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.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 It 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.