VW Tiguan gets big

New compact SUV is 10 inches longer, seats more

DETROIT - Volkswagen showed off its all-new Tiguan SUV at used the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday.

The new version of the SUV includes some big changes. To start, the new Tiguan is about 10 inches longer than its predecessor. The wheelbase has been stretched 4, inches which should make for a smoother ride and more rear seat legroom.

That extra room can accommodate an optional third row of seating, which was never an option in the previous model. The third row will be standard in some trim levels.

Speaking of bigger things, the Tiguan now shares its basic platform with its larger sibling, the Atlas midsize SUV. It’s part of a strategy by Volkswagen to merge more cars onto the same platform for efficiency.

Leaders at Volkswagen hope the changes to the Tiguan will help improve its sales in the United States. VW sold about 43,600 Tiguans in all of 2016. By comparison, Honda sold more than 357,000 CR-Vs and Toyota sold more than 352,000 RAV4s.

The car will come with a series of modern safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, pedestrian monitoring, lane assist and a blind spot and rear traffic alert.

An all-wheel drive system is also available, as well as something Volkswagen calls the Digital Cockpit that includes a customizable instrument panel. Buyers may also opt for a panoramic sunroof and a power rear tailgate.

Powering the little SUV is a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine that generates 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque.

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