Volkswagen Tiguan SUV

Price  £22,975 - £32,050

Volkswagen Tiguan SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Smart image
  • Roomy and classy interior
  • Quiet and refined engine range
  • Pretty dull looks
  • Limited off-road ability
  • Only average fuel economy

"The Volkswagen Tiguan is a little old now, but it’s still a very desirable model in the increasingly crowded SUV class thanks to a wide range, economical engines and a comfortable ride."

The Volkswagen Tiguan is the German carmaker's answer to compact SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai. It's a premium alternative – a status it shares with the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. However, it's also one of the older SUVs out there, so you might find newer, more stylish and more efficient models such as the Qashqai more appealing. However, there's no questioning the Tiguan's classy feel and timeless good looks – qualities that last long after that new-car shine has faded.

Two and four-wheel drive (called 4MOTION) are available and the Tiguan is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine that comes in a range of power outputs (there's no petrol option). All are smooth and punchy, and because they use VW's BlueMotion technology to save fuel and cutting emissions, they’re all fairly efficient.

Our favourite is the two-wheel-drive TDI 150 model, which can do 56.5mpg, costs £110 a year to tax and goes from 0-62mph in a reasonably nippy 9.8 seconds. If you must have four-wheel drive (which in this case improves the car's on-road traction rather than turning it into a full-blown off-roader), you should still see a decent 53.3mpg and pay just £20 more a year in road tax. However, it costs roughly £1,600 more to buy.

The Tiguan is pleasant to drive and grips the road well, even with two-wheel drive. Thanks to its firm suspension there's little body lean in corners. However, newer and lighter rivals such as the Mazda CX-5 feel more car-like.

There are four trim levels, spanning well-equipped S to top-of-the-range Escape, a version with slightly stronger off-road credentials than the standard model. Our favourite is the Match, which sits somewhere in the middle. Features include alloy wheels, a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen with sat nav, DAB digital radio, climate control and parking sensors.

For all its premium look and feel, the Tiguan's comfort and reliability haven’t impressed owners. But the model shares many components with the Golf, itself a generally reliable car. On the safety front there should be fewer concerns, as the Tiguan was awarded the maximum five stars by Euro NCAP and bristles with safety equipment, including six airbags, electronic stability control and ISOFIX child-seat mounts.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.6 / 5

You'd need to be a low to average-mileage driver for a petrol-powered Tiguan to make financial sense

Engines, drive & performance

3.4 / 5

For its price, power and economy, the two-wheel-drive Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0-litre TDI 140 is the best-balanced model in the range

Interior & comfort

3.6 / 5

The trim and fittings in the Volkswagen Tiguan feel expensive and look to be more than capable of withstanding years of family wear and tear

Practicality & boot space

3.6 / 5

Rivals may look more inviting, but few can match the Volkswagen Tiguan’s practicality

Reliability & safety

3.6 / 5

The VW Tiguan looks and feels well built, but owners marked it down in the 2014 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey

What the others say

3.5 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
"It's easy to see why it's a favourite with buyers, as it combines the usability of the Golf with desirable SUV features."
3 / 5
"The VW Tiguan is good to drive, but it's not as cheap as some rivals, while off-road ability is limited."
4 / 5
"There are now many very strong contenders to the Tiguan that are both cheaper to buy and of equally high quality and driving ability."
6 / 10
"Looks like a small SUV, drives like a hatchback. Well-built and very smart."
What owners say 
4.3 /5 based on 104 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
13 Oct 2015
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