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MT drives the VW Tiguan early

As of right now, VW has a very incomplete US lineup that consists of a bunch of Jetta-sized models, the midsize Passat and the big and heavy Toureg. Volkswagen is trying to rectify that situation with the forthcoming Tiguan, which in concept form is a CRV-fighting crossover with some panache.

Motor Trend was lucky enough to get to try out an early edition of the Tiguan in far off Namibia in Southwest Africa, and they came away impressed. All four vehicles tested came equipped with the European market 1.4-liter Twincharger engine (supercharger and turbocharger) packing 150 HP and 177 lb.-ft. of torque, and a Haldex AWD system. VW must be serious about the Tiguan's off-road prowess, considering the dusty conditions used for testing and the special "Track and Field" edition models with a 28-degree approach angle. Initially, Tiguan buyers will be able to choose either a six-speed manual or an automatic transmission, but expect the latter to be replaced by VW's DSG within a year.

[Source: Motor Trend via The VW Gazette]

American consumers won't get the 30 MPG combined Twincharger engine or the "Track and Field" package, but we will get VW's excellent turbocharged 2.0L engine and a "Sport and Style" edition without the off-road pretensions. VW is hoping to sell 40,000 copies of the Tiguan per year in the US, and sales are slated to begin next summer. We Yanks are used to being left out in the cold when it comes to new and exciting fuel efficient powertrains (save for some hybrids), but when we start getting the shaft on off-road packages, we take notice. It's not that many of us actually let our vehicles hit the dirt, but we just like knowing we can when the need arises.

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