Last June, along with a facelift, the Tiguan compact SUV got a number of new variants, the most interesting of which is the sporty Tiguan R.

Although it was launched in Europe last year, the Tiguan R will arrive in North America this fall as a 2022 model year. It sits at the top of the SUV’s range and promises a sportier driving experience without sacrificing its practicality.

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Using the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as the Golf R, it has 315 HP (320 PS / 235 kW) and 310 lb-ft (420 Nm) of torque. This enables a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) acceleration in 4.9 seconds in the ‘R’ driving mode with the launch control engaged, and a 155 mph (250 km/h) top speed. The engine drives all four wheels through a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission.

Besides the meaty lump, the 2021 Tiguan R has upgraded brakes and a specially tuned suspension with adaptive shock absorbers. It rides on standard 20-inch wheels, but in some markets, Volkswagen is offering a 21-inch set at no extra cost. The Akrapovic titanium exhaust system does bump the price of the sporty SUV beyond the recommended retail price of €56,703.53 ($68,966) in Germany and £45,915 ($64,205) in the UK. We don’t know yet how much it will cost in the U.S., but expect to pay more than the SEL Premium R-Line, which is the current range-topper of the series and comes with an MSRP of $39,095.

So, is the Tiguan R worth considering? It depends on what you want your next ride to do, but if you’re interested in it, then you should check out the following review which highlights some of the sporty SUV’s strong and weak points.