2023 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line Black – New Tech, White Tiger -uan, Re- Driven Review

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black 3-Row: oversized Teutonic compact CUV is back from last year's facial and tech refresh.

PEOPLE’S BIG JUNGLE CAT & LIZARD ROARING LINE : On the road to battery electrified de-carbonization it was revealed that half a Tiger and half an Iguana inspired a more useful modern People’s Car than did a Beetle. To its credit Germany’s volume automaker, Volkswagen, has kept cars and manual transmissions relevant in the final gasp of fossil fuel vehicle development. However, for now, VW of America’s profitability lies in the internal combustion crossover utility vehicle.

WHY A RE-DRIVE?: After getting the gist of the deserved commotion surrounding a new for 2018 Mk. 2 VW Tiguan mid size CUV, Roadblazing.com staffers contorted for a supplemental vestigial bench in a 2019 three row variant. Last year brought some design language consistent with the brands move towards electrification and some either truly needed or much despised cabin technology. It has all been been sportily packaged into a mid trim 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black .

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black Driving Hits:

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black 3-Row: Miller Cycle turbo gas EA-888 I-4 churns out 220 lb-ft, delivering 28 miles per gallon with the 8-speed manumatic transaxle
  • turbocharged DI DOHC gas 2.0L I-4
  • 184 hp, 221 lb-ft of torque feels pumped at low 1500 rpm
  • Genuine torque converter 8-speed automatic transaxle
  • 28 miles per gallon, combined driving
  • 453 miles highway range, 15.3 gallons regular unleaded fuel
  • Solid MQB platform
  • Smoothly taut road behavior from fully independent suspension
  • Above par steering assist heft
  • Model of muted cabin

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black Driving Misses:

  • Powerplant slogs at WOT with nearly 4000 pounds
  • Suspension fights 4000 pounds in the corners
  • Transaxle loves highest possible gear
  • Stingy low on absolute road feel
  • Four wheel disc brakes pedal feedback lethargic until end of pedal travel
  • Front wheel drive exclusively – 4Motion AWD no longer available on 3 Row Tiguans

What 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE Has Got:

  • From $28,245 (incl. destination) for a front-wheel drive 8-speed tiptronic automatic 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan S. The tested front drive 2023 VW Tiguan SE R-Line Black Premium R-Line 3-Row is priced at an approachable $34,640.
  • Straddles large compact to small mid-size, with segment rare available third row (exclusive w/ front-wheel drive), with a sporty creased SUV look.
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black 3-Row: MSRP for this all accents darkened, stylish trim = $34k
  • ‘Twas New for ’22: More stern face courtesy of revised slim upper darkened eggcrate grille cradling thin segmented LED headlamps, changing intensity front amber directionals (cribbing Volvo’s “Thor’s Hammer”), upper and lower grille and lighting chrome band, with darkened farfalle upper and lower air dam. The 2023 VW Tiguan now better resembles the compact gas Taos and forthcoming 2024 Atlas CUVs, continuing a prominent roof spoiler, segmented lateral taillamps w/ bumper cover spanning red reflector bar.
    • New for ’23: R-Line Black optional exclusively on SE trim
      • Piano Black grille, front air-dam, and rear lower fascia inserts
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black 3-Row: new widened slim grille w/ subtle “Thor’s Hammer white lateral LED directional and bow-tie lower fascia insert were new in 2022.
      • darkened R-Line badges inset in front grille, and on revised thin upper fender to front door spanning simulated vent
      • darkened window borders, mirror caps, lower body crease character band
      • 19″ gloss black wheels (up from 17″ S and 18″ SE)
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black 3-Row: R-Line Black is exclusively available on mid SE trims.
  • Squeak and rattle free
  • Tight weave carpeting even on cargo area walls
  • Rides high
  • Supportive front seat bolstering
  • 3rd Row for 7 occupant capacity (front wheel drive exclusive); 2-Row seating standard w/ 4Motion all-wheel drive
    • forward jacknife sliding split 2nd Row seats to 3rd Row access w/ 3rd Row occupant strap releases
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black 3-Row: tilt & slide Row 3 passage
  • Sliding pitch & adjustable tilt manual adjust 2nd Row split bench seats
  • Impressive cargo capacity aft of 1st Row
    • 12 cu. ft. / 33.0 cu.ft / 65.3 cu.ft. post 3rd/ 2nd/ 1st row cargo capacity
    • -11% maximum cargo capacity vs. VW Tiguan 2-Row
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black 3-Row: 65.3 maximum cu. ft. cargo space = 11% < Tiguan 2-Row
  • 40/20/40 split nearly flat folding 2nd Row seat backs
  • Intuitive controls with a dash of German refinement
  • Above par standard feature set
    • Heated mirrors, front seats, headlamp washers, Power windows, full express x 4
    • Keyless entry, push button ignition
    • Air conditioned manual climate control; Cruise control
    • 8.0″ -inch Digital Cockpit color, 3 display layout, instrument cluster
    • Bluetooth wireless communications and music stream
    • ‘Twas New for ’22: 8.0″-inch MIB 3.0 Composition touch LCD media display (MIB 2.0 standard on S), +1 retains twin shaft volume + tuning knobs
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black 3-Row: business like cockpit w/ MIB 3.0 infotainment, haptic touch switches & 3 variation Digital Cockpit displays phone projection navigation directions
    • 6 speaker audio
    • Android Auto, AppleCar Play and MirrorLink phone projection (wireless on SE and up)
    • Wi-Fi
    • USB-C x 4 (2 on SE), 12V X 2
    • Inductive wireless device charging (SE and up)
  • Good safety features & grades
    • IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus (2022 MY)
    • Six (6) airbags; LED head and tail lights; High definition rear camera; Forward Collision avoidance w/ pedestrian & cyclist detection braking,
    • Driver assist tech enhanced I.Q. Drive standard on SE and up (optional on S): Blind spot & rear cross traffic warning & avoidance braking; Adaptive cruise control, stop & go; Lane keep assist, Travel Assist semi-autonomy; Auto high beam LED headlamps
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black 3-Row: driving with ADAS & Android Auto projection on the 8.0″ Composition touch media display
    • 4 years / 50,000 miles bumper to bumper warranty; 2 years scheduled maintenance


What 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan It Has Not (or Not Preferred):

  • 4Motion all-wheel drive UNAVAILABLE with 3 rows
  • 25.2″-inches 3rd Row legroom = only adult contortionists can fit
  • Low cabin material contrast, coarser hard surfaces below waist and at walls
  • Instrument panel illumination only accessible via infotainment when parked
  • 10.25″ -inch variable Digital Cockpit Pro (w/ in screen navigation map) only on SEL
  • Level 2 Driver autonomy optional on S trim
  • S trim retains old MIB 2 media display
  • Fixed distance front center storage bin lid too distant from steering wheel telescoped to the max
  • No USB-A ports
  • 2 years / 22k miles shorter warranty from 2019 MY

Standout Cool 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black Feature(s):

  • 2-zone Climatronic auto climate control, haptics controls
  • Sonar front & rear park distance audible warning
  • Panorama tilt and slide power moonroof w/ power sliding sun screen

    2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black 3-Row: 3rd Row occupant view forward
  • Variable night door panel, cabin & moonroof frame accent illumination – 15 colors
  • Leatherette seats, heated front, 8-way power driver’s w/ lumbar, 6-way manual passenger’s,
  • Leather wrapped “R-Line” steering wheel, haptics controls
  • Heated windshield wiper blade ledge & washer nozzles
  • Power liftgate
  • ** Excellent base audio system depth and spatiality


2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black FWD = People’s Crossover is a legitimate value with more mature menacing look and latest in Teutonic cabin tech. (TIP: save $1200 by skipping the Darth Vader trim look and getting 4Motion all-wheel drive.)


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WHAT: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion 2- or 3- Row off-road capable, plus-sized compact crossover utility vehicle.

Power: transverse 2.0L DOHC 16V SI intercooled turbocharged gas I-4 = 184 hp/ 221 lb-ft + 8-spd. torque converter planetary automatic transaxle + Haldex PTU to multi-plate wet clutch differential torque vectoring variable all-wheel drive.

WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE: Built on the MQB modular platform, a chip off the Chattanooga built Atlas full-sizer block, chunkier than before, reminiscent of the Range Rover Mk. 2 (P38A);


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