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2009 Volkswagen Tiguan

Overview
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2009 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's Significant About This Car?

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 the Tiguan

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.
Favorite Features

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.

2009 Volkswagen Tiguan Details
2009 Volkswagen Tiguan photo Interior

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
2009 Volkswagen Tiguan photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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)

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2009 Volkswagen Tiguan Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 101 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Great for the price

By on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great price! Fun to drive! German styling!"

Cons: "squeaky breaks/trans issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"I really love my Tiguan, but its already been in the shop 2 times for squeaky breaks. my car is a certified used so it been covered under warranty, thus far. There are a few things, of course that I would change on the car, but for the price of the car it was a great value. I purchased mine in January of 2014, and it had a bit of miles on it, but because it was a lease it was in practically new condition. I drove a Mercedes C300 luxury for 2 weeks prior to driving this and I HATED it. Having driven Mercedes most of my life I realized finally that the materials are getting cheaper and cheaper in them, so I drove this Tiguan. I really fell in love as soon as i got a feel for all the head room and space for what is practically a jacked up golf its not bad for around town. My fiancé and our dog are now on a long road trip and we are now realizing how super small of a car it is, and i say car because its in my opinion it actually has less space than a car for luggage. passenger space is good, but the rear hatch is super small. I have enjoyed it for the most part, but i notice the Transmission seems to shimmy a bit when you are really getting on it, and this makes me nervous, and seems to be a common issue. The breaks are also ver squeaky *but only in the mornings* and the vw guy said this is a problem on ALL of them! I am already upside down in the car, but then again thats my fault for not making a higher payment, but i didn't expect the value to drop as fast as it has in just 3 months. I am used to my cars holding a strong value, and this is a disappointment, again that is my fault for not researching. The materials are cheap as every other car on the market, but much less so than toyota or honda. It has a zippy turbo that makes it feel like a v6 and it can throw you back in your seat if you really press it. I also drive a suburban and to be honest the gas mileage per month is about a 30 dollar difference, so i was surprised it wasn't better than what it is. I will be trading this in as soon as the warranty expires, this car would have been a great first car, but for a 26 year old man like myself it isn't the best fit."

I love this car!

By on Thursday, April 03, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Needed to free up money in budget to buy a new house

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Ride, MPG, dependable, solid vehicle"

Cons: "Pricey, but you get what you pay for so good value"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love the quality of workmanship and materials in this vehicle. I really can't come up with anything negative. The car got great mileage for a SUV, awsome ride, maintenance free (I also owned a 2010 and had the same great car). Car drives like a champ and put it in sport mode and you're driving a rocket. Maintenance was minimal. Great car. I'll buy another one in the future."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

AC unit configuration

By on Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I don't own this car

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "built well from research findings"

Cons: "AC unit - yuk"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I don't understand the way they are making cars at all. Do people really care about viewing the radio and music that much? I prefer the Air Conditioning to be configured just like the Passat is or the Nissan Sentra. Why did they start believing that a split Air Conditioning is better? I'm here to tell you - it's Awful. No air blows on me - but it sure does blow on my hands!! Consumers be aware!"

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great pseudo-luxury compact SUV: 2012 Tiguan SEL 4

By on Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "styling, responsiveness, gitty-up, fit and finish"

Cons: "rims, mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Great car. Only complaint is that the fancy rims that come with the SEL 4 motion are too big (ie tire thickness too thin) for any kind of road. Ride is noisier and rougher than it needs to be in this great car, although the S and SE have the smaller rims and thicker tires. Highly recommend this car for small size, great performance and all the bells and whistles. The 4 motion gas mileage isn't great, but that was no surprise. A sweet ride."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Could have done better

By on Monday, February 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "Mentioned above"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"had this car for 4 years. Bought new, have multiple issues that VW has known about but doesn't fix. Examples include: Gas flap that won't open: At dealership acknowledged that it is happening to many Tiguans, answer was to just not close the flap. Sun Roof Screen that doesn't close all the way: Again, dealership says it happens with this model and that it closes mostly, and that they would charge to fix Fuses blowing: Have had several fuses blow. Dealship says again that this model is known for it, Other issues that we couldn't determine if it happens to other Tiguans: Water leak: Took the car multiple times to dealership. First thought it was the skylight, then door jam then it was something in engine compartment. That was it, but from the constant humidity over a year, we have rust on all parts inside the car Front lights: Have gone out twice in 4 years - seems strange to me. Issues that were just bad design: Electronic emergency brake: dumbest idea ever. If the care was more reliable, it would be great. Drives nicesly, looks good, right size for the city, decent price"

14 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Very nice Small SUV

By on Monday, January 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, awd, nice interior,perfect size!"

Cons: "pricey, would be really nice in a clean diesel !"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"We needed 4wd for winter driving during snowstorms in VT. Past cars we had - Subaru Outback, Jeep Cherokee, VW Passat, VW Eurovan, Mini Cooper S. This Car has never let us down, great driving feel on HWY and Off. Not to big but plenty of room for 4. Panoramic sunroof is huge, finish is clean and not to plastic. Engine is plenty of get up and go w turbo yet we can get 29 mpg on the hwy if we keep from going 75mph. As with any winter car get a set of snow tires - it goes anywhere with just the right amount of clearance. Nicer car than all our previous vehicles."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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