A new Volkswagen Tiguan will be here soon, but compact SUV shoppers interested in the model should wait for the redesigned 2018 version. The 2017 model lacks many key features, such as backseat room, cargo space and active safety features.
(engine revving) Volkswagen is embroiled in a lengthy diesel emissions cheating scandal, and customer loyalty is undoubtedly down. What will bring shoppers back to the brand? The Tiguan certainly won't.
Volkswagen's smallest compact SUV is at the bottom of the class in many areas and is long overdue for an update. Here are four reasons why you should keep it off your shopping list. With base prices starting around $26,000, the Tiguan is already one of the more expensive compact SUVs in the class, and prices escalate quickly. This is the Wolfsburg Edition, which is new for 2017, and this specific model costs around $33,000. Aside from nice features like a panoramic sunroof and heated seats, the model also adds silly extras like Wolfsburg badging inside and out and specific 17-inch wheels. What it doesn't offer at that price is a power liftgate or many advanced safety features. We'll have more on that later. The Tiguan's turbocharged two-liter is a very responsive peppy engine, but it's also really thirsty. With a combined EPA rating of just 22 miles per gallon, it is at the bottom of its class when it comes to fuel economy, and it'll also cost you more at the pump since Volkswagen recommends premium fuel. SUV stands for Sport Utility Vehicle, and the Tiguan is lacking in the utility department. In terms of front leg room, it has much less than its competitors, and I had a hard time getting comfortable after installing my toddler's rear facing car seat. I'm 5'6" and I did not have enough leg room. The situation is the same in the backseat. Although the Tiguan's backseat helpfully slides and reclines, it still offers less leg room than popular compacts like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and the Toyota RAV4. Cargo room is also lacking. There's just 23.8 cubic feet of space behind the second row, much less than many other compact SUVs. A backup camera is standard, but the Tiguan lacks several safety features that more modern compacts offer, like blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning. It also has not fared well in crash tests, earning a marginal score in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's small front overlap crash test, and only a four out of five stars in the government's crash tests. Volkswagen has said that a new Tiguan is coming soon, and I really think it'll be worth the wait.