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For those wanting an oil burning Tiguan in the United States, it seems that Volkswagen is full of empty promises. When its baby SUV was first introduced here in 2008, execs said that adding a diesel variant to the U.S. line up was a possibility.
Now, more than three years on, the Tiguan is into its first makeover and there’s still no diesel available, though VW is saying that it might be on the cards for 2015.
According to VW product planner John Ryan, the problem isn’t due to lack of customer interest, far from it in fact. “Everybody is asking for one,” he says. “Dealers are asking, customers are asking.” No doubt interest in a diesel Tiguan has been spurred by rising gas prices across the U.S. this year.
However, the problem of actually selling one on these shores is down to two major factors: emissions requirements and supply. In order to meet U.S. smog standards, an oil burning Tiguan would have to incorporate an Ad Blue type Urea injection system, which costs significantly more than the Nitrous Oxide canisters found on the Jetta and Golf TDI models. This would bump up the price of the Tiguan and likely render it uncompetitive against other small SUVs stateside. (It’s already one of the most expensive in the segment).
The other problem is being able to build enough of them to satisfy demand. Given that Tiguans for our market are imported for Europe and most home market sales are diesels, the largest market needs feeding first, which could hamper availability for American buyers.
Nevertheless, Ryan says that these obstacles could be overcome, though it will probably be another three years before a TDI Tiguan could actually materialize on these shores, as part of the next generation lineup. Third time lucky? Let’s hope so.