- Attractive styling, inside and out
- Lively four-cylinder turbo
- Roomy cabin
- Impeccable build quality
- Pricey for the segment
- Uninspired handling
- Vague manual transmission
- Limited cargo space
The 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan targets vehicles like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, but outshines them with its sophistication.
The 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan sits in the shadow of big brother, the Touareg, but it has a bevy of qualities that makes it stand out in its own segment, where it competes with the likes of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Note that the vehicle is only in its second year, so it remains unchanged for 2010.
The stylish SUV is based on the Golf platform, so it's compact and beneath it all more car than ute. It measures 173.2 inches in length, 72.8 inches in width, and 66.5 inches in height, with one of the taller, more upright stances of vehicles in this compact segment. When it comes to styling, one can safely say that the right balance has been achieved between startlingly adventurous and blandly contemporary. The lines of the exterior are accentuated by the headlamps and grille, with the richer finishes in the cabin contradicting the quality one has come to expect from Volkswagen. Inside the styling is quite welcoming and familiar from VW's cars, yet a little more upright.
The 2010 Tiguan packs a 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and is available with front- or all-wheel-drive configurations. Transmission options include either a six-speed manual or an automatic. The vehicle is tuned for all-around ability rather than ultimate precision. This reflects in the ride, steering, and brakes, though the ride is of a better standard than the larger and much more expensive BMW X3. The electromechanical steering and multilink rear suspension are integral to the agility of this compact crossover, but a lack of feedback means the steering can sometimes feel very vague—good if you’re a lazy driver but bad if you enjoy a spirited drive.
Inside, there are easily accessible but sporty and supportive seats with an option of a flexible interior package that includes second-row split bench seats designed to slide and tilt. The cargo compartment has a small hidden storage bin underneath the load floor, and there's a twin glove box up front. In terms of space, the 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan impresses, both with passengers and their gear.
As can be expected from a prominent European marque, safety is a high priority, with six airbags and stability control standard. Additional safety features such as hill descent are available through the push of a button on the all-wheel-drive versions. The Tiguan gets straight five-star ratings from the federal government and top "good" ratings from the IIHS in all frontal and side tests, plus top results in rear-impact and roof-crush tests from the IIHS.
The appeal of the 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan is further enhanced by the range of features, which include a sizable panoramic sunroof, a navigation system, a music hard drive, and an iPod connection.