Vehicle Overview

Volkswagen's answer to the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 car-based SUVs, the Tiguan mixes on-road sport with what VW describes as more off-road ability than you'd get from most of its competitors. Trim levels include S, SE and SEL.

The Tiguan's starting price is higher than most of its competitors, but Volkswagens frequently cost more. A loaded SEL with the optional navigation system tops $37,000, putting it in competition with compact luxury SUVs like the Acura RDX and Land Rover LR2.

New for 2011

Volkswagen has reduced the number of options and now offers the Tiguan in three basic trim levels: S, SE and SEL, all available with front- or all-wheel drive. If you want the optional panoramic sunroof, it's available only on the SE packaged with a navigation system and other features. Side airbags for the rear seats are no longer available as an option. Voice-controlled Bluetooth connectivity is now standard across the board.

Exterior

The Tiguan looks like a smaller version of VW's Touareg midsize SUV until you step around back, where it looks like the rear end of a Golf 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 its car-based competitors.

Exterior features include:

  • Standard 16-inch wheels
  • Available 17- and 18-inch wheels
  • Standard wheel locks
  • Standard rear spoiler
  • Standard chrome grille and exhaust tip

Interior

The Tiguan has a well-designed interior with high-quality materials.

  • Standard 60/40-split backseat with fore/aft and backrest tilt adjustments
  • Standard Bluetooth
  • Optional iPod cable
  • Optional panoramic sunroof
  • Optional backup camera
  • Optional touch-screen navigation system and a 30-gigabyte hard drive for music storage

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 models are available.

Safety

Standard safety features include:

  • Six airbags, including side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for both rows
  • Electronic stability system and traction control
  • All-disc antilock brakes