The exterior of a blue Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen Tiguan review

The VW Tiguan looks like an SUV but feels like a smaller car to drive. Very solid and comfortable, it has a decent amount of space which makes it great for growing families.

Pros

  • Has a premium feel
  • Roomy with a large boot
  • The interior is very well designed

Cons

  • Styling isn't the most exciting
  • Top models attract luxury car tax surcharge
  • 4x4 automatic versions aren't the most economical

Summary

“The Tiguan is a high-tech and practical crossover that has a premium feel.”

The Tiguan is perfect for drivers who want a crossover which is comfortable and easy to drive. It boasts attractive yet simple interiors and great attention to detail in the way it’s made.

The latest generation was launched in 2016 and it’s a little longer, lower and wider than its predecessor. The previous generation is better value while the latest cars are better equipped.

All Tiguans have a five-door body and most have five seats, although there’s a longer, seven-seat version called the Tiguan Allspace. Even the entry-level trims are nicely equipped. The Tiguan S, for example, comes with 17-inch alloy wheels and an 8-inch colour touchscreen. If you'd like sat nav opt for the SEL, while the flagship R-Line Tech has a huge amount of tech, including a configurable digital speedometer that you can customise to show the information that’s important to you.

There’s a broad range of efficient and smooth petrol and diesel engines, so you can choose one to suit your needs. Dual-clutch and automatic gearboxes are good if you do lots of city driving, but if you want grip in the winter or off-road, there’s also a 4Motion four-wheel drive version.

The exterior of a blue Volkswagen Tiguan

What's the interior like?

“The Tiguan’s classy and well-built interior is packed with up-to-date VW technology.”

Much of the design has been carried over from other successful VWs such as the Golf. It looks high-quality with a big central touchscreen and classy metallic trim for a real high-tech feel.

The standard 8-inch and optional 10-inch touchscreens are state-of-the-art and easy to use. Top-spec models have an extra ‘head-up display’ which projects vital info onto the windscreen and right in the driver’s eyeline so you don’t have to look down. 

There’s a great driving position with lots of adjustment options to help you get super comfortable. The high ride means there’s a good view out and the rear view camera is useful for reversing in tight spaces, so it’s worth looking out for when choosing a car. 

The Tiguan is also very practical with plenty of leg and headroom. The rear seats slide forward and back depending on your need for more legroom or extra boot space. It's big doors and high seats mean it’s very easy to install and use child seats, while the boot is large and easy to use with a wide tailgate.

The interior of a Volkswagen Tiguan with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

What's it like to drive?

“The Tiguan feels secure and stable on the road with a comfortable ride and smooth, responsive engines.”

Most drivers will enjoy the quiet and comfortable ride of the Tiguan. It has different driving modes to suit your mood. The standard comfort mode is relaxing even when you’re driving on an uneven road.

The Tiguan isn't a particularly sporty drive, even if you opt for a racy R-Line version. The R-Line set-up sharpens the steering, and makes the ride a little firmer, but the Tiguan is a tall SUV and isn't built for performance.

The two-wheel drive, Tiguan’s smaller 1.5-litre petrol unit offers decent performance and feels quite nippy. This version will suit most people’s needs. The entry-level diesel lacks performance but is fine for town use. The mid-range 2-litre TDI is more fun with the extra power but comes at a higher price.

Rear seat shot of the Volkswagen Tiguan

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“The Tiguan isn’t as fuel-efficient as some, but it should be cheaper to maintain than a BMW or Mercedes SUV.”

The Tiguan is competitive to buy among its SUV rivals such as the SEAT Ateca and Peugeot 3008. Choosing a 4x4 version can add significantly to your fuel bills, so that’s something high mileage drivers need to consider, while other costs should be manageable.

Insurance groups for the Tiguan range from 11 to 27, which means the less powerful versions should be affordable to cover. VW servicing costs aren’t prohibitive either, through main dealer facilities.                                                                                                  

Road tax isn’t a problem for most models at £145, but if your Tiguan cost more than £40,000 when new and was registered since April 2017, the luxury car road tax surcharge adds £310 to your bills for the first five years.

The exterior of a blue Volkswagen Tiguan

How reliable and safe is it?

“It's top of its class for reliability and has a 5-star Euro NCAP rating.”

The Tiguan came top of the Compact SUV class in the JD Power Dependability Study so it’s likely to be very reliable. 

It’s also a very strong contender when it comes to safety. You'll feel reassured by the five-star Euro NCAP crash test result and technology, including automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance which is standard.

Engine shot of the Volkswagen Tiguan

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - S 1.6 TDI 115PS SCR

Best for family - S 1.5 TSI 150PS EVO

Best for fun - R-Line Tech 2.0 BiTDI 240PS

If you’re a frugal buyer look no further than the fuel-efficient diesel-engined Tiguan.

If you wanted a little more power you can upgrade to a bigger diesel. For family buyers (unless you need to cover huge mileage) the perky performance and relative economy of the 1.5-litre petrol engine is a good buy.

The S trim level is also very attractive, but if you don’t want to stream navigation through your phone you should look at the higher trim levels which have sat nav as standard.

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