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#12

in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $23,305 - $38,835
Invoice: $22,373 - $37,282
MPG: 18 City / 26 Hwy
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Volkswagen Tiguan Performance

The 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan receives high marks from test drivers who say it offers one of the most enjoyable driving experiences in the class. Reviewers praise the Tiguan's powerful turbocharged engine and peppy acceleration. They also like its agile car-like handling around corners and say it glides over road imperfections effortlessly. Test drivers also say the transmission shifts smoothly and that the steering is precise. Though auto reviewers find few faults with its performance, the VW Tiguan isn't the most fuel-efficient option available.

  • "On the road, the Tiguan's suspension and powertrain continue to set it apart." -- Edmunds
  • "We can't think of a more pleasant compact crossover to drive at this price." -- AutoTrader
  • "VW charges the Tiguan with ‘putting the 'Sport' in SUV,’ crediting it with having the soul of the GTI (but not the same heart), and we didn't scoff at the bombast after a couple of hours behind the wheel." -- Autoblog
  • "The Tiguan offers a better driving experience than do most of its competitors but at the expense of a few miles per gallon." -- Automobile Magazine

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 VW Tiguan comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic transmission is optional. With an EPA-estimated 18/26 mpg city/highway, the base Volkswagen Tiguan doesn't offer class-leading fuel economy. Comparable compact SUVs like the Mazda CX-5 and the Buick Encore offer significantly better fuel efficiency.

Most test drivers say the Tiguan's engine delivers spry acceleration and substantial power. While some other compact SUVs offer more powerful engine options, auto writers agree that the Tiguan's engine performs admirably. Reviewers say both transmissions perform well. One test driver notes that the six-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly.

  • "And while the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is less powerful than the engines in some rival crossovers, it feels as energetic as ever in real-world acceleration." -- Edmunds
  • "Under the hood, the Tiguan's aging 2.0T engine doesn't employ VW's latest technology, but it's still a gem, delivering sprightly acceleration almost from idle to redline. We appreciate that VW still offers a manual shifter, and it's a pleasant one that helps make the S model a real bargain, but most Tiguans will have the exceptionally smooth automatic." -- AutoTrader
  • "The Tiguan's 6-speed automatic works fine, but it's not as efficient as the continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) found in the Subaru Forester or Nissan Rogue." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Editors loved the smooth, torquey engine and its quick- and smooth-shifting six-speed automatic." -- Motor Trend (2012)

Handling and Braking

Most test drivers are impressed with the Tiguan's agile handling around corners and its smooth absorption of road imperfections. Some say the 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan feels sturdy and sure-footed, and that its driving dynamics are better than the typical compact SUV. One test driver says the Tiguan exemplifies car-like handling on a crossover vehicle. The base Tiguan comes standard with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is optional on all trims. One reviewer says the Volkswagen Tiguan's 4Motion all-wheel drive system not only handles inclement weather admirably, but performs better than some competitors' all-wheel drive systems.

  • "The ride is quiet and smooth, even on patchy roads, yet there's enough athleticism here to keep the tall VW planted in corners." -- Edmunds
  • "Behind the wheel, you often forget that you're driving a crossover, since the Tiguan feels planted and instills confidence." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "… there are crossovers that are finally and truly delivering on the promise of a car-like ride, the Tiguan R-Line being a prime example." -- Autoblog+"VW's optional 4Motion AWD, on the other hand, is as good in bad weather as the Subbie's setup and better than most competitors' part-time systems." -- Kelley Blue Book
Review Last Updated: 5/16/14

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