New Model Introductions
By Ron Amadon
The VW Tiguan had a growth spurt, and a big one. A new long-wheelbase model gains 10 inches in length over the current Tiguan with a hefty 57 percent gain in cargo carrying capacity. There is flexible seating for five passengers with a sliding second row and select models will offer third row seating along with all-wheel drive. At 185.2 inches long, the new Tiguan is roughly three inches longer than the Jetta. Power wise, VW is promising an updated version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four with 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque matched to an eight speed automatic.
In the early going Chevrolet revealed the redesigned midsize 2018 Traverse SUV that will go on sale this fall. Officials said it is expected to offer best-in-class third row legroom thanks to a two inch gain in wheelbase. Seven and eight inch infotainment systems will offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with charging ports in all three rows. Standard equipment will be a new 3.6-liter, V6 with an estimated 305 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque with a nine speed automatic up from the current six speed. GM says owners may get 25 mpg highway. A 2.0-liter turbo four will also be offered and that too will be paired with the nine speed automatic. Look for 255 horsepower with 295 lb-ft of torque, and yes, that is more than the six. The four is expected to deliver 20 mpg city and 23 highway. Cargo hauling should be more than adequate at 98.5 cubic feet with the second and third row seats folded.
An updated GLA was a highlight for Mercedes in the early hours of the show. There is a new look front and rear and a revised instrument panel to catch the eye of customers when the GLA250 and GLA45 hit showrooms this summer. Certainly, the new look is more aggressive and that should help it compete in one of the hottest segments of the SUV market. Powertrains remain the same.