10 new ways the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan impresses

American compact SUV buyers have a confusing array of models to consider – something Volkswagen thought hard about while designing the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan. Heavily modified for U.S. buyers from the European version, the new Tiguan going on sale later this year provides a fresh, agile take on one of the hottest vehicle segments going. Here’s 10 ways the new Tiguan was built to impress:

Volkswagen - NAIAS 2017

New style

The 2018 Tiguan adopts the award-winning style of the European model – a clean, timeless look accented by LED daytime running lights, standard LED taillights and optional LED headlights. From a bolder front grille and standard roof rails to dual exhaust tips and a choice of four wheel styles, the new Tiguan has style in spades.

(The car shown here also highlights one of the Tiguan’s two new colors, Habanero Orange.)

New chassis

The MQB chassis that underpins the Tiguan offers Volkswagen’s trademark driving dynamics that will set the new Tiguan apart from the competitors. It also makes the new Tiguan longer and lower – with benefits like a lower lift-in height for the rear hatch.

New seats

Unlike most of its competition, the 2018 Tiguan will offer a set of third-row seats, the kind of feature often reserved for much larger or more expensive SUVs. The third-row will be standard on all front-wheel-drive Tiguans, and available as an option on 4Motion-equipped all-wheel-drive models.

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New space

The 2018 Tiguan grows a massive 10.7 inches longer than the current version, and adds 4.4 inches to the wheelbase of the European version. Combined with the new interior and MQB chassis, that provides up to 57 percent more interior space.

New flexibility

The second-row seat not only splits 40:20:40 but slides fore and aft by seven inches, allowing owners to maximize for cargo or people hauling in a way no competitor can match.

New engine

The revamped 2-liter turbocharged, direct injected TSI engine now makes 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, linked with a new eight-speed automatic transmission for better fuel economy and sporty acceleration.

New assistants

Technology plays a bigger role than ever in the new Tiguan. especially in driver assistance features. Available options range from Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist) with Pedestrian Monitoring to Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert and Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist). Even the Adaptive Cruise Control now works in stop-and-go traffic.

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New cockpit

The optional Volkswagen Digital Cockpit provides a dynamic and customizable display in the cockpit, with five different settings, such as a navigation display between the speedometer and rev counter. It also interfaces with the standard App Connect that integrates all major smartphone brands.

New 4Motion

The fifth-generation 4Motion with Active Control all-wheel-drive system has four modes – On-Road, Snow, Off-Road and Off-Road custom – for maximizing traction.

New surprises

We could keep counting up the Tiguan’s available features – the kick-activated power liftgate, the panoramic sunroof with ambient lighting, the heated steering wheel – but we’ll stop at ten, until we can start driving the new Tiguan in a few months.