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The Tiguan is a small crossover that Volkswagen refers to as the GTI of SUVs due to the sportiness it packs into its utilitarian body style. The Tiguan is built on a modified Passat platform with some bits from the last-gen Golf thrown in on the ends.

Recent Changes

For the latest model year, the Tiguan receives new trim levels and additional standard features. A brand-new model will arrive in showrooms in the coming months.


Seeking to create a uniform look throughout its lineup, Volkswagen recently applied its corporate two-bar grille to Tiguan while also redesigning the front fascia with new fog lights and a honeycomb grille below the bumper. At the rear, two-part taillights echo those of the larger Touareg and are sleeker and more compact than the units they replaced.

Power for the Tiguan comes exclusively from Volkswagen's proven 2.0-liter turbo inline-four, which develops 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission both come standard, and Volkswagen's 4MOTION all-wheel drive system available as an option on select trim levels.

Life Aboard

The cabin of the Tiguan was designed before VW decided to attack the heart of the American automotive market by making their cars more accessible (read: cheaper), meaning the materials are high-quality for the price point. The overall design is elegant, and there's 23.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up 56.1 cubic feet with them folded down. Interior flexibility is maximized thanks to 60-40 split folding rear seats.

All Tiguan models can be ordered with Volkswagen's MIB II infotainment system, which integrates the car's entertainment, navigation and climate control systems while offering crash notification, roadside assistance and stolen vehicle location assistance. MIB II also features remote vehicle access, speed and boundary alerts and it can provide a vehicle health report.

Trim Level Breakdown

The Volkswagen Tiguan lineup has been pared down to just four trim levels called S, Wolfsburg, Sport, and SEL, respectively.

S models come generously standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, an electronic parking brake, heated door mirrors, black roof rails, automatic headlights, daytime running lights, keyless entry with a push-button ignition, heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, cruise control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, Bluetooth connectivity, a rear-view camera, a five-inch screen for the infotainment system, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, speed-sensitive power steering, and an eight-speaker sound system.

Selecting the Wolfsburg trim adds a panoramic sunroof, Volkswagen's Car-Net technology, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat.

The Sport trim builds on the Wolfsburg model with dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation, leather upholstery, 18-inch alloy wheels, a trim-specific body kit, a sport-tuned suspension, and Bi-Xenon headlights.

Finally, the range-topping SEL boasts specific 19-inch wheels wrapped by all-season tires, a rear-view camera with rear assist, an upgraded sound system.

Occupant Safety

Regardless of trim level, the Tiguan is fitted with dual front, side thorax and side curtain airbags in addition to stability and traction control systems, ABS and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

Key Competitors

Given the sporty and slightly upscale nature of the Tiguan, its closest competitor is the turbocharged variant of the Kia Sportage. Buyers can also conceivably cross-shop vehicles like the GMC Terrain, the Honda CR-V, the Ford Escape, the Jeep Cherokee, and even the Acura RDX.