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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.

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 121 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Great fun to drive. Agile, plenty of power.

By on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Lots of fun to drive."

Cons: "Well above averge repair costs."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"My Tiguan is a 2010. Drives like a small European sports car. Adequate interior space, 4 motion AWD tracks very well through some of the worst winter weather driving (except higher snow drifts). My complaints are with below average reliability. Problems began at around 70,000 miles. I've had 3 water pumps, trouble with emissions system, replaced turbo, clogged injectors, replaced nearly all motor seals, and other issues. Total cost of dealer completed repairs and maintenance to date with 108k miles - $13,600 (ridiculous). If you get one of these, enjoy it until around 60k miles, then get rid of it!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

This is an excellent small SUV, great driving...

By on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great power, good fit and finish, comfortable..."

Cons: "Premium gas, average mpg..."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"The Tiguan has impressive performance and power that gets you everywhere. Fit and finish are quite good, and the cabin is spacious for its size. The engine is very peppy, although it runs on premium gas that makes it more expensive to own. However, the overall good quality, nice dimensions that make it easy to park and maneuver, and fairly low road noise make it a good choice among other SUV's."

Enjoyable, just avoid the running boards!

By on Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,300

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Comfortable, fun to drive"

Cons: "Stained running boards"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"We picked up this car a couple months ago, and we have enjoyed it so far. You know going in that this car is going to be short on rear cargo space, the gas mileage is not going to be as good as the competitors, and the safety ratings on this car are not as good as they could be. That being said, you get a comfortable riding car that is fun to drive. Our biggest complaint is the running boards. While they looked great off the lot, and they are helpful for our child, they are stained from the winter road treatment. The dealership says I can get down there and scrub them with steel wool, but to be honest, I don't baby my car that much. I keep it clean and run it through the car wash regularly, but I don't fine tooth comb it. Plus, I really don't want to risk putting scratches on them. So unless you need them, I recommend saving the cash. All in all, great car. I can't say it enough, don't get the running boards (unless you are the kind of person that enjoys scrubbing your car with steel wool)."

3 people out of 11 found this review helpful

5 Years Going Strong

By on Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, compact, room for small family"

Cons: "gas milage could be better for size"

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

"I've had my 2010 vw tIGUAN going on 5 years and still feel like it is new. I've replaced the front and rear brakes once, had an interior light issue, and electronic parking brake stick... but other than that no other fixes than regular maintenance. New tires once. I do own snow tires though too. it handles great, love the turbo. OK on gas, not great, but gets about 18 city, 20-21 highway. leather seems brand new, shines up nice, no rust. I even was rear ended and it held up good. minimal visual damage though it cost the other person 6k to fix. no injuries to the passengers."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Good, but has trade offs

By on Monday, February 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I had this vehicle as my primary vehicle as daily commute and business trips vehicle. 1. Great quality and materials used. Feels like a luxury CUV. I've driven MBZ GL450, Toyota RAV4. VW feels much substantial than Toyota. The material and feel of the vehicle, is not much off from MBZ. I've driven a Jetta TDI Wagon as a rental for a few days. It does not even touch the Tiguan on road manner and handling. Solid and secure at high speed. 2. MPG is not great, 22-23mpg and requires premium. 3. 2.0TSI is great, but at 80K, engine light came on. Spent $800 for a valve cleaning job. Was told by the dealer that Direct Injection was clogged causing cylinder misfires. Great new to me was that engine was fine, but require manual cleaning of the valves tha requires $$$$. 4. Reliability. Mine besides the valve cleaning, no other repairs was needed. I drive 18-20K a year. Car runs and runs. The Tiguan actually feels more powerful than when it was new. It feels looser, and Revs more freely now the engine. The engine still sounds like new."

16 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Brand new Tiguan a pleasure to drive

By on Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200

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: "Fun to drive! Upscale feel to interior!"

Cons: "Premium unleaded huel recommended by VW."

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

"Have had car several weeks and I am so glad I bought Tiguan over the Subaru Outback. It has pep and has an up scale feel to it."

26 people out of 52 found this review helpful

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