Perky, responsive driving feel; handling and maneuverability; stylish, upright appearance; roomy, adjustable backseat; fuel efficiency; safety ratings
The Tiguan remains offered in S, SE and SEL trims; both are offered either with front-wheel drive or 4Motion all-wheel drive, and while a 6-speed automatic transmission is available on either model, the S can be had with a 6-speed manual.
In either case, performance is strong from the 2.0L, direct-injected turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The engine delivers a stout 207 pound-feet of torque relatively low in the rev range to bring it the response of a larger V6. The engine works well with either available transmission. Fuel economy estimated to be as good as 19 mpg city, 26 highway with the manual gearbox.
The Tiguan has a sport-tuned, firm-but-absorbent suspension, and its electromechanical power steering provides more reassurance and feedback than is typical in this class. Together with the strong engine, confident braking and impressive grip, the Tiguan feels much sportier than you might assume from the taller utility-vehicle profile.
As with the rest of the Volkswagen line, the Tiguan comes with firm, well-bolstered seats in front, while the backseats both recline 23 degrees and slide six inches fore and aft to balance comfort, legroom and cargo. The seatback folds forward to expand cargo space and the front passenger seatback also folds forward flat to fit exceptionally long cargo such as skiis or ladders.
The Tiguan's available 4Motion all-wheel drive sends 90 percent of torque to the front wheels normally, but when needed, it can send nearly all to the rear wheels to provide the best traction. Safety features are also strong on the Tiguan; standard on all models are front side thorax airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, stability control and anti-lock brakes.
The Tiguan S comes with a very generous list of standard equipment that includes 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, air conditioning, 8-way adjustable driver and passenger front seats, and four power outlets. The SE model steps up to 17-inch alloys, fog lamps, a roof rack, extra chrome trim, heated seats, heated washer nozzles, leather trim, a power driver seat, a trip computer and an upgraded sound system. At the top of the line, the SEL adds even larger, 18-inch alloy wheels plus bi-xenon headlamps, dual-zone climate control, leather seats, rain-sensing wipers, a self-dimming rearview mirror, a Smart Key entry system, a navigation system, push-button start and adjustable ambient interior lighting.
Major options on the SE include the navigation system and a large panoramic sunroof, while a Dynaudio premium sound system package is available on the Tiguan SEL.
Bluetooth, including hands-free calling and audio streaming, is now standard across the entire lineup, and a navigation system is now available on the SE and standard on the SEL. Sound systems have been revamped across the lineup, as have wheel designs, and a new-design steering wheel matches the one that's been phased in on the Golf. A new Smart Key keyless entry system and push-button start is now standard on top-of-the-range SEL models.
A new Night Blue exterior hue replaces Sapphire Blue, and the previous Wolfsburg Edition of the Tiguan is no longer offered.
The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan stands out in the crowded field of compact crossover utility vehicles as being just a little sportier and fun to drive. Handling and maneuverability are strengths. The Tiguan's turbocharged engine offers impressive performance, while still being reasonably good with gas, and the tall-roof design affords impressive interior space--especially for backseat occupants. It's also been a strong safety achiever; the IIHS named the 2010 Tiguan a Top Safety Pick for its excellent occupant protection. And the improved Bluetooth connectivity for 2011 will no-doubt be a highly valued upgrade.
Vehicle Price: 24,540.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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