By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.4
Get past the awkward name and you'll find the 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan a rather appealing compact crossover SUV. Smaller than the CR-V, the Tiguan zips in and out of traffic with ease, and its 200-horsepower turbocharged engine comes standard. Capable of venturing lightly off-road, the Tiguan should appeal to those with a sense of adventure while its good fuel economy and fun-to-drive attitude make it a favorite of enthusiast drivers whose needs have grown. If the Tiguan has an Achilles' heel, however, it can be found on the window sticker. With better-equipped models like the Honda CR-V EX, Subaru Forester 2.5 Premium and the new Nissan Rogue SV all priced at or below the base Tiguan S, VW clearly has an affordability problem.
If you're seeking a truly compact crossover SUV that is fun to drive, has a high-quality look and feel both inside and out and gets good gas mileage, the 2014 VW Tiguan deserves a test drive.
If you're all about bang for the buck, the Tiguan's steep price tag is definitely going to be a deterrent. Newer models like the Subaru Forester offer more features and standard all-wheel drive (AWD) for less money, while the new Nissan Rogue offers a 3rd-row seat option.
A few premium options, such as the Fender audio system, are made available on lower trims, while a new R-Line trim is added to the Tiguan lineup. VW's Car-Net telematics service is standard on SE and higher trims.
Driving Impressions VW boasts that the 2014 Tiguan crossover SUV is "the GTI of compact sport-utility vehicles." As the same 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine powers both vehicles, there is some truth in...this claim. However, the Tiguan can't run through turns like the GTI, and it offers only a manual transmission on the base model. The Tiguan's 6-speed automatic works fine, but it's not as efficient as the continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) found in the Subaru Forester or Nissan Rogue. VW's optional 4Motion AWD, on the other hand, is as good in bad weather as the Subbie's setup and better than most competitors' part-time systems. The Tiguan's ride is fairly smooth, but we did experience a bit more cabin noise than in the Honda CR-V. And while most found the Tiguan's seats supportive and comfortable, the intrusive head-restraint angle had some test drivers complaining loudly.
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 2014 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.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 eight 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 2014 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 a touch-screen audio system with HD, Car-Net and satellite radio, heated front seats, Leatherette surfaces and 18-inch wheels. Top-dog R-Line models have leather seating, dual-zone climate control, keyless start, 12-way power seats, rearview camera, Fender audio, rain-sensing wipers, LED running lights, R-Line trim and 19-inch wheels. All new 2014 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 AWD, which Volkswagen calls 4Motion. Other major features include panoramic sunroof, navigation system, Fender audio, trailer hitch, splash guards, side steps and roof spoiler.
All 2014 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 mpg (manual), 21/26 mpg (automatic), 20/26 mpg (4Motion w/automatic)
A base 2014 VW Tiguan has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $24,000. A loaded SEL model with AWD can reach over $38,000, while the R-Line can top $40,000. At its base price, the Tiguan is still more expensive than its slightly larger competitors such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage and Nissan Rogue. 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 jean on Wednesday, March 12, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "built well from research findings"
Cons: "AC unit - yuk"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I don't understand the way they are making cars at all. Do people really care about viewing the radio and music that much? I prefer the Air Conditioning to be configured just like the Passat is or the Nissan Sentra. Why did they start believing that a split Air Conditioning is better? I'm here to tell you - it's Awful. No air blows on me - but it sure does blow on my hands!! Consumers be aware!"
By DrB on Tuesday, March 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,700overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "styling, responsiveness, gitty-up, fit and finish"
Cons: "rims, mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Great car. Only complaint is that the fancy rims that come with the SEL 4 motion are too big (ie tire thickness too thin) for any kind of road. Ride is noisier and rougher than it needs to be in this great car, although the S and SE have the smaller rims and thicker tires. Highly recommend this car for small size, great performance and all the bells and whistles. The 4 motion gas mileage isn't great, but that was no surprise. A sweet ride."
By dave on Monday, February 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive"
Cons: "Mentioned above"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"had this car for 4 years. Bought new, have multiple issues that VW has known about but doesn't fix. Examples include: Gas flap that won't open: At dealership acknowledged that it is happening to many Tiguans, answer was to just not close the flap. Sun Roof Screen that doesn't close all the way: Again, dealership says it happens with this model and that it closes mostly, and that they would charge to fix Fuses blowing: Have had several fuses blow. Dealship says again that this model is known for it, Other issues that we couldn't determine if it happens to other Tiguans: Water leak: Took the car multiple times to dealership. First thought it was the skylight, then door jam then it was something in engine compartment. That was it, but from the constant humidity over a year, we have rust on all parts inside the car Front lights: Have gone out twice in 4 years - seems strange to me. Issues that were just bad design: Electronic emergency brake: dumbest idea ever. If the care was more reliable, it would be great. Drives nicesly, looks good, right size for the city, decent price"
8 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By BCFresh on Monday, January 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, awd, nice interior,perfect size!"
Cons: "pricey, would be really nice in a clean diesel !"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"We needed 4wd for winter driving during snowstorms in VT. Past cars we had - Subaru Outback, Jeep Cherokee, VW Passat, VW Eurovan, Mini Cooper S. This Car has never let us down, great driving feel on HWY and Off. Not to big but plenty of room for 4. Panoramic sunroof is huge, finish is clean and not to plastic. Engine is plenty of get up and go w turbo yet we can get 29 mpg on the hwy if we keep from going 75mph. As with any winter car get a set of snow tires - it goes anywhere with just the right amount of clearance. Nicer car than all our previous vehicles."
By Satuit on Thursday, January 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,885overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Turbo - ooh la la! Bluetooth, Sirius, Nav, camera"
Cons: "In town driving, not so impressive, c/b gas"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I traded in my 6cyl Beamer for a smaller SUV. I like Tiguan's look & styling. Got a good trade-in for my Beamer, paid the balance with cash & drove off. Living along the coast, we never know what our winters will be like. I was concerned how this lighter-weighted car would handle in snow. Surprised for sure! Incredible traction in 10 inches of snow. Driving through New England this winter where each state goes from no snow to 3 feet, this car handled beautifully. Ice, not so much, but what vehicle does? My car is loaded with all the fun technology & comfort. The trunk is smaller than I thought, but I did want a smaller car. The only thing that still bothers me is the 4cyl local driving - maybe it's the premium gas - I've tried all the name gas - Mobil, Citgo, Shell - to the no-names. Citgo is the best, but there aren't any in my area anymore. Anyway, the local drive is just okay. Highway driving is a whole other experience the turbo can't be beat -incredible. I have total confidence I can beat all the other Massachusetts drivers getting into the lane I want. If you know about us MA drivers, you'll understand how important this turbo is. Fast, sure-footed, this turbo is right on the money. If you don't mind the small size & just okay local drive, this loaded Tiguan is a great surprise."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Leodog on Friday, January 03, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Sporty fun to drive"
Cons: "Average mileage, high maintenance costs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I leased my 2011 Tiguan SE with Panormaic roof and GPS and will be purchasing it. First off the upside: It is the nicest car I will have ever purchased. The ride is quiet on the freeway but can get mildly clunky on uneven surfaces. The leatherette seats are comfortable and easy to clean. The comfort is fantastic for a tall guy like me (6'5"). The handling and breaking is phenomenal! Excellent cornering, acceleration, and braking. Sport mode on curvy Sierra foothill highways is like a rollercoaster ride, better than any SUV I have ever driven and I have owned a few. I love the panoramic roof but the GPS is average often not reliably locating addresses and can be complicated to use. The 4motion is excellent in snow although the open wheel design can get packed with snow and cause a vibration comparable to a wheel out of balance. The downside: I had a bad fuse that melted in the fusebox slot after warranty but the VW dealer replaced free of charge anyway. I also had an intake manifild go bad at 30,000 miles that was covered under warranty. Mileage is averaging 23 per gallon, 19 city, 25 highway just as advertised. Not bad but there are many CUVs that have better. I had the free maintenance and once that was over I took it to a reputable local foreign car service for maintenance. I'd say the average service costs for a turbocharged VW is around $300-500 per 10,000 miles driven. That is not cheap but the car performs as good as the day I bought it. I'd recommend this car for the fun driving and comfort but will add that you should keep up on your maintenance if you want to avoid more expensive fixes and shop time."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful