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The Volkswagen Tiguan Gets it Done

The Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover utility vehicle that seats five. This model comes with a turbocharged engine paired with an automatic transmission. Power routes to the front or to all four wheels. Last overhauled in 2018, the Tiguan experienced significant updates in 2022. For 2023, this VW is mostly carried over.

Clean Exterior

The Volkswagen Tiguan’s exterior features received a refresh for the 2022 model year, aligning it with design cues seen on the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport. The front end showcases a low-slung bumper, a broad grille with Volkswagen’s logo, and LED headlights as standard. The side profile features a strong character line, while the rear boasts LED taillights and upscale lettering for the model name.

The Tiguan offers a choice of seven colors for 2023. The R-Line trim levels include R-Line badging, bumpers, and body color-matched side sills. Wheel sizes range from 17 inches for the S model to 20 inches for the SEL R-Line model. Tire sizes vary across trims for optimal performance and grip. Overall, the Tiguan’s exterior design combines distinctive styling cues with attention to detail, making it an appealing choice in its segment.

Roomy Interior

The interior of the Volkswagen Tiguan combines spaciousness and sophistication with upgraded comfort and convenience features. Standard amenities include keyless access, push-button start, and heated front seats. Higher trims offer additional options such as a heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats. The SE and SEL R-Line models come with premium leather-wrapped steering wheels.

Interior color options include Titan Black, Storm Grey, Cinnamon, and Noisette. Seating surfaces range from cloth in the base S models to leatherette in the SE and SE R-Line Black trims. On the other hand, the SEL R-Line boasts leather seating surfaces. The front seats in the SE and SE R-Line Black trims feature 8-way power adjustment for the driver and 6-way adjustment for the passenger. The SEL R-Line adds a 3-position driver-seat memory function and an 8-way power passenger seat.

Versatile Seating

The Tiguan impresses with its seating versatility, offering three rows of seating in front-wheel-drive models and two rows in 4Motion all-wheel-drive versions. The third-row seats in the front-wheel-drive models have a 50/50 split folding design, expanding the cargo space when needed. However, those last two seats are small and offer extremely limited legroom.

Behind the third row, there is 12 cubic feet of cargo space, expanding to 33 cubic feet behind the second row, and a maximum of 65.3 cubic feet when all the seats are folded down. In the 4Motion all-wheel-drive configuration, the Tiguan provides a 40/20/40 rear bench, with 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row and 73.4 cubic feet with the seats folded. The Tiguan’s interior combines practicality and comfort, making it a versatile choice for drivers and families.

In-Cabin Technologies

The Volkswagen Tiguan is equipped with various technology features designed for user convenience, entertainment, and safety. Among these is the MIB Infotainment system and a touchscreen interface that enables smartphone integration. Another feature, the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, is a digital instrument cluster that presents essential vehicle data in an accessible format. Entertainment provisions include SiriusXM with 360L, an audio platform on select models that mixes satellite and streaming content, and a Fender Premium Audio System on the SEL R-Line trim for an elevated audio experience.

The Tiguan leverages Volkswagen Car-Net suite of services, offering functionalities such as remote vehicle access, integration with Amazon Alexa, off-street parking information, and navigational support. Car-Net also provides diagnostic reports on a monthly basis, enabling owners to monitor their vehicle’s condition. With respect to safety, the Tiguan includes features such as Family Guardian and Roadside Call Assist, issuing alerts for speed, boundary, curfew, and valet, as well as providing roadside assistance during emergencies.

The DriveView program, accessible to Car-Net users, could offer insurance discounts based on driving habits. The Car-Net Safe & Secure subscription, meanwhile, adds features like emergency assistance, automatic crash notification, and stolen vehicle location assistance. Finally, the Tiguan can be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot, with the capacity to connect as many as four devices to the internet.

Driver Assist Technologies

The Tiguan is equipped with an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which applies the brakes after a primary collision to reduce residual kinetic energy and minimize additional damage. In the event of certain types of collisions, the Intelligent Crash Response System shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and activates the hazard lights.

Volkswagen IQ.DRIVE

The Tiguan’s IQ.DRIVE advanced driver assistance technology provides various features to assist drivers. These include Travel Assist, which enables partially-automated hands-on driving within specific speed limits, and Front Assist, which warns of potential frontal collisions and can provide automatic braking assistance. Side Assist (Blind Spot Monitor) alerts drivers to vehicles in adjacent lanes, while Rear Traffic Alert detects crossing vehicles while reversing and applies the brakes if necessary. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Stop & Go maintains a set speed and distance to the vehicle ahead, while Lane Assist countersteers to keep the vehicle in the lane. Emergency Assist monitors driver attentiveness and can bring the vehicle to a stop if necessary.

Additional driver assistance features in the Tiguan include Park Distance Control, Park Assist, Dynamic Road Sign Display, Light Assist (High Beam Control), and Area View (Overhead View Camera). These technologies enhance visibility, assist with parking maneuvers, and provide information about road signs. With these driver assistance features, the Tiguan prioritizes safety and convenience for an enhanced driving experience.

Performance Matters

The Volkswagen Tiguan is equipped with a powerful and efficient 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. This turbocharged and direct-injection engine incorporates a modified Miller cycle for improved combustion efficiency, delivering 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. All Tiguan trims come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a standard Start/Stop system.

The Tiguan offers the Driving Mode Selection feature as standard, providing four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Eco, and Individual. Each mode offers a unique driving experience, allowing drivers to tailor the vehicle’s throttle response, steering weight, and climate control settings.

4Motion All-Wheel Drive

Additionally, the Tiguan can be equipped with the 4Motion with Active Control all-wheel-drive system. This advanced system activates before wheelspin occurs, ensuring optimal traction in various driving conditions. It can automatically engage the rear wheels when needed, offering up to 50 percent torque distribution to the rear axle for enhanced stability and control.

Concerning fuel efficiency, this model averages between 24 and 27 mpg combined, depending on the equipment and trim. When properly equipped, the 2023 Tiguan pulls up to 1,500 pounds and that’s below average in the segment. For instance, the Toyota RAV4 pulls up to 3,500 pounds, while the Ford Escape pulls up to 2,000 pounds.

On the Road

The VW’s engine is suited for the task at hand. Ported from Audi, this engine makes 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. It works with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Our test SEL R-Line model is the only one that comes with standard all-wheel drive. The other three trims have standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive.

This engine produces copious amounts of energy from a dead stop to passing power. However, some turbo lag is experienced, especially when pressing the accelerator pedal suddenly for an expected burst of power. Instead, a slight pause may take place as the turbo spools. It may only be a momentary hesitation, but it is noticeable.

Credit the Tiguan for delivering direct steering and noteworthy handling. The four-wheel-drive system constantly monitors the wheels, shifting power quickly as needed. This imbues confidence while cornering or engaging in other acts of spirited driving. Strong braking brings this crossover to a firm stop.

Our Recommendation

In a market full of options, the Volkswagen Tiguan holds its own. We suggest starting with the SE model since the base S model might not have everything you’re looking for. If you live somewhere with a lot of ice or slick roads, you might consider opting for all-wheel drive. Overall, the VW Tiguan either meets or beats what you’d expect from a car in its class, making it a solid choice.

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Specifications

Volkswagen 2023 Tiguan
Segment Compact Crossover
Price Range $26,950 to $37,680
Destination Charge $1,295
Standard Engine 2.0-liter, Turbo I4
Horsepower 184 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (lb.-ft.) 221 lb.-ft. @ 1,900 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Seating 5 or 7
Curb Weight (pounds) 3,765 to 3,856
Wheelbase (inches) 109.9
Length (inches) 186.1
Width (inches) 72.4
Height (inches) 66.4/66.5
Headroom (f,r…inches) 39.6/39.1/33.8
Legroom (f,r…inches) 40.2/36.6/27.9
Shoulder room (f,r…inches) 57.0/55.9/47.6
Hip room (f,r…inches) 54.5/53.5/39.5
Storage (cubic feet) 12.0/33.0/65.3
Gross combined weight rating (pounds) 5,093/5,181
Towing (pounds) 1,500
Payload (pounds) 937/1,157
Fuel regular
Fuel Tank (gallons) 15.3
EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined) 23/30/26
Manufacturing Plant Puebla, Mexico

Specifications supplied by the manufacturer.

See Also — Volkswagen Tiguan: Chronicling the Changes

Photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

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The Volkswagen Tiguan Gets it Done


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