The Volkswagen Tiguan was all-new for 2018 so changes are minimal this year. It continues to be an affordable, 7-passenger option for families who want a compact SUV rather than a land yacht. This makes the Tiguan great for city dwellers with larger families who don’t want to struggle to find a place to park.
All front-wheel drive models come standard with the third row while all-wheel drive models make it an option. Although it’s nice to have seating for seven, this isn’t a large SUV. The two passengers in the third row don’t have much room and if they’re adults, then they won’t want to be back there for long. It’s best suited to the kids or for use only on shorter drives with adults.
Otherwise, it’s a comfortable and spacious cabin with plenty of room even for taller passengers. The second row reclines for extra comfort on longer trips and it slides forward and backward up to seven inches. If you need a little extra space for passengers or cargo, simply adjust the second-row accordingly.
There’s 37.6 cubic feet for cargo behind the second row and 73.5 cubic feet behind the first in two-row models. Those numbers drop if you opt for the third row to 12.0 cubic feet behind the third row, 33.0 cubic feet behind the second row and 65.7 cubic feet behind the first row. If cargo is a priority, carefully consider the necessity of the third row. The Tiguan can also tow up to 1,500 pounds.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. It’s power enough to get the Tiguan up to highway speeds without a fuss, although at lower speeds the transmission is occasionally a bit rough, especially from a stop.
The ride in the Tiguan is exceptionally smooth. Rough pavement and uneven surfaces don’t disturb the Tiguan’s calm demeanor and passengers can easily relax and enjoy the trip. It’s a great road trip car with ample room for the family to spread out without being on top of each other.
Interior trims improve as you move through the six-trim lineup with the best materials reserved for the top trims. The base trims are the way to go for those on a budget and still boast attractive interiors with a manageable price. The base Tiguan S is priced from $24,295 while the SE comes in at $26,695.
Once you get to the SEL, pricing jumps to $31,795 with the top SEL Premium R-line topping the range at $38,895. That’s quite the spread. If you want a premium experience, then you can find it in the Tiguan, but you’ll save money and still enjoy the ride in the more affordable trims.
Infotainment includes an 8-inch color touchscreen and three USB ports on all but the base Tiguan, which has only a 6.5-inch touchscreen and one USB port. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard with navigation available on top trims.
The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan is unique in the segment for its availability of an optional third row. It’s not a spacious place to sit, but for those who need the occasional extra seating and want a smaller, more affordable vehicle, the Tiguan is a good choice.