Insofar as compact crossover SUVs go, Volkswagen’s Tiguan with 4Motion (AWD) offers quality German build, Euro handling and pleasing conservative styling. Added to that, it has the latest technological and safety features that todays car buyers desire.
Tiguan crossover is offered in S, SE, SEL, SEL Premium trim levels, in R-Line appearance package, and in FWD and 4Motion. The latter has a locking differential that can transfer power to the wheels from side to side and front to back.
We were privileged to test the top shelf SEL Premium 4Motion R-Line, the latter includes 20-inch wheels, special exterior badging, dual color leather interior, brushed aluminum pedals and racy flat-bottomed heated steering wheel.
With an easy 18-inch step-in, Tiguan’s R-Line interior in the test car was an eye-grabber with its orange and grey leather seating that is set-off with orange stiping. For sure, a contrast in color combination.
But that’s not all. Press the keyless ignition switch and not only does the 8-inch touchscreen come to life, but your eyes will quickly drift to the colorful all digital gauge cluster with embedded driver information display.
Tiguan’s heated and colorful front seats are sensibly supportive but on the firm side. It seems all Euro car seats including Benz and BMW have seats that could use more padding.
That aside, Tiguan’s vertical stack and its multi-functional touchscreen with voice control, serves Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Mirror Link connectivity, VW App-Connect, navigation, Fender audio, traffic reports, fuel prices, weather, rearview camera with birds-eye view and selectable mode display. Even a CD player – remember those?
Tiguan’s HVAC controls are easy to view, use and offers a Max A/C switch that quickly cools a hot interior. It’s a shame more cars don’t offer that mode.
At the base of the console, VW included a convenient wireless phone charger that will accommodate most smartphones.
The car’s console houses the standard 8-speed automatic transmission shifter and below it is a rotary mode switch for Snow, Normal, Off-road, and Custom Off-road modes. There are also sub modes within the latter that can be tailored to the driver’s needs. And that includes such off-road considerations like sandy terrain, inclines, steering angles and altimeter.
Rated for five passengers, with a third seat option for seven, the second row seat too is firm but offers ample leg and generous headroom. The middle passenger, however, does have to contend with a transaxle hump for a knees up sitting position. Tiguan’s liftgate opens/closes with a wave of the foot under the rear bumper that offers a mere 28-inch lift over.
The cargo area is spacious and with the 40/20/40 seatbacks upright, there’s 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space that measures 40 inches deep, 43 wide and 30 high. Flip the rear seatbacks and capacity expands to 73.5 cubic feet for a full six feet (72 inches) of cargo loading depth. There are also two 8-inch deep storage bins on each side of the area for small items storage.
Tiguan gets its grunt from a 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline 4-cylinder producing 184-hp and 221 lb/ft of torque that earns EPA mileage ratings of 20 city, 27-highway mpg with start/stop engine technology. The powertrain moves Tiguan’s 3,847-pound curb in linear fashion while enabling it to tow up to 1,500 pounds. There’s certainly no want for power. Under hard throttle, engine noise is noticeable but dissipates at cruise.
As for ride, it’s somewhat firm but handling is precise. Turn the steering wheel an inch either way and the front end points 15 degree’s either way. It parks easily too with a compact 37.7 foot turning radius. Tiguan exudes fine Euro handling, a trait Japanese and American designed cars lack.
Tiguan SEL Premium 4Motion came with an extremely long list of standard safety features and functions much too long to list. Because of that, there were no extra cost options as everything a car buyer could want in a crossover is included. But here is an abbreviated list: Anti-slip, engine brake assist; intelligent crash response, auto post collision braking; tire pressure monitoring; adaptive front lighting; rain sensing wipers w/heated washer nozzles; panoramic sunroof; adaptive cruise control; forward collision warning and auto braking w/pedestrian monitoring; blind spot monitoring/rear traffic alert; lane keeping assist; hill hold/descent control; remote engine start and many more.
With all those, Tiguan’s bottom line came in at $39,815 with a $1,020 delivery charge.
Added to this, Tiguan comes with a 4 year/50K new vehicle warranty; 7/100K corrosion protection; 2/20K carefree scheduled maintenance; and 3/36K 24-hour roadside assistance coverage.
Tiguan is situated in an extremely long list of competitors in its class. But comparing the aforementioned standard features with its price, this German import becomes a compelling choice.