I was raised to be proud of American automobiles through and through, as many of us were. I owned a '91 Toyota Corolla for my first car, then a Dodge Dakota, Dodge Stratus, Dodge Ram, and finally a VW...
I was raised to be proud of American automobiles through and through, as many of us were. I owned a '91 Toyota Corolla for my first car, then a Dodge Dakota, Dodge Stratus, Dodge Ram, and finally a VW Jetta. I instantly fell in love my with my Jetta, so when it came time to sell my wife's Toyota Solara, we decided to look at the Toyota RAV4 and the VW Tiguan. We looked at a fully loaded Tiguan SE and a fully loaded RAV4. The Tiguan was about $5k more than the RAV4, but after driving them, there was no comparison. The interior build quality was astounding. Even the few plastic bits felt so much more solid than any of the American vehicles my friends, family, or myself have owned.
I've had plenty of experience with GM vehicles (which is all one friend and step-father would buy), Ford (in-laws), Chrysler (my family), Toyota (in-laws again), and Honda (more friends), and none of them could stand up to the value for the money as Volkswagens. The Tiguan was $5k more, but came with so many more features like the panoramic sunroof, the touchscreen sat-nav, satellite radio, heated side view mirrors, and too many others to list here. Again, the build quality just felt solid. The dash was not a cheap plastic, the seats, while not real leather, felt much better than the fake leather seats of my mother's Saturn Aura of the same price. The same could be said for the exterior. The doors always shut solid (very little road noise), the panel gaps were all very tight and very even, the body panels weren't flimsy, and the paint was of high quality and finish.
I was a little concerned about a larger vehicle with a little 4 cylinder engine, but that 2.0 turbo really has some pep for such a large vehicle. It's much more responsive than my wife's old Solara and could give my Jetta's 2.5L 5-cylinder a run for its money. VW advertised that it would obtain 19mpg city and 21mpg highway, but I'm here to tell you that's a lie. I'm consistently getting about 21mpg city and 24mpg highway, including when traveling 79mph through Nebraska and Colorado. I actually hit 25mpg when traveling through Wisconsin with its 65mph interstate speed limits (I was doing 69mph).
We were able to fit 1 large, 1 medium, and 1 small suitcase in the rear with the privacy cover down completely and without having to fold any seats. When we laid the rear seats down, we could fit about 2 times more than that without sticking up far enough to be seen in the rear view mirror. Also, the back seats were very spacious. My 6'3" brother-in-law was able to sit behind me (6'0") in the driver's seat without hitting his knees on my seat and without me having to scoot my seat forward. I was astonished by the rear leg room of a smaller SUV like this.
Ours came with the 18" wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber. I was very surprised to see that VW put Pirellis on their vehicles from the factory. That right there spoke volumes to me. The wheels look great and doesn't leave massive spaces between the tires and wheel wells.
My in-laws had their mind set that Toyota was what we should have gone with, but when they saw and experienced our Tiguan for the first time, they changed their mind. My mother has already stated she is getting a VW or Audi when she gets rid of her Saturn.
I can honestly say that after switching from American to VW, I don't see us switching away from VW for a long time. We are now a VW only family and couldn't be happier. I strongly recommend this vehicle.