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2013 Volkswagen Tiguan

Overview
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2013 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.1

The awkwardly named (and possibly harder to pronounce) Tiguan is a compact SUV from Germany's Volkswagen. While this segment of vehicles is becoming increasingly crowded, the Tiguan often gets forgotten among more mainstream rivals like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. Among the Tiguan's best traits are a flexible interior and a turbocharged engine that's standard across the line. The 2013 Tiguan also stands out with its polished looks and fun-to-drive nature. The Tig has a tempting starting price, but when loaded with options can become surprisingly expensive.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're seeking a truly small SUV that's a cinch to maneuver and stands out from the crowd, the 2013 VW Tiguan is a pleaser. Its snappy engine, meanwhile, makes it fun to drive on twisty roads.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Tiguan's compact size might be a little too small for some families. Then there's the cost: A top-trim 2013 Tiguan approaches the price of its luxury cousin, the Audi Q5.

What's New for 2013

Because the Tiguan received a design freshening last year, it carries over with only minor changes for 2013. All trims now receive an electronic parking brake, hill-hold control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Top-level SEL trims gain a rearview camera and full-power passenger seat with memory setting.

Driving the Tiguan

Driving Impressions The Tiguan is often cited as the GTI of compact sport-utility vehicles since it shares the same engine as Volkswagen's invigorating hatchback. There's truth to that. While not...

as fast as the smaller and lighter GTI, the Tiguan feels spry and is fun to drive. With a 0-60-mph time of just under eight seconds, the Tiguan is relatively quick for this class, and turbo lag is not a major issue when you need to quickly hit freeway speeds or pass slower traffic. 2013 VW Tiguan models with a 6-speed automatic transmission also feature a Sport mode for faster acceleration and gear changes. Models equipped with Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel-drive (AWD) system offer more grip on slippery roads. The Tiguan doesn't have the off-roading chops of the VW Touareg, but it is capable in light off-highway excursions. Steering, braking and overall drivability benefit from the Tig's German engineering and remain above average in this class.

TURBOCHARGED ENGINE
Other compact SUVs offer this sort of powerful engine as an option, but on the Tiguan it's standard. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder puts out a respectable 200 horsepower yet remains relatively fuel efficient.

FLEXIBLE INTERIOR
In addition to folding in a 40/20/40 split, the 2013 Tiguan's rear seat slides six inches to accommodate cargo or people. For those who need to haul longer items such as surfboards or plywood, a front passenger seat is available that folds forward and flat.

2013 Volkswagen Tiguan Details
Interior

The Tiguan has a well-finished, flexible interior. The front dash and its control modules are sleek and polished. Buttons for audio and climate control are straightforward and easy to use. Beyond just looking good, the steering wheel and its built-in buttons for audio and phone functions have a satisfying tactile nature. On models so equipped, the navigation screen is within easy reach. The 3-passenger rear seat splits in a 40/20/40 fashion, which allows longer items such as skis to fit between two passengers. Due to the Tig's smaller size, rear cargo space is expectedly less roomy than that of many competitors.

Exterior

As even "compact" SUVs become increasingly larger, the Tiguan remains small. At just 174.5 inches in length, only the Hyundai Tucson and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport are shorter among the Tig's major rivals. By contrast, a Nissan Rogue is nearly nine inches longer. Combined with its tall, airy cabin, the VW Tiguan has a rather squat appearance. This compact SUV has rounded lines similar to those of its big brother the Touareg, but the Tig's small size and lower ground clearance make it appear more cute than tough.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2013 Tiguan S comes with Bluetooth wireless connectivity, 8-speaker AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary input, black cloth seats, single-zone climate control, 16-inch steel wheels, and four 12-volt power outlets. Mid-tier SE models add features such as touch-screen audio system with HD and satellite radio, heated front seats, Leatherette surfaces, and 18-inch wheels. Top-line SEL models have leather seating, dual-zone climate control, keyless start, 12-way power seats, rearview camera, rain-sensing wipers, LED running lights, and 19-inch wheels. All new 2013 Tiguans come with Volkswagen's 3-year/36,000-mile complimentary scheduled maintenance program for services such as oil changes and tire rotation.

Optional Equipment

Tiguan models with automatic transmission can be had with all-wheel drive (AWD), which Volkswagen calls 4Motion. Other major features include panoramic sunroof, navigation system, trailer hitch, splash guards, side steps and roof spoiler.

Under the Hood

2013 Volkswagen Tiguans use a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard and AWD is available, but not with the 6-speed manual transmission. The 6-speed automatic has manual shift and sport modes. The Tiguan's towing capacity is rated at 2,200 pounds. As with many other vehicles that have a turbocharged engine, premium gasoline is recommended in the Tig.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
200 horsepower @ 5,100-6,000 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 (manual), 21/26 mpg (automatic), 20/26 mpg (4Motion w/automatic)

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2013 Volkswagen Tiguan Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 126 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Most underrated SUV

By on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Snow Capability, Road Comfort"

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

"VW Engineers executed an excellent product. Overall fit and function are great. What really stands out is the vehicles noise and comfort on highways, it is incredibly quiet and responsive. The 4-motion AWD system is impressive to say the least on snow covered roads. When paired with a quality snow tire this vehicle is more stable than any 4wd pickup I've ever driven."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Not for me!

By on Saturday, May 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "It looks stylish"

Cons: "Can't see the hood while driving, poor road view."

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

"The car drives fine. The navigation system doesn't work well--often taking me to the wrong place. It's fairly comfortable & roomy. However, I can't tell where I am on the road. I hate that! The windshield is slightly curved & I can't see any of the hood which makes my perception of the road very uncomfortable. I feel like I'm always over both lane lines. It's very disconcerting & I've been driving for over 30 years. Because of this issue, I can't stand the car! I've only had it since July & I want to replace it. And typically, I keep my cars until they're dead. Not the Tiguan. I can't wait to get rid of it :("

3 people out of 9 found this review helpful

First time VW buyer & last time VW buyer

By on Friday, May 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,358

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Nice exterior design, comfortable & spacious"

Cons: "Bad engine design & low gas mileage"

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

"Engine problems from the very beginning check engine light constantly on. Changed intake manifold twice once under warranty when technicians couldn't find out what was wrong they (on a hunch) determined it was the manifold. Second time recall of faulty intake manifold. Engine leaks, need to service intake camshaft at aprox. 60,000 even though it is not indicated on any of the regular service schedule for the vehicle. Very sadden and disappointed of the whole experience, this was my very first big purchase brand new car and it was a major fail."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Fun, well-constructed with some engine problems

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great handling, peppy for small SUV."

Cons: "Problematic engine coils; limited storage/truck."

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

"As one of the prior reviewers noted, the S-model is a great buy... no fancy stuff but great price. I bought one with manual transmission and it feels like a real automobile, not one of those tinker cars! Dealer couldn't wait to get it off his lot -great price, under $22K. Only problem has been "engine". At 26000 miles, almost 3 years (still under warranty) one of the ignition coils failed. Not much pep in a 4 cylinder with one not functioning. Dealer replaced. Ten days later another ignition coil failed. Now have four new coils. Hoping the new coils last. Other than this problem this is probably the best engineered car I have owned since my 1961 Chevy Impala."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Tiguan = An SUV with lots of GTI DNA

By on Friday, April 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "S Model = best value, 6 spd ... think a lifted GTI"

Cons: "Dealer service is expensive - DIY easy to save $$"

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

"Over the years I've owned many cars (BMW, VW, Nissan, Ford, Jeep) and of all of them, the Tiguan has offered me the best mix of performance, comfort, and price to date. I have the S model (6spd manual) and it rides and feels like a GTI with a 6 inch lift on it. The pricing for a Tiguan can vary widely (from $22K to $40K - as new), however the real value with the Tiguan lies in the S model. With 65000 miles now on the clock, I've had no unscheduled maintenace except for a throttle body which was replaced under warranty. I've performed my own maintenance as well (tune up, oil changes, etc) and everything for routine maintenance is very easy to access for DIY savings. Example - my 60,000 mile service cost me $75 vs. the dealer price of $450. What did it require? ... spark plugs (easy), oil change (easy), brake fluid change (brake masters did it for $30), and air filter changes (easy). Overall the fit/finish and quality of the materials of the Tiguan are outstanding. Again, the real value in a Tiguan is in buying the lower priced S model. Don't forget there are so many aftermarket upgrades you can make to your S-Tiguan to make it look and perform better than the top of the line R model. One last thing ... I LOVE the fact that I have cloth seats here in AZ. Finding a quality european car with cloth seats these days is harder than one would think."

18 people out of 29 found this review helpful

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!"

9 people out of 12 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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