The 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan has a lot of usefulness, and it's probably the best fit for a growing family that wants something with a little more utility, or to the older driver who likes the easier entry/exit and seating position of a city-oriented crossover.
Most crossover shoppers also want an interior that's straightforward and versatile—as well as comfortable—and the Tiguan delivers on those expectations. Front seats feel sporty and supportive, with good comfort and an excellent driving position, while the second-row seats slide and tilt, leaving ample space for adults.
At about 173 inches long and 73 inches wide, the Tiguan has a smaller parking footprint than most compact sedans. Yet its height of 66.5 inches and carlike layout allow lots of cabin space—including very good head room.
There are three different upholstery materials used in the Tiguan, and in each case they're tastefully done and have a high-quality look and feel. Base models get cloth, while mid-line models have a vinyl 'leatherette' and top-of-the-line models get true leather. Most versions also have adjustable lumbar support and height-adjustable seats, as well as a power rake adjustment for the driver's seat, but not the passenger seat.
You won't find third-row seats in the Tiguan, of course, but the second row has a level of comfort that almost rivals that of the front, thanks to the tall roofline and a seat design that seems to have prioritized passenger comfort as much as cargo space. Shoulder and leg room are good, and the seats are split to fold, slide, and tilt to improve access to the cargo area. With the 60/40-split seatbacks folded you get 56 cubic feet of cargo space (nearly 24 with the seat up), with a small 'hidden' storage bin under the floor plus a twin-compartment glovebox and various other cubbies throughout the vehicle.
Throughout the Tiguan, there really isn't a hair out of place. And while it isn't a design leader in any way, just a quick glance around the cabin may be enough to understand where this crossover really shines: Materials and details feel polished, assembly quality is tight, and overall there's a feel that this could conceivably be a vehicle from a premium brand like Audi.