By KBB.com Editors
Volkswagen calls its new Tiguan the GTI of compact SUVs; a bold statement considering the hot hatchback's legendary handling capabilities, but not completely without merit. Although the Tiguan shares most of its chassis and suspension with the Passat, it is powered by the GTI's 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Compared to the competition, the Tiguan has a lot going for it, including a substantial number of standard safety and comfort features, terrific performance and great styling. Starting out around $24,000 for the base model and topping out well past the $30,000 mark for a loaded SEL, steep pricing may unfortunately turn out to be the Tiguan's Achilles' heel.
If you're looking to move out of your big SUV, but still need a vehicle that can haul a fair amount of cargo, comfortably hold four passengers and has plenty of power on hand, the new 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan makes for a painless transition.
If you're looking for a compact SUV starting under $20,000, need a third-row seat or a warranty lasting longer than three years/36,000 miles, the Tiguan probably won't make your top-ten list.
Volkswagen continues to add new models in an attempt to increase its U.S. market share. Already a smash hit in Europe, the Tiguan offers the rare combination of good fuel economy and a high-output engine. With the Tiguan, VW hopes to lure enthusiast drivers away from less sporty small SUVs, such as the Honda CR-V and the Saturn VUE.
Driving Impressions With a sub-eight-second zero-to-60-mph acceleration capability, the Tiguan, with its 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, certainly moves like a GTI, but the little SUV's tall ride height and softer suspension don't...inspire the same thrilling cornering maneuvers. We found the six-speed manual somewhat lacking, with long throws and too much play between gears. The automatic actually works better in this vehicle and is the only transmission available with the SE and SEL, as well as with the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. On the highway, the Tiguan's well-insulated cabin minimizes outside noise, even with the enormous panoramic glass sunroof installed. The Tiguan's ride is fine so long as the pavement below remains smooth, and the steering response, braking and overall drivability are above average for this class.
Touch Screen Navigation with Rear Camera
VW's latest navigation system features a 3D viewing angle, intuitive controls and a 30-gigabyte hard drive for storing map data and audio files.
Panoramic Glass Sunroof
Optional on the SE and SEL, the massive panoramic glass sunroof covers nearly 13 square feet, bathing occupants in light and fresh air. A power sunshade shields occupants when tanning time ends.
Like most VW products, the Tiguan's interior is awash in high quality materials and thoughtful placed controls. Although the base S model's interior seems a bit drab, up-level SE and SEL trims, with their contrasting materials and optional leather seating, are quite appealing. Though not as generous with cargo space as the Jetta SportWagen, the Tiguan has rear seats that slide forward a full six inches to help increase storage when necessary. An optional panoramic glass roof opens the entire cabin to sunlight and features a power sunshade for when the UV rays become too strong.Exterior
From a distance, the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan might be mistaken for the larger Touareg, but move closer and the vehicle's unique identity quickly becomes evident. The distinctive fascia imparts a sporty image, as do the racy 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels found on the SE and SEL trims. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes and an Electronic Stability Program, and nearly seven inches of ground clearance permit the Tiguan to traverse deep snow and off-road obstacles with ease.
The 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan features a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, six-speed manual transmission, traction and stability control, electronic differential lock, six-airbags (front, front-side and front and rear side-curtain), power heated side mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry, AM/FM stereo with single CD player, tilt and telescopic steering wheel and an electronic parking brake.
Options vary by trim and include 4Motion all-wheel drive (SE and SEL), six-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels (S), panoramic glass sunroof, leather seating, heated front seats, 300-watt Dynaudio stereo, in-dash CD changer, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, 12-way power-adjustable front seats and rear side thorax airbags.
Volkswagen's 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with direct fuel injection is arguably one of the best four-cylinder engines on the market. It's smooth, quiet and always a willing supplier of horsepower and torque. Pumping out 200 horsepower, the 2.0-liter still manages highway fuel economy in the mid-20 mpg range, even when saddled with the extra weight of the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.
2.0-liter in-line 4 turbocharged
200 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
206 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1700-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 (manual), 18/24 (automatic), 18/24 (4Motion)
By rick on Thursday, November 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Has left my wife stranded more than once - running out of gas not included. Great car when working properly. Drives nice, plenty of power, looks good, comfortable. Heating and A/C control is not up to the standard of the rest of the car."
10 people out of 23 found this review helpful
By bootsnatcher on Monday, November 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Navigation/Audio and Panaramic roof are top notch"
Cons: "Gas miieage with kids and stuff, only so-so"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Have had this Tiquan for one year, and it has been a pleasure to drive. Engine has quite a bit of pep to it. Though when we had whole family in it, along with cargo box on roof and three mountain bikes mounted on back, it was pretty sluggish. Gas mileage is not as good as the Jetta Sportswagen, but head height is much approved. We can get away with the lack of rear storage through use of a cargo box mounted to the factory rail system. Unfortunately it takes the view of our panorama roof away, and it quite noisy at highway speeds."
1 person out of 4 found this review helpful
By Sharmy on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very fun drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This Cross Over looks small and sleek on the outside. I am always amazed when I get inside at how much room there is. Plenty of room to take home the big box store items in one trip not to mention a trip to the hardware store for home improvement projects! I took a quick trip up to San Francisco and back in 24 hours. The ride was comfortable with lots of room to stretch out and maintain my own space!"
17 people out of 26 found this review helpful
By KB52 on Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort and drive feel are superb"
Cons: "Small cargo space, gas mileage just OK"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I was looking for compact SUV that did not feel bulky and would be comfortable on long trips. This is the most comfortable car I have owned (previously had Subarus) and it drives so smoothly one feels like its gliding on the road. Seats are incredibly comfortable for all five passengers. Small minuses: Cargo space is limited if there are four or five passengers. has a substantial blind spot. Otherwise, a great car."
23 people out of 43 found this review helpful
By Tiggy Owner on Thursday, July 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "price, fun to drive, trim, MPGs, comfort"
Cons: "cargo space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I traded in my beloved Dodge Caliber because I wanted something that had less road noise and was trimmed out a little better. Initially, I wanted the Audi Q5, but quickly discovered it was more than a little out of my price range. I learned that the Tiguan was built on the same platform, in the same factory, as the Q5, so I decided I would give it a look. Boy, I am glad I did! Not only do I get good gas mileage, but I get lots of extra bells and whistles that I would have had to pay an additional $20K for to get as standards in the Audi. I love the panoramic sunroof, and it very comfortably seats 4 grown adults. My ONLY complaint is that the cargo space is fine for grocery trips, it is a little small for an active family and long road trips. However, a pod on the roof rack will fix that the next time we hit the road."
12 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Mr. OSU on Wednesday, July 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very comfortable"
Cons: "engine availability. Diesel or V-6 naturally aspir"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I am a road salesman and have had many cars. I rated this car very high because it does so much more that the cars in its field. Tows 2500 lb., seats 5 comfortably with adjustable rear seat. Fantastic suspension, fast and secure on the road, decent gas mileage at a solid 23.5 mpg combination. 210hp / 230bhp. Downside, had to put $2500 in engine at 110,000 miles to repair fuel injectors and CVT valve and main rear seal that was sucked into engine without warning! Would love to have a naturally aspirated V-6 with same HP. No turbo. That would be the perfect car."
8 people out of 12 found this review helpful