Volkswagen Refreshes 2012 Tiguan with Better Fuel Economy, Facelift

If you ask us, the Volkswagen Tiguan is a relatively conservative-looking crossover, and the German automaker hasn’t deviated too far from the original with the new model.

For the 2012 model year, the small crossover will obviously take on the fresh family face, which consists of the new, two-bar front grille and redesigned headlights. LEDs have been hot in the auto industry, so the SEL trim’s headlights incorporate available LED daytime running lights with Bi-Xenon HIDs and the advanced headlight system (AFS). The trapezoidal foglight housings and lower center design element are ever so slightly retouched, and Volkswagen is certain the changes bring a “sporty and attractive new look.”

Out back, “double L” taillights continue the lighting changes, and a chrome accent piece is now added to the SE and SEL models. To further distinguish the top-of-the-line SEL, 19-inch “Savannah” alloy wheels will now be paired with the sport-tuned suspension for an exaggerated appearance. Pepper Gray paint is also joining the palette.

In the U.S., the new Tiguan will come with the same turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI inline-four engine, presumably with the identical 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet output figures. The engine is currently capable of delivering 20 city/25 highway mpg with front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission, but the 2012 model is supposedly ready to turn 29 highway mpg. EPA-certified numbers aren’t ready yet, but a 16-percent gain in highway fuel efficiency would certainly be eye-catching.

Current 2011 Tiguan fuel economies also include 18 city/26 highway mpg with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual, and 19 city/25 highway with 4Motion all-wheel drive and the six-speed auto. European customers are presented with seven engine choices, and the Tiguan’s greater popularity overseas means it makes the case for an optional 7-speed twin-clutch auto.

Inside, the entry-level S trim will receive new cloth seating surfaces colored black. SE customers get V-Tex leatherette in black or beige, and the SEL fits leather. Bluetooth comes standard on all models, as does auxiliary audio ports, power and heated side mirrors. A Dynaudio 300-watt sound system is featured with the pricier Tiguans.

Pricing will be announced at a later date and the 2012 Tiguan goes on sale this fall. We wouldn’t expect the starting price to stray far from the 2011 model’s $24,540 MSRP (includes $820 destination charge).

For more on all the world debuts from Geneva, including more photos, videos, and information, be sure to click over to our 2011 Geneva Motor Show coverage.