2023 VW Tiguan to get ‘R’ performance plug-in hybrid: Report [Update]

  • Third generation of Volkswagen's global compact SUV appears to have grown
  • Should continue in Hybrid & Plug-in Hybrid variants with higher efficiency
  • U.S. line-up confirmed to include a high-performance variant
  • Will debut in H2 2023; U.S. sales may start in late 2023

Update: ‘Release Date’ section updated.

The second-gen VW Tiguan received its customary mid-life facelift in 2020, encompassing soft changes. In the coming months, the next-gen VW Tiguan, sporting comprehensive updates, will replace the current generation that debuted in late 2015. Unlike today, the 2023 VW Tiguan will have not one but two plug-in hybrid variants, as reported by the German press.

The Tiguan is the best-selling Volkswagen worldwide. In the U.S., VW has let their long-standing Golf and Passat models die, placing higher expectations from the Tiguan, which is also currently the best-selling car for VW of America. Here’s what we know of the next-generation Volkswagen SUV:


In 2020, former Volkswagen Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess had shared an update on Linkedin of the company adapting to the Coronavirus lockdown. He said the company approved a vehicle design direction via web meetings for the first time. Along with the post, Diess showed a blurred video screen on the wall behind him that had an unidentified red crossover SUV with a soft styling (set as the featured picture of this story). Back then, speculations were that Dr. Diess had just approved the design of the next-gen VW Tiguan.

Spy shots captured during testing on European roads (view on CarBuzz) reveal some of the design changes for the Tiguan. When designers gave the Tiguan its mid-life facelift in the second generation, they made the SUV’s face more expressive. Now, they have prepared a more extensive character change for the compact SUV, one that gives a better definition to its profile as well.

2024 VW Tiguan front three quarter rendering
The next-gen VW Tiguan will likely have a sportier and friendlier styling spread evenly at all angles. Image Source: YouTube/AutoYa

The Tiguan looks confident following the facelift in the second generation. In the third generation, it could get even more so, with a significantly larger lower air intake that’s visibly taller. Although Auto Bild indicates in one of the renderings it published on October 10, 2022, that the upper grille may become considerably shorter, forming just a slim plaque. The headlamps could lose their horizontal extensions on the upper edge. While new generations call for refreshing designs, we like the upper front fascia of the current model better than the expected look of the next-gen model.

The next-gen Tiguan’s hood and roof slope to a greater degree, a change particularly visible on the latter. The hood seems taller and features a more muscular design. The rear overhang looks longer and more upswept, while the C-pillar is more raked. Also worth noting is a new belt line that swiftly rises at the end of the rear doors and sweeps up at a much greater angle at the lower edge of the quarter glass. Overall, the next-gen Tiguan is a more dynamic and confident SUV.

Spotted on test

A cleverly disguised test mule of the new Tiguan was spotted up in the Alps near Austria, as per an upload by CarSpyMedia on December 10, 2022. Possibly, the vehicle being tested is a hybrid model of the third-gen Tiguan. The spy footage shows a Passat Estate (Station Wagon) trailing it, with a ‘Brake Test’ cautionary message on the tailgate.

Source: CarSpyMedia/Youtube

This indicates that the Tiguan prototype captured here was undergoing brake tests. The case for this grows stronger when you look closer at the wheels, each seemingly fitted with testing equipment. The trials were being conducted not far from Salzburg, where the breathtaking yet twisty terrain in the region ranges between 6,000 to over 8,300 feet in altitude.

Interior & Features

Bigger infotainment system

According to a report from Auto Zeitung, the next-gen VW Tiguan’s interior should be more digital and focus on connectivity. The Tiguan is an always-online model since it adopted the MIB3 infotainment systems with the mid-cycle refresh in the second generation in 2020.

VW ID.7 infotainment system close view digital version
The 2023 VW Tiguan’s infotainment system, including the shape and interface, looks similar to the VW ID.7’s 15-inch unit (pictured). Image Source: Volkswagen Group

The touchscreen infotainment system will be a brand-new unit. Going by its shape and size, it’s related to the 15-inch (1560×700 pixel) free-standing infotainment system of the VW ID.7 that is compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto. That would be a substantial upgrade over the current dashboard-integrated 8-inch unit which is small as per the latest industry standards.

Instead of touch sliders, the infotainment system of the next-gen Tiguan will feature a rotary controller, positioned on the center console, Autocar reported on February 15, 2023. Volkswagen has learned from customers of Golf and ID. models that touch sliders are inconvenient and impractical. Tiguan customers are accustomed to using rotary/push-button controls, one on each side of the touchscreen infotainment system. Physical controls are generally more intuitive and less distracting than digital controls.

Conventional steering wheel

The next-gen Tiguan should feature Volkswagen’s conventional steering wheel. The company has developed a new steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls for its ID. electric models. However, as customers largely dislike the capacitve steering wheel controls, the company has decided to revert to the push-button type, as per an Autocar report dated October 26, 2022.

Increased boot space

Spy pictures indicate that the next-gen Tiguan will have a longer rear overhang for improved cargo space, perhaps up 10 percent. Below are the measurements of the current model for reference:

ConfigurationEuro Tiguan Cargo SpaceU.S. Tiguan Cargo Space
5-seat Tiguan NWB615-1,655 litersNot Available
5-seat Tiguan LWB760-1,920 liters37.6-73.4 cu. ft.
7-seat Tiguan LWB700-1,755 liters12.0-65.3 cu. ft.
Second-gen VW Tiguan cargo space (Sources: Volkswagen and Volkswagen)

Note: ‘NWB’ and ‘LWB’ are abbreviations of ‘Normal Wheelbase’ and ‘Long Wheelbase,’ the internal destinations used to differentiate the two wheelbase versions of the second-gen Tiguan. The U.S. only gets the LWB version.

Rechargeable Powertrains

Plug-in Hybrid

While demand for pure-electric vehicles is surging, plug-in hybrids will continue to rake in business in many markets in the coming years. Customers who need a higher driving range, live where there aren’t enough public charging stations or don’t have the budget for a second car, find PHEVs suitable.

The standard 2023 Tiguan PHEV could employ a 1.5-liter turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor. According to a report Auto Express published on January 5, 2023, the system could produce 238 hp.

VW Tiguan plug-in hybrid which will be replaced by the 2023 VW Tiguan with 100 km EV range
The 2023 VW Tiguan eHybrid will deliver a pure electric range of 100 km (62 miles), double that of today’s car (pictured). Image Source: Volkswagen Group

The next-gen VW Tiguan PHEV should have a pure-electric range of around 100 km or 62 miles as per Europe’s WLTP, which is double that of today.

We will still need combustion engines for a while, but they should be as efficient as possible, which is why the next generation of our core products – all of which are world models – will also be fitted with the latest generation of plug-in hybrid technology, with an electric range of up to 100 kilometers.

Ralf Brandstätter, former CEO, Volkswagen, during the announcement of the Accelerate strategy in March 2021

In November 2021, in an interview with Auto Bild, former Volkswagen Passenger Cars CEO Ralf Brandstätter reaffirmed a pure electric range of 100 km (62 miles) for the next-gen Tiguan plug-in hybrid. Talking about the future models to be produced at the Volkswagen Wolfsburg plant, he said that the company was examining all options since March 2021 – Tiguan, Tayron, Golf – all with the new-generation plug-in hybrid system that offers a pure electric range of 100 km (62 miles).


According to an older auto motor und sport report, the next-gen 2023 VW Tiguan will also come in an R plug-in hybrid variant. If introduced, the 2023 VW Tiguan R will be a plug-in hybrid high-performance SUV. It won’t be the first PHEV Volkswagen R model, though – the Touareg R PHEV claimed that title in 2020. The Tiguan R will likely come strapped with a 2.0-liter single-turbo inline four-cylinder gasoline engine, that should deliver north of 300 hp.

VW Tiguan Electric

Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen Passenger Cars are dropping hints for the VW Tiguan EV, stirring speculations in the media a few years ahead of the possible launch. At the company’s Extraordinary General Meeting 2022 on December 16, 2022, CEO Oliver Blume said the Volkswagen brand (Volkswagen Passenger Cars) is “examining” how to take icons such as the Golf and Tiguan into the electric future. Later, in an interview with Swiss publication Blick, Volkswagen Passenger Cars CEO Thomas Schäfer built on that statement with a rhetorical question:

Golf and Tiguan are iconic models, almost separate brands within the VW brand. Does it make sense to throw away these two assets? Definitely not. With the Trinity delay, we may well need some products that build a bridge between the two ages.

Thomas Schäfer, CEO, Volkswagen Passenger Cars (Blick interview published on February 8, 2023)

If approved, the VW ID. Tiguan (all-electric Tiguan) can be expected to arrive by the end of this decade. As with ID.4 and ID.5, it will be a bespoke EV, not a conversion.

No LWB version

The European media has reported that the next-gen 2023 VW Tiguan line-up won’t include the Allspace long-wheelbase version. According to a report Auto Bild published in its December 29, 2022, issue, Volkswagen no longer wants to offer the Tiguan as an Allspace.

The Tiguan LWB has proven its popularity worldwide with a share of 55% in global production, and the company could be planning a standalone model to replace the seven-seat variant.

Citing an internally circulated document, Automotive News Europe reported in 2020 that Volkswagen plans to manufacture a new SUV based on the Chinese market VW Tayron at the Wolfsburg plant in Germany from 2024. In the Auto Bild interview in November 2021, Brandstätter revealed that Volkswagen is considering making the VW Tayron in Wolfsburg. The German-made Tayron could be the Tiguan Allspace‘s successor, with all-round improvements.

Release Date

The next-gen VW Tiguan will have its world premiere in the second half of 2023, Schäfer announced during Volkswagen Annual Media Call 2023 on March 15, 2023. It could go on sale in Q3 2023 in Europe.

In June, we will be launching the ID. Buzz LWB: LWB stands for long wheelbase – a wheelbase extended by 25 centimeters, offering up to seven seats. In the second half of the year, the very important new generations of the Passat and Tiguan will follow, and an update of the T-Cross.

Thomas Schäfer, CEO, Volkswagen Passenger Cars (Volkswagen Annual Media Call 2023, on March 15, 2023)
VW 2023 product pipeline Thomas Schäfer

U.S. launch

Volkswagen is bringing down the next-gen Tiguan to America. “I can confirm Tiguan will have a successor (in the U.S.),” Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President of Product and Strategy at Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA), told CarBuzz in July 2022.

Schafer was talking about introducing performance SUVs in the U.S. A part of that discussion was about how VWGoA couldn’t introduce the Tiguan R, which is exclusively standard-wheelbase. The U.S. will get the next-gen Tiguan in a performance variant, although it is not yet clear whether that will be a Tiguan R or something else entirely. Expect the next-gen compact SUV as an MY2024 product, followed by performance versions.

TopElectricSUV says

The third-gen Tiguan should pack extensive changes in all aspects influencing the purchase decision, including design, comfort, space, convenience, and safety. Expecting it to be the final generation with an internal combustion engine, Volkswagen may throw everything at it, offering the best performance and efficiency to date on its compact crossover. Plus, with the company hinting at a potential U.S. launch of something similar to the Tiguan R, the third-generation model could be one of the hottest launches of 2023!

2023 VW Tiguan FAQs

What is the next-gen VW Tiguan release date?

The next-gen VW Tiguan will debut in H2 2023. It is expected in the U.S. as the MY2024.

Which models will the 2023 VW Tiguan compete with?

Alternatives to the 2023 VW Tiguan would include the Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, and Honda CR-V.

What is the expected price of the next-gen VW Tiguan PHEV?

The price of the next-gen Tiguan eHybrid should fall in the EUR 40,000-45,000 bracket.

Featured image: Herbert Diess via Linkedin