That’s according to Volkswagen Australia’s managing director, John White, who told CarAdvice that the all-new Tiguan – which will be built off the same modular architecture as the seventh-generation Golf – will be a game-changer for the brand.
“What we’re getting is a totally redesigned vehicle, which is going to be longer, have a bigger boot space, and we’re looking a third-row seat option,” White said.
This confirms rumours that have been circulating the web for months over a three-row, seven-seat Tiguan model that is expected to grow in size to measure up closely to the recently revamped Nissan X-Trail.
“I’ve seen the car, in March. It looks phenomenal. It’s a completely different style – more aggressive,” White said.
In terms of styling, White couldn’t give much away, though it is expected the new model will bear some of the design cues that the brand has brandished upon its recent concept SUVs – such as the CrossBlue, Cross Coupe, CrossBlue Coupe (pictured below) and Taigun – and its revised family face, as debuted on the recently revealed Passat.
White confirmed the brand would offer plenty of incentives to buyers of the current-generation Tiguan, which has been on sale since 2008. Indeed, the brand has confirmed plans to offer a revised Tiguan range with more standard equipment, not to mention the addition of a more potent turbo diesel offering, and a new R-Line styling pack.
However, there was no disguising the expectations that White holds for the second-generation Tiguan due in 2016.
“When that comes out it’s going to be big for us,” he said.
The small SUV segment is hitting new heights, with overall sales leaping 17.3 per cent year-to-date. New vehicles that are a size smaller than the Tiguan – such as the Holden Trax – are also causing plenty of raised eyebrows.
Volkswagen Australia doesn’t look likely to offer a new SUV to rival the Trax, Ford EcoSport, Peugeot 2008 et al, despite revealing a concept SUV that could indeed fill the small SUV role in its global line-up.
“Right now we don’t have any confirmed plans to bring in anything under the Tiguan,” White said. “You probably saw about a year ago, this new car called the Taigun. That’s on the Up! platform, so it’s too small for the market.”
White said the segments below and above the Tiguan were of the biggest intrigue, as the brand aims to capitalise on the growth in the SUV segment (up 4.1 per cent in a market that is otherwise down 2.1 per cent).
The ideal vehicle to fill the gap between Tiguan and Touareg – a new production model based on the CrossBlue concept seven-seat SUV – has been confirmed for left-hand-drive markets, and White said there are plenty of fellow right-hand-drive regions that also want the car.
“Right-hand drive markets have their hands up for it,” he said, “and that includes us.”