By KBB.com Editors
When Volkswagen first launched the Tiguan, it called the little SUV the GTI of compact SUVs; a bold statement considering the hot hatchback's legendary handling abilities, but not completely without merit. For 2011, that statement has been dialed back a bit, but the Tiguan remains a true performance-oriented compact SUV with real off-road ability. Powered by a 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, the Tiguan provides more hustle than a CR-V or RAV4, but is pretty evenly matched when placed against Subaru's turbocharged Forester XT. 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 $24,500 for the base model and topping out well past the $37,000 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 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan makes for a painless transition.
If you're looking for compact SUV starting under $24K, need a third-row seat or a warranty lasting longer than 3 years/36,000 miles, the Tiguan probably won't make your top ten list.
Apart from some upgraded radios and new colors, there are no major changes for the 2011 Tiguan.
Driving Impressions With a sub-eight-second zero-to-60 run, the 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine certainly moves the Tiguan like a GTI, but the little SUV's tall ride height and softer suspension don't inspire the...same thrilling cornering ability. We found the six-speed manual somewhat lacking, with long throws and too much play between gears. The Tiptronic automatic actually works better in this vehicle and is the only transmission available on 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 the overall drivability are above average for this class.
Touch Screen Navigation with Rear Camera
VW's latest navigation system features 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, rear seats that slide forward a full six inches 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 2011 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 permits the Tiguan to traverse deep snow and off-road obstacles with ease.
The 2011 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, cloth or V-Tex leatherette seating, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry, AM/FM stereo with single CD player, tilt and telescopic steering wheel and an electronic parking brake with hold mode.
Options vary by trim and include 4Motion all-wheel drive, six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels (S), panoramic glass sunroof, leather seating, heated front seats, 300-watt Dynaudio stereo, in-dash CD changer, navigation, Bluetooth phone connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 12-way power adjustable driver's seat.
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
207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1700-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 (manual), 20/25 (automatic), 19/25 (4Motion)
By big red (WV) on Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "price fine love to drive when its not in the shop"
Cons: "phone chargers"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"I bought this car used had it for a year and the dealer has had it more than I have first with just regular things like replaceing power switches then it went to fuel sending unit went out and they had it for 2 months now its back and had 7 codes in it to fix...."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By DOZER (MN) on Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "styling and fit/finish"
Cons: "repair costs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I am a lifelong VW owner. They do have a few quirks to deal with (maint and repair) but nothing drives like they do."
By Lynda (FL) on Tuesday, March 05, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,100overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive, good price, interio/ext excellent"
Cons: "premium gas, many repairs, only 3yr warranty"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I bought my car and after only 32k went to the mechanic 2 times. First to replace the exhaust System then a coil blow because of that repair. dealer says probably to replace at a later time the other 3 coils left. I love the car, Outside and Inside is perfect but I'm afraid that after 5 years and no warranty I might need more major repairs. I would never buy VW again :("
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Babydoll (CA) on Sunday, February 17, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,400overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, small enough to fit everywhere"
Cons: "Bumpy ride"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Extremely fun to drive. Love the interior, it's very comfortable in both passenger seat and driver seat. Only complaint is that the Tigaun SEL is not as smooth riding as I would have hoped. If you want a smoother ride chose a S or SE."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By LPD 204 (MI) on Friday, February 01, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Driving, handling , pick up and design"
Cons: "The Ride....rougher in the SEL series."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We have about 1,200 miles on our Tiguan. The handling and driving is a 10. The exterior and Interior design is great, comfort seating is wonderful. We have the 4-Motion series (AWD) and it handles great in the snow. Fun to drive, great pick up and for passing !! The only negative I see is that the SEL series has a "sport" ride which is not as smooth as the SE or the S model. This is primarily due to the 19 inch tires/wheels on the SEL series. However, we still LOVE the vehicle. We liked it better than the Honda CRV , the Toyota RAV 4 and the Chevy Equinox. Has a 12 yr rust corrision warranty"
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By mrtin (FL) on Monday, January 28, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive"
Cons: "everything else"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"there isnt much to say the dealer was VERY NICE AWSOME COSTUMER SERVICE BUT !!!! the car is horrible."
7 people out of 45 found this review helpful