A Tiguan TDI Diesel For the U.S? Perhaps in 2015, Says Volkswagen

Some things never change. When Volkswagen launched the Tiguan in 2008 (as a 2009 model), executives told us the possibility of a diesel-powered variant arriving in the U.S. was “under investigation.” Fast forward three years: VW is launching the revised 2012 Tiguan, and officials again say a TDI version for the ‘States is again “being investigation.”

What’s the deal? Will the U.S. ever receive a Tiguan TDI? Yes -- but be prepared to wait at least another three years.

Contrary to the notion that Americans disgust diesel-powered vehicles, the lack of a Tiguan TDI in our market isn’t because customers here don’t want one. In fact, according to VW product planner John Ryan, it’s the exact opposite.

“Everyone’s asking us for one,” Ryan said. “Dealers are asking us for one. Customers are asking us for one.” No surprise, considering European-spec models drink roughly 27 percent less fuel than similar models built with Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline I-4.

So, if the people want a diesel Tiguan, what’s the holdup? Ryan says there are two main hurdles:

-Cost: Diesel engine technology itself may not be horribly expensive, but the cost to bring their emission levels in keeping with various regulations certainly is.  Tiguan TDI models make use of the same 2.0-liter turbodiesel I-4 as the Golf TDI and Jetta TDI, but Ryan says the added weight of the Tiguan necessitates the use of a urea-based catalyst system (aka AdBlue) instead of the nitrous oxide storage canister found on the smaller TDI-equipped models.

Volkswagen isn’t unfamiliar with AdBlue-based systems (it already uses AdBlue on both the Passat TDI and the Touareg TDI), but such a design does cost significantly more than a comparable NOx system. This is less of a problem on premium models like the Touareg, but on an entry-level vehicle like the Tiguan, it's a little trickier to add cost without pushing the vehicle's price to an uncompetitive point.

-Supply: Even if America is ready and willing to take the plunge on a Tiguan TDI, VW may not be able to build enough to supply the market. As it stands, most Tiguans sold in Europe are fitted with the diesel, so it’s no surprise the automaker wants to feed its home market first.

Are either of these hurdles insurmountable? Not in the least. In fact, Ryan suggests a Tiguan TDI is quite likely for the next-generation Tiguan, which is expected to launch in 2015.

Tell us: can you wait another three years or so for a diesel compact SUV to hit our shores, or should Volkswagen expedite the project? Send your thoughts in the comments section below.

Matthew Chambers
I love my 2012 Tiguan! It is amazing in the snow and has just as much kick as the CC i owned prior. I have been waiting forever for the TDI version. Once it is available I will be making the switch!
Medina Molly
VW's Tiguan is the best auto I've ever had - does well for country driving and gentle off-road use.  If the gas mileage were better, I would call it near perfect, so for now I'm just holding on to my 2010 model, hoping the diesel model will be available in the U.S. SOON.
Maybe VW will configure the 170 HP diesel for the U.S. for the Tiguan AND the GTD (please, please)!
Frank Merz
No diesel, no sale!
Tim D
I think volkswagon should take ther time on the Tiguan Diseal and get it done right and make sure there are no big mistakes.
Doug Moody
I have been writing and emailing VW and VW USA for the past two years pleading with them to bring the TDI Tiguan to the USA. I got emails responding "we're working on it, give us a couple of years." January 6, 2012 JEEP announced a Detroit-built 190 hp turbo-diesel Grand Cherokee that gets combined gas mileage of 28 mpg (highway mileage to be slightly higher) that will be available in 2013! Interestingly, this article verifies that 25% of VWs sales in the USA are equipped with their 140 hp TDI engine.....how many more clues does VW need to see they are missing a HUGE market here? I'm over waiting for VW and Subaru (who also promised a turbo diesel Forester for US markets but has delayed) to get their act together here in the US. I've decided to buy domestic and support the local economy with what will be my 4th Jeep.....a 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Turbo Diesel!
I just bought a 2012 Sportwagen TDI and I LUV it. Especially the DSG transmission! BUT, I would have bought the Tiguan (and spent more money - VW) if it had been available as a TDI. My big question after test driving the Tiguan was. Why no TDI? Get on with it VW!
John David Herman
Three years ago we drove 1,500 miles in a week in Spain with a Tiguan Diesel and loved it. Here in AZ I had a Jetta TDI that I gave to a son, and now I have a SportWagen TDI. These are great cars. And to make sure that I send as little of my money to Middle East petro-barons I use bio-Diesel as much as possible. I would hate to see VW lose out to M-B because they bring the GLK Diesel to the USA sooner than VW brings us the TIguan.
3 years? Sorry VW. Not going to wait for you to play catch up. You may have the market share of diesels now, but you will not keep it that way playing conservative. I'll just buy the Subaru when it comes out.
I would buy the Tiguan TDI today if it were available. Three more years to wait is too long. I will have to look into getting something else...
While you're at it VW, bring back the microbus concept from 2001 instead of the Bulli XB. Make it a TDI as well. The whole reason you didn't go forward back in 2005 with this beauty was because you expected no one would pay 35K for a family van. Well... have you seen the competition? Honda? Toyota? ahem... That was a bad gamble and I hope you don't continue looking into the same crystal ball. It's definitely flawed. Making TDI an option on all your vehicles is the smartest thing you can do to ensure your continued growth and dominance in auto sales for North America's mid-income car shopper.
I want it NOW actually I want is YESTERDAY! gimme my Tiguan TDI I will be first in line :)
Jon B.
My dream diesel Tiguan to replace my Ford Escape would be: 4-motion (AWD); ~3L TDI; 6+ gears, maybe 7 for highway use. It would have to be at least very good highway mileage. Can we order such a vehicle in another country and import it? -Jon
Golf Mk6 TDI Owner
I would go back to the VW dealer to get a Tiguan TDI to park next to my 2010 4dr Golf TDI with DSG. The Tiguan TDI would become my wife's Subaru Forester XT replacement. The Touareg TDI is too big and expensive for our little one-child family. I hope the Chattanooga plant gets to build the new Tiguan and VW can reliably increase production numbers of the 2-liter TDI engines.
Recently purchased a 2011 Jetta TDI and love it. I, too, am hoping for the Tiguan TDI. My next car will be a SUV and the only current option for a SUV with decent MPG is the Ford Escape Hybrid. Come on, VW; expedite the Tiguan TDI with the 170 hp engine.
Here we go again VW and the underpowered TDI, yes we want the 170hp tdi in the states NOW! and the tiguan needs a diesel engine for the USA as a option now! not 3yrs from now who's fcked up ideal was that, dont VW sell more TDI"s than any other engine duh! ALSO WANT THE GOLF TDI WITH 170HP TDI IN THE USA!
Gary Whitcutt
After owning a 2006 Jetta TDI for the past 5 years, I'm absolutely sold on the concept of the new diesel technology. The car is built as solid as a rock, maintenance is practically non-existent and I have no intention of ever selling such a great car that's also a blast to drive. With that in mind, my wife and I would LOVE to get our hands on a Tiguan TDI when they become available (our VW dealership just confirmed - June 2011 - that VW has made a committment to build a U.S. version). My only worry is that using the 2.0 litre I-4 which is well-suited for the smaller, lighter Jettas, GTIs, etc. may be underpowered for a heavier vehicle -- no matter what type of re-designed catalytic converter is used. It seems to me that the ideal TDI engine size for the Tiguan should be in the 2.5 litre range. There are some of us who, on ocassion, enjoy pulling a small boat, RV or utility trailer.
Mike B.
The 140hp TDI is the wrong choice for the Tiguan. Waaaay too slow. The 170hp TDI used in the Golf GTD makes much more sense.
Give us a 6 spd man 4 wheel drive version with the 2.0L TDI-CR, if you can make the new Passat work which is about the same weight you chould be able to make this work.
Matt Lampe
Very unfortunate...hopefully one of VW will make available a small diesel powered SUV before then, as my 335d lease will expire in 2014!

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