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2011 Volkswagen Tiguan Photo
7.8
/ 10
TCC Rating
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Reviewed by Bengt Halvorson
Deputy Editor, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
$22,771
BASE MSRP
$23,720
Quick Take
The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan feels refined and sophisticated, but it's not especially rewarding to drive. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features
Mileage

Tiguan's smart, low-key sheet metal is clearly a product of the Volkswagen gene pool

Edmunds »

think of it more like a beefed-up Golf than a downsized Touareg

Popular Mechanics »

As each trim level increases, so does the size of the Tiguan's rims (16 in. to 18 in.) and the total amount of chrome around the car.

Road & Track »

highlights the silliness of the faux-S.U.V. genre

New York Times »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$23,720 $37,390
MSRP $23,720
INVOICE $22,771 Browse used listings in your area
2WD 4-Door Manual S
Gas Mileage 18 mpg City/26 mpg Hwy
Engine Turbocharged Gas I4, 2.0L
EPA Class 2WD Sport Utility Vehicles
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style Sport Utility
See Detailed Specs »
7.8 out of 10
Browse Volkswagen Tiguan inventory in your area.

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The Basics:

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.

Likes:

  • Attractive interior
  • Lively yet fuel-efficient engine
  • Roomy cabin
  • Impeccable build quality

Dislikes:

  • Uninspired handling
  • Vague manual transmission
  • Limited cargo space
  • Conservative exterior
  • Pricey for the segment
Next: Interior / Exterior »
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