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2013 Volkswagen Tiguan

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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
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 137 Ratings for the 2009 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.1/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.3/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Volkswagen is not what it used to be!

By on Saturday, January 23, 2016

I owned and sold this car
Reason: end of lease

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "great styling"

Cons: "uncomfortable interior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I have leased VW cars since 2003, and I had stayed with the brand because I loved the value and quality for the price. My 2012 Tiguan SE was my second Tiguan, my first being a 2009 SE. Both of these vehicles were very different from my previous models, the Jetta (2003) and Passat Wagon (2007). The quality, especially on my 2012 Tiguan was lacking. Interior door handles coming off, navigation not working, and the passenger seat heater burning through the seat. It has been one year since I have traded in my Tiguan for a 2015 Acura RDX, and I could not be happier. I would highly recommend a Honda/Acura product over a Volkswagen product."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Solid Build

By on Sunday, January 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun, stable driver with great panaramic sunroof"

Cons: "More back storage area would be nice."

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

"Very solidly built with excellent materials throughout. Best handling and performing of the small SUVs for the year. Entertaining to drive while very stable in wet, snow and ice conditions. Normal mileage 21 - 27, with high of 30 during 'uninterrupted' country road driving. Flexible utility with folding seats. Back seat very roomy with storage behind seat meeting most needs. Panaramic sunroof is great giving a convertible feel when opened. Never a breakdown but have had PVC valve problem needing repair/replacement and oil leak from engine and all-wheel drive system. Also intake engine valves required cleaning service."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

dissapointed

By on Saturday, November 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great to drive, nothing like german engineering!!"

Cons: "Over priced purchase price, parts and repairs ."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"First new vehicle in 20 years, bought with the idea of long term 10 years driving. So disappointed in the constant replacement of parts, recalls, and the cost of repairs. Knew that VW parts were more and accepted that, however when any trip to the garage results in 1000$ or more , multiple times, found it unacceptable. That said, love driving my VW , when it is not in for repairs, crisp , responsive, comfortable. Will not be purchasing a VW again however , and will be trading this one in 4 years earlier than anticipated."

17 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Do not buy a Tiguan

By on Friday, September 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

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

"This is the worst car I have ever owened. If a light for so mechanical reason is not on than I get really scared. This vehicle has cost us over $5000.00 in repairs alone. I recommend to nver buy a Tiguan!"

27 people out of 40 found this review helpful

MOST UNRELIABLE CAR EVER!!!

By on Monday, September 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Fun to drive."

Cons: "Frequent and expensive repairs."

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

"We have owned more than 5 cars over the last 10 years - a mix of German and Japanese. This 2010 vw Tiguan is by far the most unreliable car we have owned or even driven (and I grew up driving the notoriously unreliable Italian cars of the 80's). We bought it new and it has been maintained at the dealer per factory-, and many times extra dealer recommendations. It has had the following repairs over the last 6 months 1. Fuel pump replacement 2. Water pump replacement 3. Turbo repair 4. Relay replacement 5. Several electrical issues 6. Turbo replacement, all at a total cost of over $5000. Now the EPC and check engine lights are on and we are headed back to the dealer. LAST VW WE EVER BUY. This Labor day weekend, we were helping some friends with car shopping and steered them clear of the VW dealership despite the vw Tiguan being at the top of their wish-list."

17 people out of 26 found this review helpful

LOVE IT!

By on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Looks and drives great!"

Cons: "Wish they made a TDI version. (Premium gas only)"

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

"Bought a used 2013 Tiguan with 19000 miles on it. I LOVE IT so far!(I've had it 3 months) I test drove several others such as the Toy-RAV-4 and they had NO power compared to the Tiguan. The 2.0 liter Turbo will flat out get up and go. I even worry I may get a speeding ticket because you can't tell your going so fast so quick, the ride is so smooth. The sun roof is large and very nice, the Interior looks very high-end and seems well made. I do wish it was made as a TDI. but I have been averaging 26-28 mpg.(Down fall Premium gas) Go test drive one, bet you'll love it."

12 people out of 22 found this review helpful

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