Review: The New VW Tiguan

Posted on December 22, 2011 by


The New Tiguan from Volkswagen combines a fun drive with a wide range of safety features. The high driving position, relatively small size and practicality make this mini-mpv an ideal choice for urban commutes and short journeys.

Overall Rating:


The 2.0 litre, 140bhp turbo diesel version of the Tiguan offers a respectable amount of power for a car of its size. When you open up the throttle in second gear you’ll certainly enjoy the torque but if it’s more power you seek then you can pick the 170bhp diesel or the 210bhp petrol, both for around £600 more.

Ride & Handling

For a compact crossover the 4WD versions of the Tiguan feel very stable when cornering, the higher ride position being the only real give-away as to the fact that this is a crossover and not a sporty coupe. As a result of this the Tiguan is more suited to on-road driving with its firmer suspension and handling, of course this means that it’s a fun car to drive.Ironic then, based on the current TV adverts, that this car drives and feels like a Golf.


One of the perks of buying into VW is that you can be assured of German quality at a reasonable price. The diesel variant we drove was calm and quiet with little engine noise at low revs, this combined with the build quality of the rest of the car means that driving on motorways is especially pleasant with little wind noise.

Buying & Owning

The Tiguan is competitively priced, the similar variant of the Honda CR-V is around £500 less but also has a lower MPG figure compared to the 2.0 litre diesel, 4WD Tiguan’s 48.7 combined figure. The 2WD variant can manage around 53.3 MPG.One of the benefits of buying into VW is that most will hold their value well, thus making them sensible long-term buys.

Quality & Reliability

The current VW interior design is not the most creative you may have seen, it lends itself well to that sense of German efficiency; basic looking but easy to use. This means that you don’t have to fear parts falling off or coming loose but don’t expect your passengers to be wowed when they sit down.In terms of the engine you won’t need to worry either, the engines on offer are available in a number of the other VW’s so they’re well tested.

Safety & Security

The Tiguan has an NCAP Adult rating of 5 and 4 for children; for pedestrians however it only scores 2, not surprising when you consider the car’s size. On the other hand the high seating position combined with the relatively small size will make it appealing to many drivers.

Space & Practicality

The Tiguan is the perfect example of a compact crossover, big on the outside, small on the inside.

There’s space for 5, each with individual seats and buckets of leg room but this comes at a cost to boot space. In fact there’s more room in the boot of a Ford Mondeo which is slightly disappointing considering the size of the car. Nevertheless it’s a good shape and the rear seats fold completely flat, giving a reasonable sized luggage space.


The SE variant we tested had an impressive amount of kit with lane assist, which causes the steering wheel to vibrate when you start to wander out of your lane, and park assist which as you’ve probably seen allows the car to park itself for you. This variant is also available with dual-zone climate control, start-stop technology and a rear parking camera. The more basic versions however are rather limited in the gadget department; entry-level models include air-con, electric windows and alloy wheels. The Escape variant has been reworked in order to make it suitable for off-road driving, it features a new front end and under-body protection.

The Tiguan as it goes out for emissions testing

Posted in: Motoring, Reviews