2.0L TSI Turbo I4 16V
200 @ 5,100–6,000
207 @ 1,700–5,000
45 (winter tires)
Min: 470L Mid: 700L Max: 1600L
Introduced back in 2009, the Volkswagen Tiguan instantly became a smashing hit all over the world. Since then, the numerous yearly improvements it has gone through have managed to keep the model competitive in a segment that is quickly getting over-saturated.
Off to a great start, just like every VAG product based on the Golf’s platform, the Tiguan was available in a variety of trim levels and the choice between AWD (4Motion) and FWD. Today, pricing has become a bit aggressive, as at just $24,990 you can get into a Trendline FWD model, while our test vehicle was a Comfortline 4Motion (AWD) with a base price of $34,700. However, it came with some extra toys worth $3,825 (Technology and Appearance packages) reaching a grand total of $38,525. Standard equipment includes 8-way power adjustable driver seat with lumbar support, bluetooth connectivity with voice commands, dual zone climate control, stability control, leather wrapped multifunctional steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, power mirrors and windows and rear view camera. The optional technology package ($2,075) includes Navigation with a single CD player and an LCD touchscreen, a 30GB hard drive for your media, a fantastic Fender audio system with 8 speakers and a sweet sounding subwoofer and finally, keyless entry with push-button start. Included in the appearance package ($1,750) are the 18” alloys, aluminum pedals, Bi-Xenon adaptive headlights, LED daytime running lights and silver roof rails.
The exterior design is maturing well and till today it is very appealing. It looks like a shrunken Touareg but from some angles it looks like the proportions are a bit off. Bottom line, it does deliver the looks of an off-road capable little crossover that can also tackle urban living.
Inside the cabin, few soft to the touch materials have been used to improve the overall quality feel. Fit and finish are great and all panels feel robust, while the design is upright utilitarian making the most out of the available space. Ergonomically everything is nicely laid out and the switch gear is smooth. Without taking practicality to a whole new level, functionality was clearly the main focus of the design. Keeping in mind that the overall size is rather compact, the roominess for the passengers in the front seats is great, while the rear bench in the default position can brag about offering very decent headroom and legroom. And when we say “default position”, we mean when the sliding bench is pushed all the way to the back. Cleverly, when your cargo loading demands are higher than your rear passenger space, you can slide the split bench forward to increase trunk space without totally giving up the back seats. Also, the rear seats can recline, so figuring out a sweet spot between passenger volume and cargo space is done easily. Impressively, the trunk’s minimum capacity is 470L, which is large enough for most occasions so you probably won’t have to do all the above too often.
Under the hood, the wonderful turbocharged 4-cylinder 2.0L TSI engine does a great job delivering good performance and at the same time, reasonable fuel economy. Sprinting to 100km/h is a matter of just 8.5 seconds, while going back to zero takes about 45m. The 6-speed automatic Tiptronic gearbox is silky and decisive, making every journey hustle free. Combined with the 200 HP and 207 lb-ft or torque the TSI engine outputs, performance is brisk and the Tiguan never feels short of breath. Fuel economy numbers are good too, after a week behind the wheel, the vehicle’s trip computer reported an average of 10.5lt/100km that we later also verified at the pump.
Being compact definitely helps when it comes to agility and driving dynamics. As such, the Tiguan does handle very much like a conventional car but with a tad more lean in the corners. The chassis feels solid and despite the comfort oriented suspension, it is full of confidence going around corners. It is not as sporty as a Mazda CX-5, but it makes up with extra refinement and more power under the hood. The steering is direct but lacks feedback, while the brake pedal has very little sponge to beat before it becomes effective. On the highway, aerodynamic noises are minimal and distances are covered quickly keeping occupants relaxed. In the city, the all-around independent suspension handles pot-holes with ease proving that this little crossover is a great solution to drive over rough surfaces without damaging your rims.
Volkswagen is well known for producing well engineered automobiles and the Tiguan is no exception to that. It is a crossover to look at if you are after a very balanced vehicle that can be equally fun within or beyond the city limits. The 4Motion AWD system makes it a very capable excursion vehicle, while the practicality it offers makes it a great daily driver. If the style and price agree with you, it is a must see.
Fender Sound System
Not very fun to drive