2011 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

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2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan feels refined and sophisticated, but it's not especially rewarding to drive.

The stylish Volkswagen Tiguan 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. Design-wise, it gives the impression, as vehicles in this class often do, of a vehicle that was designed from the inside out; the smooth but conservative look appears as more blandly contemporary than sporty or adventurous. But there's nice detailing to keep it in line with Volkswagen's cars, as well as the Touareg SUV.

The 2011 Tiguan drives more like an especially tall car than a utility vehicle, and it does, at least at first impression, feel significantly more nimble and responsive feel than rivals like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The basics are promising; the Tiguan packs a 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, with front- or all-wheel-drive configurations, and transmission options include either a six-speed manual or an automatic. But the goods aren't here to satisfy enthusiasts; the Tiguan is tuned for all-around ability rather than ultimate precision, and this reflects in the ride, steering, and brakes.

The Tiguan has the straightforward, versatile, and comfortable interior that compact crossover shoppers look for. Sporty and supportive seats give good comfort and an excellent driving position in front, and the flexible interior package includes second-row split bench seats designed to slide and tilt. Even larger adults will be very comfortable in the front seats, thanks to generous headroom, shoulder room, and legroom, and the back seats are ample for adults. The cargo compartment has a small hidden storage bin underneath the load floor, and with the 60/40-split back seats folded there's 56 cubic feet of expanded cargo space. A twin glove box up front adds convenience, and there are numerous other cubbies.

Overall, the Tiguan has a very refined, high-quality feel inside. Fit and finish and build quality in the Tiguan are top-notch, and while there's a little wind noise on the highway, the Tiguan's cabin is well isolated from road and engine noise.

With the Tiguan, Volkswagen keeps to its commitment to safety features and top-notch occupant protection. Standard features include front side airbags, side-curtain bags, and stability control, while rear side thorax airbags—not often available in this class—are an option. On all-wheel-drive versions, hill descent control is also included, to help control speed on steep slopes. Safety results have been excellent.

For 2011, the Tiguan gets a new lineup of alloy wheel designs, as well as new steering-wheel designs—including multi-function buttons for audio. Base S models get a new single-CD sound system, and an iPod adapter and voice-activated Bluetooth are now also standard on all models. The SEL model includes leather seats and push-button start, and roof-rack rails come with SE and SEL trims. Noteworthy options include a sizable panoramic sunroof, a navigation system (improved for this year), and a music hard drive, and an iPod connection. The navigation and audio setup also includes DVD video playback when the vehicle is stopped, and an SD memory card slot. The top Dynaudio system remains offered only on the Tiguan SEL 4Motion model.

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April 28, 2015
2011 Volkswagen Tiguan 4WD 4-Door SE 4Motion

The positives far outweigh the couple minor issues -- it's a great car!

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We bought our Tiguan used - it was a lease return with just under 30k miles. The style of the car is sharp -- it has great lines, is just the right size (even for 2 kids and 2 large dogs in the hatch), and is... + More »
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February 29, 2016
2016 Volkswagen Tiguan 4MOTION 4-Door Automatic R-Line

Poor MPG and random failures

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I get my cars as part of a lease scheme so models are pre-determined by the lease criteria. With the Tiguan being back on the scheme at the change point I'd applied and happily was offered one. Unfortunately... + More »
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January 7, 2016
2016 Volkswagen Tiguan 4MOTION 4-Door Automatic R-Line

Tiguan Surprises Even My Skeptical Wife

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Before making our purchase decision on the Tiguan 4Motion R-Line we began our search for a small SUV to replace our 2013 Mini Cooper Countryman. We needed a little bit bigger car to accommodate our... + More »
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November 16, 2015
2016 Volkswagen Tiguan 2WD 4-Door Automatic SE

Powerful, stylish and fun to drive.

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I traded in my15 GLI because we just had a kid. It's easy to manipulate a car seat in and out of the back seat. It moves down the road pretty well, considering it's only 200hp and 207lbs ft. of torque. My only... + More »
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November 9, 2015
2016 Volkswagen Tiguan 2WD 4-Door Automatic SEL

Stands Apart from the Crowd

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The exterior is an older design but does not look dated. It stands out from the typical angular Asian offerings. Ford Escape is worse in crash ratings. The great thing here is the Tiguan is built in Germany so... + More »
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November 1, 2015
2016 Volkswagen Tiguan 4MOTION 4-Door Automatic S

Nicest, smoothest small SUV on the market for 2016

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I test drive every small SUV in the area. I bought the Tiguan. It drives smooth but sporty. The acceleration surpassed the others by far. Feels solid and handles great n traffic or on the freeway. Lacks in... + More »
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October 22, 2015
For 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan

I feel comfortable during driving high ways

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Highly quilfied as regard safety and quality , economic , i use 92 fuel in egypt . It is volex vagen quality , we like it in egypt .
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January 31, 2016
For 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan

does its job without complaint

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I chose the Tiguan match with the 140 bhp manual 4 wheel drive . I had the factory fitted tow bar and the optional zenon lights. The vehicle was chosen for its ability to tow my caravan and its discreet style... + More »
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July 12, 2015
2015 Volkswagen Tiguan 2WD 4-Door Automatic R-Line

Great high-quality car for small family, a couple, or anyone who enjoys practicality combined with a fun driving experience.

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I owned a 2012 Tiguan SEL, then traded up to a 2014 Touareg with the V6 engine. Both cars were great, but the Touareg was somewhat awkward for me, as I'm an older senior and mostly drive in town. Besides, my... + More »
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April 14, 2015
For 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan

great ride

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very reliable, well built, easy to drive. good ride
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