The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan was the top dog in our test to find the best compact SUV of 2019 that compared seven 2019 all-wheel-drive utilities, repeating its first-place finish in our last matchup of small family haulers. And one factor in its win was its well-tuned eight-speed automatic transmission versus its rivals, particularly the three with continuously variable automatics that can save gas and also can be less satisfying to drive. But when it came to our real-world fuel economy testing, the VW conventional automatic also helped deliver competitive gas mileage, with the Tiguan’s observed 26.5 mpg finishing dead center among the seven SUVs.
Related: What’s the Best Compact SUV for 2019
The Tiguan, with its 184-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and all-wheel drive, posted an average 26.5 mpg in more than 200 miles of highway and suburban driving on a cold and windy day in northern Illinois. We scored the category based on an average between trip-computer and pump-calculated data, with closely related results from both data sets. Read more about how we tested fuel economy here.
Its result was good enough to finish fourth out of the seven, including beating one of the three CVT-equipped challengers. It was left behind by the first-place Toyota RAV4 that averaged 29.0 mpg in our testing, as well as by the CVT-equipped Honda CR-V (28.5 mpg) and Subaru Forester (27.9). But it edged out the Jeep Cherokee (the only V-6-equipped challenger) with 26.1 mpg and beat the Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Rogue, both with 25.7 mpg. The Rogue was the other SUV with a CVT.
The Tiguan’s real-world mileage also compares favorably with its EPA-rating of 21/29/24 mpg city/highway/combined. The Tiguan, which was all-new for 2018 and offers only one engine and transmission combination, also is available with front-wheel drive and a slightly better EPA combined mileage rating of 25 mpg. Compare the two models’ ratings here.
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