The 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan has what should be a very fuel-efficient powertrain: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed transmissions that seem geared quite tall.
And yet actual EPA results don't deliver to that supposition. VW managed to raise the Tiguan's fuel economy slightly last year, but they remain as low as 18 mpg city, 26 highway with the manual transmission, or as good as 22/27 mpg.
Those numbers are near the bottom of the crossover class; compared to other four-cylinder compact crossovers; and the embarrassing part is that it's even fallen behind some of the newer V-6-powered crossovers in its class. Not only that, the Tiguan also requires drivers use premium fuel.
There are other options, even within the VW fold, for those who deem that unacceptable: The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen offers a TDI clean-diesel engine that's just as perky but offers up to 42 mpg highway.