The Volkswagen Tiguan: A Compact SUV with European Flair

The Volkswagen Tiguan: A Compact SUV with European Flair

The Volkswagen Tiguan has carved a niche for itself in the crowded compact SUV segment. Introduced in 2007, this German import offers a compelling blend of practicality, performance, and European driving dynamics. This article dives deep into the Volkswagen Tiguan, exploring its history, features, trims, and potential drawbacks to help you decide if it's the right SUV for you.

A Legacy of German Engineering

The Tiguan nameplate originated in Europe, where the first-generation model debuted in 2007. It wasn't until 2017 that a larger, North American-specific Tiguan arrived on our shores. This second-generation Tiguan is the one currently available, with the next-generation model expected to arrive sometime in 2025.

The Tiguan slots neatly between the subcompact Volkswagen Taos and the mid-size Tiguan Allspace (known as the Tiguan L in previous years). This positioning gives Volkswagen a strong presence across the compact and mid-size SUV segments.

Engine and Performance

The current Volkswagen Tiguan boasts a single engine option: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. This engine delivers decent pep for everyday driving but might feel underwhelming for those seeking a particularly sporty experience.

An eight-speed automatic transmission handles shifting duties, offering smooth and efficient gear changes. Front-wheel drive (FWD) comes standard, while all-wheel drive (AWD), marketed by Volkswagen as 4Motion, is available for those who need extra capability in slippery conditions or light off-roading.

The Tiguan prioritizes comfort over outright performance. The suspension provides a smooth ride, soaking up bumps and imperfections with ease. However, handling feels a bit on the soft side, and the steering isn't the most communicative.

Trims and Features

The 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan comes in four distinct trims: S, SE, SE R-Line Black, and SEL R-Line. Here's a quick breakdown of what each trim offers:

  • S: The base S trim provides the essentials, including automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
  • SE: The SE trim adds features like heated seats, a panoramic sunroof, and more advanced driver-assistance features.
  • SE R-Line Black: This sporty trim builds on the SE features with black exterior accents, unique wheels, and sportier interior trim.
  • SEL R-Line: The top-of-the-line SEL R-Line takes things a step further with premium amenities like leather upholstery, a Fender sound system, and a digital driver's display.

No matter which trim you choose, the Tiguan offers a comfortable and well-equipped interior. The cabin uses high-quality materials and boasts a clean, uncluttered design. The touchscreen infotainment system is user-friendly, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included for seamless smartphone integration.

Passenger space is ample in the front seats, and the rear seats offer decent legroom for adults. However, cargo space is a bit on the small side compared to some rivals, especially with the seats upright.

Safety Features

The Volkswagen Tiguan comes standard with a suite of driver-assistance features, including automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and blind-spot monitoring. Higher trims offer additional features like lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

The Tiguan has earned good safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), making it a safe choice for families.

Drawbacks to Consider

While the Volkswagen Tiguan is a compelling option in the compact SUV segment, there are a few drawbacks to consider:

  • Limited engine choice: Only one engine option is available, which might not be ideal for everyone.
  • Smaller cargo space: Compared to some competitors, the Tiguan offers less cargo space, especially with the rear seats in use.
  • Price: The Tiguan can be pricier than some of its Japanese and Korean rivals, especially when opting for the higher trims.

Is the Volkswagen Tiguan Right for You?

The Volkswagen Tiguan is a well-rounded compact SUV that prioritizes comfort, European driving dynamics, and a plethora of standard features. If you're looking for a stylish, comfortable, and safe SUV with a touch of European flair, the Tiguan is definitely worth considering.

comments powered by Disqus