By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
A base 2013 VW Tiguan has a starting price of just under $24,000. A loaded SEL model with AWD can reach over $38,000. At its base price, the Tiguan is in line with slightly larger competitors such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Nissan Rogue. The VW is more expensive than base versions of the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5 and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com to see what others in your area are actually paying for the VW Tiguan. Down the road, we expect the Tiguan to have a fair-to-good resale price, depending on trim, with valuations that trail those of competitors like the CR-V, Sportage and Forester.
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