Flash Drive: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2014.
By Staff of MSN Autos
Volkswagen’s new compact SUV is a perfect size for four passengers — or occasionally five — with good rear-seat legroom and headroom. It’s an SUV, but still sporty and powered by VW’s turbocharged, direct-injected 2.0-liter, combined with a 6-speed automatic. This is probably the largest vehicle to use the 2.0T, and when merging on the freeway or accelerating at highway speeds it could use a little more power. Around town it does the job, although fuel economy is no more than the 18/24 city/hwy rating. The Tiguan delivers the driving dynamics expected from a Volkswagen. The electro-mechanical power steering is precise, the suspension is controlled but not harsh and the brake pedal is solid. The cargo space is small with the rear seat in position so it will be a trade-off between rear-seat passengers and cargo, but this is an SUV that enthusiasts will enjoy. — Mike Meredith
The Tiguan makes use of the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine common to many vehicles in the Volkswagen range. Unfortunately the frugality of the drivetrain doesn’t suit the weight of even an entry-level SUV. The Tiguan managed only 14.5 mpg after very conservative driving, and Volkswagen even recommends premium fuel. It’s a pity the Tiguan is so expensive to run because otherwise impressions are quite good. There’s a lot of room inside, the materials are inviting, and the upright driving position provides a good view and is comfortable for long drives. The Tiguan is also reasonably fun to drive, with a much more substantial feel to it than similarly priced competitors. — Paul Hagger
The new Tiguan has been a huge hit in Europe, but it hasn’t quite taken off in the states yet. The newest VW SUV is stylish, with a comfortable, usable interior. The rear seat is surprisingly roomy for a sport ute of this size, and the wide door openings make for very easy entry and exit — better than a most of the Tiguan’s competitors. The panoramic sunroof adds to the roomy feeling, but while the rear seat is spacious, the cargo space is very small — unless the rear seats are folded down there won’t be room for much more than grocery bags. VW markets the Tiguan as having a bit of GTI in its DNA, but while it handles pretty well with impressive power, the GTI bit is a stretch. Fuel economy was around 22 mpg for mostly city driving — not as impressive as expected for a vehicle of this size. And the price of $33K will put the Tiguan out of range for some compact SUV buyers. — Perry Stern