Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) has announced plans to introduce the new Tiguan and facelifted Beetle by the second quarter of this year. The duo will be joined by limited editions of its core models, which include the CKD Polo, Vento, Jetta and Passat in Malaysia.

Of the upcoming duo, the Tiguan is the more significant. At the launch of the B8 Passat in November 2016, VPCM revealed that the second-generation Tiguan will be introduced here this year, and that the SUV will be CKD locally assembled. Now we know that it’s sooner rather than later in 2017. The car has been spotted roaming in Malaysia with covered badges and Pahang trade plates.

Unveiled at IAA 2015, the new Tiguan is no rehash of the awkward Typ 5N but a complete reboot sitting on VW’s modular MQB platform that also underpins the current Mk7 Golf. It wears a sharp suit and has a larger footprint – 60 mm longer, 30 mm wider and 33 mm lower, with a 77 mm longer wheelbase. Boot space is up as well, by 145 litres to make 615 litres, or 1,655 litres with the rear seats folded. New tech means that despite the size increase, it’s over 50 kg lighter than before.

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VW’s usual range of turbocharged TSI and TDI engines are available, and the Euro 6 motors are up to 24% more fuel efficient than the previous batch. 4Motion all-wheel drive with a fifth-generation Haldex coupling is available. Along with the Haldex coupling that acts as a longitudinal lock, the electronic differential locks (EDS) integrated in the ESC act as transverse locks for all four wheels.

There’s a new 4Motion Active Control switch on the centre console. Four selectable profiles are available – two road (Onroad and Snow) and two off-road (Offroad and Offroad Individual). AWD Tiguans have 11 mm higher ground clearance (200 instead of 189 mm), and there’s a special off-road front end with an approach angle of 25.6 instead of 18.3 degrees. The SUV is available in Trendline, Comfortline and Highline equipment lines, plus a sporty new R-Line look.

The Beetle was refreshed in May last year. No big change to the new age Bug’s iconic design, but the bumpers in the Basic and Design lines have been redesigned and are now flatter/sportier. The R-Line equipment line (formerly called Beetle Sport) gets its own new bumpers as well, with an additional vent opening above it.

Other highlights include tinted LED rear lights, 17-inch “Philadelphia” wheels and the 18-inch “Ravenna Adamantium” wheels, which are optional for the Design Line and R-Line.

Inside, brighter instrument panel lighting, a new dial and dashpad styling for the Design Line and R-Line are the improvements. VW has new three new upholstery materials and contemporary style packages for personalisation. Also available is the “Black Style Package” which gives one a black finish on the wheels, mirror caps and roof.

The optional R-Line interior package sports R-Line logos on the sill panel mouldings and on the head restraints, as well as an R-Line sport steering wheel. It can be ordered with “Kyalami” fabric seats or with “Vienna” leather. These lines are available globally, but we’re not sure which ones will come to Malaysia. The R-Line is unlikely, but we’ll see.

GALLERY: Volkswagen Tiguan at IAA 2015


GALLERY: 2016 Volkswagen Beetle