If you’ve been waiting for a diesel version of the Volkswagen Tiguan to arrive in the U.S., you’ll have to wait at least three more years. It’s not because there’s no demand for it. Volkswagen executives say that dealers and consumers have been clamoring for the TDI version ever since the launching of the 2009 model year Tiguan in 2008.
Back then, VW said that it was studying the possibility of a diesel-powered variant in the U.S. However, VW is still saying the same thing as it launches the revised 2012 Tiguan.
VW product planner John Ryan said that there’s a huge demand, considering that the European-spec models are 27% more efficient than similar models that feature VW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline I-4.
Ryan revealed that cost is one of the main reasons for the holdup. Diesel engine technology isn’t extremely expensive but it will take a lot of money to reduce the emission levels to meet current standards. Tiguan TDI models use the 2.0-liter turbodiesel I-4 that’s also used on the Golf TDI and Jetta TDI.
However, Ryan said that the as the Tiguan is heavier, it requires the use of a urea-based catalyst system (known as AdBlue) rather than the nitrous oxide storage canister used on the smaller TDI-equipped models.
VW already utilizes AdBlue on the Passat TDI and the Touareg TDI but its design costs higher than a comparable NOx system. This isn’t so much a problem on premium models like the Touareg but the Tiguan is an entry-level vehicle. It would be difficult to raise the price without making the vehicle uncompetitive.