Volkswagen's answer to the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the Tiguan mixes onroad sport with what VW describes as more offroad ability than you'd get from most of its competitors.
The Tiguan's starting price is a bit higher than most of its competitors, but Volkswagens have always cost a bit extra — note the Jetta and Passat sedans, for example. In fact, options ranging from dual-zone Climatronic air conditioning to heated leather seats and a navigation system could push a well-equipped Tiguan to compete with compact luxury SUVs like the Acura RDX and Land Rover LR2.
Put simply, the Tiguan looks like a smaller version of VW's Touareg 2 midsize SUV, until you step around back, where it looks like the rear end of a Rabbit compact hatchback. Unlike the Touareg line, which is exceptionally heavy — to the detriment of performance and gas mileage — the Tiguan's weight is more in line with that of its car-based competitors.
Being a Volkswagen, the Tiguan has a well-designed interior with high-quality materials. The five-seater has a 40/20/40-split backseat with fore/aft and backrest-tilt adjustments. When they're folded flat, the maximum cargo volume is 53 cubic feet. Unfortunately, the rear seat can't be folded from the cargo area, and moving it forward opens up a crevice in the load floor that can catch small cargo. (Several GM SUVs also have an adjustable backseat, and they eliminate the gap with a plastic bridge.)
Available features include a panoramic moonroof, a backup camera, a touch-screen navigation system and a 30GB hard drive for music storage. The navigation system employs a new touch-screen interface that's easier to use than older VW navigation systems.
Under the Hood
The Tiguan comes standard with a 200-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder used in many other VW and Audi models.
The transmission choices are a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Front- and 4Motion all-wheel-drive will both be offered.