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#4

in 2010 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $11,767 - $18,957
Original MSRP: $23,200 - $33,500
MPG: 19 City / 26 Hwy
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2010 Volkswagen Tiguan Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The Volkswagen Tiguan's interior has many high points -- soft-touch materials, elegant style and plenty of features -- but it's lacking in utility compared to similar SUVs. Despite versatile sliding rear seats, the Tiguan just can't match the cargo space of its rivals.

  • "The absence of flimsy plastic trim pieces and use of cushioned surfaces throughout served to reinforce the highly refined aura inside the Tiguan." -- MSN
  • "The dimensions, alas, intrude upon the gorgeous cockpit, which was voted the classiest of the bunch. The Tiguan's back seat was cramped for three riders, aggravated by space-wasting plastic bins at either end of the cushion and a center console that crowded the hump rider's knees. Consider this a four-passenger machine.” -- Car and Driver
  • " Tiguan's well-assembled cabin is a handsome combination of soft-touch and textured hard plastics. The SE model's cloth interior rivals that of class leaders for appearance. SEL's standard leather upholstery adds to the ambiance.." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Volkswagen never skimps when it comes to the interior finish of their vehicles and the Tiguan is no exception." -- Automobile.com
  • "Useful details like an air-conditioned glovebox, overhead storage binnacles, sliding storage bins under the front seats, one-liter bottle holders in the front door pockets, and even aircraft-style picnic trays on the front seatbacks are what we expect from the thoughtful Germans, and the Tiguan delivers them." -- Motive Magazine
  • "The interior is comfortable, quiet and roomy, especially with the sliding rear seats." -- Road and Track

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Seating

Reviewers find the five-seat Tiguan quite comfortable and even say the rear seat is spacious -- a rare compliment in this class. What really sets the Tiguan apart from competitors is that the rear seat can be adjusted to provide more legroom, head room or cargo space. The seat reclines, slides back and forth, and can even be lowered.

Base S models come with manually-adjustable driver and passenger seats. Wolfsburg models upgrade to a partial power driver seat, and SEL models get a power-adjustable driver seat (though still only a manual passenger seat). Both Wolfsburg and SEL models have heated front seats. Leather seating surfaces are standard on SEL models only.

For a closer look at the Tiguan's seats, check out our Tiguan video.

  • "Very comfortable [in the front], even for larger adults. Generous headroom, even under the panoramic sunroof that was on all vehicles tested. … Outstanding [rear space] for the class. Deceptively spacious for two adults. Tall riders will find ample headroom, even beneath the sunroof housing. Under-seat foot space is also quite good." -- Consumer Guide
  • "In about six hours of driving we found the [front] seats to be comfortable, and we felt just as fresh when we got out as we did when we got in." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "This six-foot-seven driver was shocked to find so much room in the back seat that he was actually able to comfortably slide the seat forward." -- Car and Driver
  • "The backseats have reclining and sliding capabilities, but in their most reclined position they felt more like a normal seat. Once you move the seats forward or out of the 'reclined' position, an average size passenger's legs can get a bit squashed." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "Firm, well-shaped seats offer proper support, whether logging miles on the interstate or slicing through a twisty two-laner." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

The Tiguan delivers easy-to-use controls and plenty of high-tech options. Standard features on the base S model include manual single-zone climate control, an auxiliary audio input, a height-adjustable and telescoping steering wheel, heated sideview mirrors, and an MP3-compatible CD player.

Upgrading to the Wolfsburg model adds about $4,500 on to the price but also adds several popular features. These include Bluetooth, a touchscreen radio with a six-disc CD changer, a leather steering wheel with audio controls, and a multi-function trip computer with a compass. Most of the Tiguan’s options are available on Wolfsburg and SEL models only. These include a douchscreen DVD navigation system with a 30-Gigabyte hard drive, which comes with a SanDisk card slot (for music) and a rearview camera. Another option is the panoramic sunroof, a reviewer favorite.

More information about the Tiguan's interior features can be found in our Tiguan video.

  • "The gauges are clear and well marked. The controls are easy to reach and use. Standard climate control system is refreshingly simple with only three knobs and two buttons. SEL has automatic dual-zone climate control that is also easy to operate. The optional navigation system is a new design that has fewer buttons and is easier to learn than the system found in some other VW models." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The sunroof is an impressive 12.7 square feet, and when you press the button it feels like the heavens are opening up above your head." -- MSN
  • "The Tiguan does have one luxury touch unusual in this price and vehicle class: an electronic parking brake. To set the brake, you simply engage a small lever between the front seats. If you forget to release it, it disengages automatically when you move off." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • "In keeping with Volkswagen's reputation for upscale cabins, the interior of the Tiguan boasts high-quality materials and tight-as-a-drum build quality. Real aluminum -- not silver-colored plastic -- enhances the premium feel." -- Edmunds

Cargo

Cargo space isn’t the Tiguan’s strength. It provides 23.8 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats in use and 56.1 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. Though reviewers appreciate the sliding rear seat's versatility, it's still not quite enough to match the cargo capacity of rivals. Standout features include a lockable and illuminated glove box with an adjustable cooling feature, and four tie-down hooks in the cargo area.

If you need more cargo space, look at the Mazda CX-7. Though it’s technically not a compact SUV, it’s on the smaller side of the midsize class and provides 29.9 cubic feet and 58.6 cubic feet of space, respectively. It also costs about $1,500 less than the Tiguan and has similarly sporty performance.

To see how  the Tiguan handles cargo, be sure to check out our Tiguan video.

  • "When we folded the seats flat, we had 56.1 cu.-ft. at our disposal. And we were able to load all the camping gear we needed for an overnight fly-fishing trip (with room to spare). What's more, we found nine tie-down hooks that were well placed and very useful for securing all of our equipment." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "Tiguan is one of the smaller compact SUVs, but there is good room behind the 2nd row. The split rear seat folds nearly flat to increase cargo room. In-cabin storage is good with numerous cubbies and bins, but most are uncovered." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Unfortunately, the rear seat can't be folded from the cargo area, and moving it forward opens up a crevice in the load floor that can catch small cargo. (Several GM SUVs also have an adjustable backseat, and they eliminate the gap with a plastic bridge.)" -- Cars.com
  • "Indeed, the Tiguan is one of the most compact of compact crossovers. Its sliding rear seats help expand space for the cargo area or the backseat, but in general, if you're planning on lots of long-distance family vacations or frequent trips to Ikea, the Tiguan is probably not the best choice." -- Edmunds

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