HP. Even if some of the performance sounds familiar, the part-time Stromer variants have been given new ingredients. At the center is a battery that now consists of 96 modules whose cells have a greater energy density. The net capacity of the batteries increases from 10.6 to 19.7 kilowatt hours and the range from 50 to 80 kilometers to around 100 kilometers.

Thankfully, something is also happening with the loading speed. Up until now, the AC power charge was only 3.6 kWh, which is anything but contemporary. Now the onboard charger allows 11 kW. This means that the discharged batteries can be completely recharged within two hours. Another innovation is that direct current fast charging is possible for the first time in a VW PHEV. A maximum of 50 kW is possible and the batteries are filled from ten to 80 percent in 25 minutes.

The heart of the PHEV module is also new. The eHybrid models use a 1.5 TSI evo2 combustion engine. In the case of part-time electric vehicles, this unit is coupled with an electric motor that produces 85 kW / 115 hp for propulsion and is integrated into the DQ400e evo dual clutch transmission. In the weaker version, the TSI delivers 110 kW / 150 hp, while in the more powerful version it is 130 kW / 177 hp. This is the current top value for the further developed engine of the proven EA211 engine series, which is equipped with a variable turbine geometry and in this combination works in the Miller cycle for efficiency reasons.

The four-cylinder is also the heart of the eTSI models with 96 kW / 131 HP and 110 kW / 150 HP. The engine is complemented by a 15 kW / 20 hp 48-volt belt starter generator that generates 25 Newton meters of torque. Other petrol versions are equipped with an EA888 turbo petrol engine, which produces either 150 kW / 204 HP or 195 kW / 265 HP. The top versions also have all-wheel drive. So also the most powerful diesel with 142 kW / 193 HP. As with the gasoline engine, the Tiguan with the EA288 two-liter turbodiesel is also available with front-wheel drive and 110 kW / 150 hp.

The chassis in the Tiguan is basically identical to that of the new Passat. So the compact crossover also gets the evolution of the DCC adaptive chassis with the addition of Pro. This means variable two-valve dampers in which the rebound and compression stages can be controlled separately. These dampers react to vertical movements up to 1,000 times per second and also harden quickly if necessary. Which is particularly important in an SUV to reduce rolling. The Tiguan’s dampers logically have a longer spring travel than those of the Passat and a fixed stop point. Another difference is the valves with which the dampers in both vehicles are equipped. In the Tiguan, as in the Passat, the driving dynamics manager is the boss in the agility ring and also uses the XDS electronic differential system, which is ultimately an extended function of the ESP. In contrast to the Passat, where the rim sizes end at 19 inches, 20 inch wheels fit into the Tiguan’s wheel arches.

The basis of the infotainment is the fourth generation of the modular infotainment kit (MIB) with the 10.2 inch digital cockpit and the central touchscreen. The driver can configure the upper control bar and the first menu level of the large display as desired, while the control units for the air conditioning are firmly defined at the bottom. As with the Skoda Superb, VW uses a rotary knob on the Tiguan that only allows you to select the volume or driving modes. Part of the new MIB is also improved voice control. The entertainment department is complemented by a classic head-up display that projects onto the windshield. The smart phone can be integrated into the infotainment via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and charges inductively in one of two cooled 15-watt systems.

When it comes to driving assistants, the Tiguan III makes full use of the VW arsenal, including Park Assist Pro, which records the last 50 meters of a parking maneuver and then carries it out automatically if desired. So that the driver can drive safely even in poor ambient light, the Tiguan III is available with HD matrix headlights as an option. The compact SUV will come onto the market in February 2024 and will cost at least 36,600 euros.