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2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: S vs SE, R-Line Black vs SEL & Premium R-Line

What 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan is all new. Shoppers will notice its driver-focused layout and the widespread use of today’s technologies. Trim levels include S, SE, R-Line Black, SEL, and Premium R-Line with 4Motion.

Advanced technologies, including a turbo engine and available all-wheel drive, move the Tiguan. Other advanced technologies entertain, including multi-function touchscreens and the VW Virtual Cockpit instrumentation screen. Finally, a big suite of standard safety systems have been added to this year’s model. Higher trims pick up even more driver assistance features.

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Compare the 2020 Tiguan S vs S with 4Motion. What is the Difference?

The regular S is a three-row SUV with a sliding, reclining, folding second-row bench. The rear bench split-folds as well. For cargo, three-row models have 33 cubic feet behind the second row and 65.7 cubic feet behind the first row.

If you prefer 4Motion all-wheel-drive, the SUV comes as a two-row vehicle unless you request a third row. Two-row Tiguans have 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space that expands to 73.5 cubic feet with the second row folded.

All Tiguan S cabins have a rhombus pattern cloth upholstery with gloss-grey and chrome trim elements. A multi-function trip computer, a large speedometer, and a large tachometer sit behind the multi-function steering wheel.

A 6.5-inch touch screen works like a tablet, letting you swipe and pinch. With this system, you don’t have to pay extra to get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or MirrorLink. Other infotainment features include a rearview camera, Bluetooth, App-Connect, an SD card reader, and a USB-C port. A data plan can net you WiFi.

Every Tiguan is powered by a fuel-saving four-cylinder turbo. This direct-injection engine generates 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission uses that torque to get heavy loads moving.

Rising higher than before, ground clearance is 7.9 inches. This year’s Tiguan was built with off-roading in mind, and there’s a special four-link rear suspension that can handle trail action. The SUV has a tight 26-degree approach angle and 23-degree departure angle.

If you choose the S with 4Motion, you are all set for snowy roads. This system can operate in front-wheel drive for fuel savings. When needed, the center differential engages and can move torque to the rear wheels. Standard on both S and S AWD models, electronic differential locks are made to target individual wheels.

Part of 4Motion is Active Control. This allows the driver to choose from four on-road settings which adjust everything from the suspension to the optional adaptive cruise control. Exclusive settings include a snow mode, and two off-road settings. Hill Descent Control is triggered by a 10-percent or steeper grade. It adjusts brakes and throttle when traveling between 1.2 and 19 mph.

Speaking of brakes, all Tiguans have a brake disc drying feature. Furthermore, hydraulic brake assist makes stopping faster. A new standard, autonomous emergency braking responds to a collision danger or pedestrian warning. Watching the sides during forward and reverse travel, Tiguans have a Side Assist blind spot monitor and a rear traffic alert. An exclusive Automatic Post-Collision Braking System minimizes the chances of a secondary crash. The exclusive Intelligent Crash Response System turns on lights and unlocks doors.

All Tiguans are offering an updated Car-Net system. Some services are offered at no charge for five years. This includes an updated mobile app with remote access. This may lock and unlock the Tiguan, honk the horn, flash the lights, and remotely start or stop the engine. The SUVs have a 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. They also come with a two-year/20,000-mile scheduled maintenance plan.

Compare the 2020 Tiguan S vs SE Trims. What is the difference?

Like the S, the SE is a three-row, front-wheel drive SUV that can be upgraded to a two-row or three-row SUV with all-wheel drive. S and SE models have halogen headlights, LED running lights, LED tail lights, and heated side mirrors. However, SE models do have their own special 17-inch wheels.

The second-tier SE definitely adds a richer feel with its V-Tex leatherette seats and steering wheel. It also gains dual-zone Climatronic controls and heated front seats. KESSY keyless access includes push-button start. Drivers will appreciate the standard wireless charger.

Volkswagen upgrades the Color Composition Media unit to a larger 8-inch touch screen. Added equipment includes a JPEG viewer, three USB-A ports, and HD radio. SMS text messaging and Bluetooth phone make it easy to keep in touch while keeping your hands on the wheel.

Compare the 2020 Tiguan SE vs SE R-Line Black. What is the Difference?

The SE R-Line Black trim builds on or replaces features on the SE. There are special black roof rails and 20-inch wheels. Special black-accented R-line bumpers and other R-Line accents really set this Tiguan apart from the others.

Cabins have more decorative elements including a black headliner. Best of all, the Volkswagen panoramic sunroof is standard. This large glass expanse has been specially designed for aerodynamics and acoustics. The front is a tilt-and-slide sunroof. The rear is a fixed glass panel.

Like the regular SE, the SE R-Line Black trim is a front-wheel drive model with three rows. It can be upgraded with 4Motion and the two-row cabin. Once again, three rows is optional at this level.

The R-Line Black model is the first trim to get Park Distance Control. Drivers will appreciate the help of ultrasonic sensors up front and in back. It activates when the SUV is driving below 9 miles per hour. It provides visual and audible warnings.

Operating from 1 to 5 miles per hour, the Maneuver Braking system watches for stationary objects. This system can brake if it detects an object when going forward or in reverse.

Another unique safety feature is the R-Line's cornering fog lights. They provide better views of the road by moving in the direction of the wheels. It should help drivers see ahead into a curve or a turn. As with all of Volkswagen's safety aids, the goal is to inform the driver faster about dangers, allowing quicker response times.

Compare the 2020 Tiguan SE vs SEL Trims. What is the difference?

Building on the regular SE, SEL models offer a more refined look. Exteriors have rain-sensing wipers and 19-inch wheels. Interior standards include the panoramic moonroof, a heated steering wheel, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The cargo hold is easily accessed with a power liftgate.

SEL models exchange the SE Composition Media 8-inch screen for the Discover Media 8-inch screen. This adds 2.5D navigation, predictive destination, and one-shot voice destination entry.

Best of all, the SEL gets the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit. This exciting display stretches the length of the instrumentation panel. You can put key data, including navigation, right where you want it for easy viewing.

Additional safety equipment includes Lane Assist. In addition to a flashing LED symbol indicating cars in the blind spot, a helpful vibration warns the driver if the Tiguan is moving out of the lane lines. Remarkably, the system can countersteer if the Tiguan is turning into the path of a neighboring car. Drivers must remember that this is designed to help, but it cannot eliminate all dangers.

The rear traffic alert system has a 180-degree view that reaches 65 feet. Visual and acoustic warnings tell the driver that traffic is coming. Automatic braking is ready to intervene, if necessary.

Adaptive Cruise Control and the active Lane Keeping System are sure to take stress off the driver. ACC regulates travel based on driver input and traffic conditions. The Lane Keeping System activates at 40 miles per hour. It will actively countersteer to maintain the lane. If it recognizes that the driver has removed hands from the wheel, it will audibly and visually ask the driver to take the wheel.

Shoppers can choose the SEL with 4Motion to get all-wheel drive. This comes with the two-row cabin and the three-row option.

Compare the 2020 Tiguan SEL vs SEL Premium R-Line with 4Motion. What is the difference?

Both the SEL and SEL Premium R-Line have the Digital Cockpit, Discover Media, and navigation. SEL Premium R-Line add many more luxuries, a premium audio system, and additional safety systems. Drivers enjoy a leather-wrapped, power-heat steering wheel. Other luxuries include the panoramic sunroof and leather upholstery. An Easy Open power liftgate is triggered by a light kick under the rear bumper. Exclusive to Volkswagen, a similar kick can trigger an Easy Close feature.

SEL Premium R-Line models have the R-Line bumper, a rear sport valance, and silver roof rails. The dressy exterior picks up LED headlights and 20-inch wheels. Power-folding side mirrors have puddle lights to welcome passengers. The R-Line is the only model where 4Motion all-wheel drive is the only option. If you want front-wheel drive, you will need to stick with the SEL.

The Adaptive Front-lighting System and Light Assist ensure that light is right where it is needed. AFS adjusts the light’s path to match the SUV’s. High Beam Control turns down the brights under 18 mph, turns the brights up on empty roads at 37 mph, and regulates the light level whenever needed for oncoming traffic. The rearview camera is upgraded to an Overhead View Camera. There are four cameras to show the perimeter of the SUV.

For powerful sound, a Fender System adds a 480-watt, 12-channel amp and a Bassman Subwoofer. Nine speakers include special front-door speakers. These Super Twin units improve sound with 200 mm dual voice-coil woofers.

Buying Tip: To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals,   Edmunds,   CarsDirect,   NADAguides  &  Motortrend. These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Trim to Choose?

The 4Motion trims will be tempting to many buyers. For one, they are perfect if your winters are snowy or icy. Also, if you want to try off-roading, these are the trims for you. In yet another way, 4Motion trims are good for those who want the Tiguan but really don’t want three rows. After all, the two-row model has the most generous cargo space. It's the one for singles and couples who have lots of sporting or camping gear. Unfortunately, this still doesn’t narrow down your choices because 4Motion is offered on all trims.

In some line-ups, you would need to step up, but Volkswagen has created a value package out of its least expensive Tiguan. The S has the dash technology and critical safety features that today’s shopper really should expect in a new vehicle. The quality of VW cabins really shines through here, and shoppers may not feel the need to go any further.

On the other hand, the SE has that handsome leatherette seating. You also get the more sophisticated 8-inch touch screen. Plus, this trim offers you many options, such as the panoramic sunroof. So, you can tailor your Tiguan SE with just a few specific extras. That keeps you within your budget, but you get to splurge on the things that matter most to you.

The SE R-Line Black will tempt those who are focused on appearances. It’s just so much sportier than most of the others. It has all of that cool parking technology and those cornering fog lights. You can enjoy open air travel with the panoramic sunroof. 4Motion can make it even more fun by letting you go on trail excursions.

Luxury shoppers may stop at the SEL. It is packed with so much more technology and many more conveniences. If winters are long, nothing beats heated seats and a heated steering wheel. SEL drivers will love the combination of adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assistance. This step toward automation really makes commuting and long-distance travel much more pleasant.

A few luxury shoppers will feel they must go for the SEL Premium R-Line. That Fender system is sure to appeal to any audiophile. Lovely leather and other upgrades add elegance to the cabin. At this level, you’ve got every new safety system you can get, and that should make you feel confident even when the kids are trying to distract you. Then there's the sporty exterior with its promise of adventure. And you can take them any time, since this is the Tiguan model that doesn't require an upgrade. It comes with all-wheel drive, Active Control, and true off-road readiness.

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