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The forthcoming seven-seat Volkswagen Tiguan ‘XL’ derivative due to launch globally in early 2017 looks certain for an eventual Australian launch.

The stretched Tiguan variant is expected to be about 110mm longer than the regular five-seat second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan we recently drove ahead of its launch here this September, and will greatly increase the breadth of the company’s SUV family.

The Volkswagen Tiguan XL will effectively be a rival for relatively rare seven-seat mid-sized SUVs such as the Mitsubishi Outlander, and the more upmarket and extremely successful Land Rover Discovery Sport.

It will likely be a little smaller than something like a Hyundai Santa Fe, in essence making it more of a 5+2 car, with the third row for short-term or occasional use only.

Volkswagen Tiguan 12

Note: Regular five-seat Volkswagen Tiguan pictured. 

As we know, Volkswagen is also developing a larger family SUV model, based on the CrossBlue concept, but this is likely to be focused more on the enormous US market.

We spoke today with Volkswagen Australia managing director Michael Bartsch, who said the company’s local arm was “planning to have the seven-seat” version.

We also spoke with Volkswagen AG engineers in Berlin last week, who said making right-hand drive versions of the car would be “no problem”, and said to expect a stretched body. This is the benefit of the modular MQB platform on which the new Tiguan — and a plethora of vehicles from VW, Skoda and Audi — is based.

Volkswagen Tiguan 22

Expect the seven-seater Tiguan to share powertrains and other features with the new Tiguan, led by a 162kW/380Nm 2.0 turbo-petrol and 140kW/400Nm 2.0 diesel, matched the DSG transmissions and 4Motion AWD. Features such as a digital TFT instrument display will also be offered.

As we have reported, the seven-seat Volkswagen Tiguan XL will be made in Mexico, where the company also makes the Jetta. The regular five-seat Tiguans come out of Germany.

Given our VW insiders suggest a Tiguan XL market launch overseas in early 2017, expecting an Australian launch before mid-late 2017 seems ambitious.

The Volkswagen Tiguan XL will be one member of a burgeoning Tiguan ‘family’, with a sportier crossover version also on the cards for a 2017/18 launch. However, as we reported exclusively last week, there will not be a performance-focused Tiguan R.

MORE: Read our 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Review




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