By KBB.com Editors
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.
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)
By rick on Thursday, November 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Has left my wife stranded more than once - running out of gas not included. Great car when working properly. Drives nice, plenty of power, looks good, comfortable. Heating and A/C control is not up to the standard of the rest of the car."
9 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By bootsnatcher on Monday, November 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Navigation/Audio and Panaramic roof are top notch"
Cons: "Gas miieage with kids and stuff, only so-so"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Have had this Tiquan for one year, and it has been a pleasure to drive. Engine has quite a bit of pep to it. Though when we had whole family in it, along with cargo box on roof and three mountain bikes mounted on back, it was pretty sluggish. Gas mileage is not as good as the Jetta Sportswagen, but head height is much approved. We can get away with the lack of rear storage through use of a cargo box mounted to the factory rail system. Unfortunately it takes the view of our panorama roof away, and it quite noisy at highway speeds."
1 person out of 4 found this review helpful
By Sharmy on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very fun drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This Cross Over looks small and sleek on the outside. I am always amazed when I get inside at how much room there is. Plenty of room to take home the big box store items in one trip not to mention a trip to the hardware store for home improvement projects! I took a quick trip up to San Francisco and back in 24 hours. The ride was comfortable with lots of room to stretch out and maintain my own space!"
16 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By KB52 on Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort and drive feel are superb"
Cons: "Small cargo space, gas mileage just OK"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I was looking for compact SUV that did not feel bulky and would be comfortable on long trips. This is the most comfortable car I have owned (previously had Subarus) and it drives so smoothly one feels like its gliding on the road. Seats are incredibly comfortable for all five passengers. Small minuses: Cargo space is limited if there are four or five passengers. has a substantial blind spot. Otherwise, a great car."
23 people out of 43 found this review helpful
By Tiggy Owner on Thursday, July 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "price, fun to drive, trim, MPGs, comfort"
Cons: "cargo space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I traded in my beloved Dodge Caliber because I wanted something that had less road noise and was trimmed out a little better. Initially, I wanted the Audi Q5, but quickly discovered it was more than a little out of my price range. I learned that the Tiguan was built on the same platform, in the same factory, as the Q5, so I decided I would give it a look. Boy, I am glad I did! Not only do I get good gas mileage, but I get lots of extra bells and whistles that I would have had to pay an additional $20K for to get as standards in the Audi. I love the panoramic sunroof, and it very comfortably seats 4 grown adults. My ONLY complaint is that the cargo space is fine for grocery trips, it is a little small for an active family and long road trips. However, a pod on the roof rack will fix that the next time we hit the road."
12 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Mr. OSU on Wednesday, July 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very comfortable"
Cons: "engine availability. Diesel or V-6 naturally aspir"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I am a road salesman and have had many cars. I rated this car very high because it does so much more that the cars in its field. Tows 2500 lb., seats 5 comfortably with adjustable rear seat. Fantastic suspension, fast and secure on the road, decent gas mileage at a solid 23.5 mpg combination. 210hp / 230bhp. Downside, had to put $2500 in engine at 110,000 miles to repair fuel injectors and CVT valve and main rear seal that was sucked into engine without warning! Would love to have a naturally aspirated V-6 with same HP. No turbo. That would be the perfect car."
7 people out of 10 found this review helpful