The Volkswagen Tiguan was announced at the 2006 Los Angeles International Auto Show held in November 2006 as a concept vehicle.The production Tiguan was released at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, and debuted as a 2008 model for Europe and elsewhere and in North America as a 2009 model. Sales of the Tiguan in Canada began in April 2008.
Volkswagen Tiguan 2010 SPECIFICATIONS:Body style(s): 4 Door SUV
Complete specifications: Volkswagen Tiguan 2010
Colors: Alpine Gray Metallic,Candy White,Deep Black Metallic,Reflex Silver Metallic,Sapphire Blue Metallic,White Gold Metallic,Wild Cherry Metallic
Fuel Capacity:(gal) 16.8 gal / 14.0 gal (IMP)
Price Onwards: $23,200
Volkswagen Tiguan Worldwide website
Volkswagen Tiguan 2010 US
Short Take Road Test: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 2.0T 4MOTION
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2010.
By Csaba Csere of Car and Driver
Fuel is expensive, SUV sales have cratered, and buyers who still want high-off-the-pavement wagon-like machines with the option of all-wheel drive have downsized their desires. As a result, the three bestselling SUVs in the country this year (and last) are the Honda CR-V, the Ford Escape, and the Toyota RAV4.
The Volkswagen Tiguan parachutes into this market with perfect timing. Sharing its mechanical architecture with the Rabbit, the Tiguan is almost exactly the same size as the Escape, but it's three to seven inches shorter than the CR-V and RAV4, respectively.
This shorter size shows up in the VW's slightly smaller passenger- and cargo-volume measurements, but you'd never notice it. The front and rear seats feel very spacious, and there's plenty of luggage room for four people's stuff. And the rear seat folds easily and nearly flat when you need to bring home a new power washer or television.
Not unexpectedly for a German machine, the Tiguan drives beautifully. Its steering is accurate and feels just about perfectly weighted. The suspension is tautly controlled yet compliant on rough roads. And for a tallish vehicle weighing the better part of two tons, it displays excellent nimbleness and grip, achieving 0.81 g when you're howling its 235/55R-17 Michelin Latitude tires at the limit and stopping in a commendable 177 feet. The competition from Ford, Honda, and Toyota cannot match these figures or the Tiguan's dynamic gracefulness.
The Tiguan's powertrain is similarly satisfying. The combination of the turbocharged, direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 200 horses and a six-speed automatic driving all four wheels propels the SUV to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds and through the quarter in 16 flat at 88 mph. That's enough grunt for easy back-road passes, and none of the four-cylinder econo-utes can match that performance — unless you step up to the optional V-6 in the RAV4, which easily puts away the Tiguan.
Still, the VW's powertrain will elicit few complaints. Other than in the first 10 feet from a dead stop, there's no perceived lag from the turbo engine, and the transmission shifts smoothly and intelligently. The gearbox also has full manumatic control, using a separate gate on its floor shifter. The EPA fuel-economy figures of 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway are nothing special for the segment, but we got 22 mpg under a variety of conditions, and at a steady 70 mph, the Tiguan delivers an honest 25 mpg.
Outside and in, the compact SUV looks clean and understated in a Bauhaus kind of way. The controls are well laid out, and the driving position is fine, though several of us would have preferred moving the adjustable steering column about an inch lower than its lowest setting. Dominating the center of the dash is the LCD screen for the optional nav system. It's a large touch screen and is easy to reach, but programming a destination reveals some of the convoluted logic that seems to be a core competency of most German automakers.
Our Tiguan test vehicle was absolutely loaded, starting with the top-of-the-line, SEL 4MOTION model ($33,630) and adding the nav system (bundled with a backup camera for $1990), a humongous sunroof ($1300), and rear side airbags ($350). That comes to a staggering total of $37,270 and jettisons the Tiguan right out of the class of SUVs that includes the Escape, CR-V, and RAV4. Although you can get a front-drive manual Tiguan for as little as $23,890, the least expensive all-wheel-drive model starts at $29,565.
All-wheel-drive CR-Vs start at less than $23K, and it's tough to get one to top 30 grand. Even the much quicker V-6 RAV4 doesn't get beyond the low thirties. For the price of this Tiguan, you can get an Acura RDX or a Land Rover LR2 and even start thinking about a BMW X3 or the soon-to-arrive Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLK. All of these more chichi machines can match or exceed the Tiguan's dynamics, and except for the LR2, they are also quicker.
VW seems to be trying to take the middle ground between the mainstream and premium mini-utes. The Tiguan is good enough to fulfill that mission, but we wonder if the VW badge delivers sufficient cachet to motivate buyers to step up to the price premium.
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 7.7 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 21.1 sec
Street start, 5-60 mph: 8.1 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 16.0 sec @ 88 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 128 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 177 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.81 g
EPA city/highway driving: 18/24 mpg
C/D observed 22 mpg
Content provided by Car and Driver.
Review: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2010.
By Evan Griffey of MSN Autos
- Outstanding ride, handling, shifting
- Great entry-level model
- Quite, quality Euro-inspired interior
- Uninspired, run-of-the-mill SUV bodylines
- GTI motor struggles with extra 500 pounds
- Base audio system is horror show
What do you get when you crossbreed a tiger and an iguana? Volkswagen answers this query with the Tiguan, the automaker’s first offering in the ultra-competitive compact SUV segment. The newcomer gets a dose of classic Fahrvergnügen courtesy of a turbocharged engine swapped out of the venerable GTI, and a decidedly European road feel compliments of a well-sorted suspension. Add an elegant interior and you have a rookie that’s ready to roll.
The Tiguan is offered in three model trims: S, SE and SEL. The base S is available only in a front-wheel-drive (FWD) configuration with standard 16-inch wheels and tires, and VW’s base ‘Metro’ cloth interior. The S has a limited list of options.
Moving up to the SE opens the door to VW’s optional 4Motion all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, standard 17-inch rolling stock or an optional 18-inch combination, as well as an upgraded Urban cloth interior.
The top-line SEL features 18-inch rolling stock, a 300-watt Dynaudio audio system, dual-zone climate control and a leather interior as standard fare. There are many options to choose from, including 4Motion and a trick touch-screen navigation system.
Under The Hood
All Tiguan models get the same powerplant, the GTI’s turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. This mill pumps out 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque from 1700 to 5000 rpm. Front-wheel drive Tiguans enjoy 19/26 (city/hwy) mpg ratings while 4Motion versions check in at 18/24.
VW has covered all the bases when it comes to gearboxes. Three-pedal fans can opt for a 6-speed manual while set-it-and-forget-it types can select a 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic. The automatic provides authoritative, smooth gear transitions and, when in Tiptronic mode, driver-selectable shift points. Shift speed was adequate but we found constantly reaching for the shifter to change gears a tad tedious. Paddle shifters would calm the scene considerably and intensify the Fahrvergnügen factor.
The Tiguan’s functional interior layout features easy-to-reach ventilation controls, a clear and concise gauge cluster, a sophisticated yet simple navigation system and a big panoramic sunroof. The sunroof is an impressive 12.7 square feet, and when you press the button it feels like the heavens are opening up above your head.
There is a definite upscale feel to the leather-clad SEL-trim interior, but the cloth-skinned cabins of the S and SE models are also quite posh. We especially liked the contrast of the tan upholstery with the black upper dash. The absence of flimsy plastic trim pieces and use of cushioned surfaces throughout served to reinforce the highly refined aura inside the Tiguan.
On The Road
The overall shape of the Tiguan was much more subdued than we expected, with the likes of the bawdy TI in its bloodlines. There is no standout feature that visually grabs at you, and the gray rocker cladding upsets the vehicle’s proportions. It’s unfortunate because, once at speed, the Tiguan lives up to its genetics, clawing like a tiger in the turns while moving down the road with the veracity of a spike-laden iguana.
The suspension is the star of this show, as even the base S FWD and its commuter-esque 16-inch rolling stock make all the right moves when pressed. Hot-shoeing a 4Motion-equipped SEL and its four-corner propulsion means you can really press the issue. A touch slower to react — but much more able to retain traction when pushed to the edge — the 4Motion SEL feels more substantial, and you can feel the talons come out when it’s driven hard.
The AWD system normally sends 90 percent of the engine’s torque to the front wheels, until conditions require more torque to be sent aft. Given the proper circumstances, the system can provide up to 100 percent rear-wheel drive. This makes for an adept all-season performer that can retain its agility in slippery conditions.
The 2.0-liter GTI engine feels a bit stressed dealing with the 500 additional pounds of heft in the Tiguan (3,631 lbs. for a 4Motion automatic). The 2.0-liter’s wide torque band provides ample grunt under moderate acceleration, but when the stakes go up so does engine strain. The turbocharged mill lets the Tiguan easily keep pace, but there is no ascertainable onset of boost — no sudden, deep breath followed by an onslaught of power like in the GTI.
Right For You?
Euro-inclined buyers will appreciate the Tiguan’s on-road dynamics, cozy, comfortable cabin and its overall attention to detail. The $23,200 base Tiguan S is worthy of consideration for those looking for a bargain. Furthermore, VW’s Carefree Maintenance Program makes it easy to keep the flame of desire alive with full coverage of the vehicle’s 10,000-, 20,000- and 30,000-mile scheduled maintenance.
There are many competent propositions in the compact SUV segment, which will see more and more action as gas prices rise. The Tiguan is a player. It’s up against stiff competition, but the VW is certainly deserving of a test drive and a shot at the big time.
Evan Griffey served as an editor of Turbo & High Tech Performance, a pioneering publication about sport-compact tuning. Today Griffey freelances for Import Tuner, Sport Compact Car, Car Audio and Siphon.