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VW Tiguan First Drive

Interested in this new SUV? Check out our first drive and tell us what you think.

First Drive: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan


  • In its class it appears the Tiguan will have some advantages over its peers, and some disadvantages. Ride, styling, material qualities, etc. are a plus. But premium fuel, mpg sounds iffy at this point though I haven't seen the actual figures. It's somewhat smaller than its competitors which is not a plus. Also, I noticed in these photos that the seats when down do not create a flat 'floor' across the whole space. From the cargo area to the folded down seats, there's a step up. The CR-V suffers something similar. Last night I drove the new Rogue--very impressive vehicle. With the Tiguan engine it would be the choice of this category hands down for me. But I'll have to wait and see the Tiguan in person, drive it, etc. to reach any firm conclusions.
  • Why no diesel?
    Low down torque would be a winning feature in this class...
  • VW has openly stated as much.

    As for premium fuel...good grief. If gas is $3 and premium is $3.20 a gallon, the difference is insignificant. Honestly, do the math on 15k miles and you'll see a tiny difference per week with premium v. normal gas.
  • dodo2dodo2 Posts: 496
    16.6 cu. ft. cargo is quite small unless it's an editorial mistake. From the pictures, the cargo cetainly doesn't look big, but not that tiny either.
    Does anyone know a source for the official specs?

    Funny comment in the article:

    "With another 50 hp and 30 lb-ft of torque available from turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4, the U.S.-specification Tiguan should have no trouble keeping up with the Honda CR-V."

    It sounds lie the CRV is the benchmark for speed in the class LOL!!! :) It's not even the fastest I4 compact CUV.
    With 200hp and less weight, the Tiguan will be faster than the CRV without doubt.
  • Agreed on the premium.
    In fact, it may be cheaper!
    I have 2 Audi A6's, one 6-spd standard, one 5-spd tiptronic.
    The more expensive the gas that goes into either, the farther they go on a tank.
    So we put Premium Plus gas in, and our cost to drive is lowest.
    (years ago our '91 Passat was similar)

    But I'm waiting for the TDI version on the Tiguan.
  • I was ( maybe i still am)interested in buying one...but i'm interested in the diesel only if the mpg is in the 40's.
    Also i'm disappointed in the exterior looks....kind of bland and generic. Was hoping for a more muscular look.

    Will have to see one in person i guess.May have to wait for the Volvo XC60 if they don't change the exterior of the show car version.
  • 16.6 cu. ft. cargo is quite small unless it's an editorial mistake.

    Not sure about the exact numbers - the Tiguan is based on the extended Golf (EOS-Passat hybrid) platform, one should remember. Still, most VWs are measured up to the shelf (that covers the rear hatch), only. Loaded up to top, it is quite a bit more. Much more with the rear seats folded down, obviously.

    AWD available with auto transmission, only, is more than a disappointment for me. Now I have two reasons I cannot buy it --- the other one being the lack of Diesel. Even if that option is only lacking at introduction, it is a huge mistake. Why does VW never want to cash in on actually having an industry advantage? Soon, when Hondas and Subarus will be available with Diesel engines, no one will notice the as unreliable perceived VWs, any longer.
  • fenris2fenris2 Posts: 31
    As I understand it, the diesel would need after treatment in the tiguan due to increased weight/load on engine. This would add even more cost, and with the dollar headig south, they may have passed on diesel right away.

    But, if there is no diesel, then its no sale for me too. Given gas/auto only, then I may just as well get the rav4 v6. Or stretch for the bmw x3 diesel, or wait for the subie diesel, or what/whichever becomes available first.
  • Hope you're 2009 Tiguan review is mistaken in saying:

    Stick with front-wheel drive and you'll be able to choose between a manual and automatic transmission, both six-speeds. Adding 4Motion all-wheel drive limits you to the automatic transmission only.

    The Motor Trend review says:
    American customers will not get the Twincharger nor the "Track & Field" package (at least not initially) and will instead be treated to "Sport & Style" Tiguans (replete with an 18-degree approach angle and no Offroad Mode) fitted with VW's robust 2.0-liter, 200-horsepower turbo four, a six-speed manual or Aisin automatic (the latter will be replaced by a six-speed DSG a year or so after making its debut), electromechanical power steering, an electronic parking brake, and all-wheel drive (front-drive Tiguans may be added later).

    I was getting a little interested in the Tiguan, mostly because of the MT option, but if that's not availalble, then my interest is over.
  • Here's my feedback to VW: No diesel, no manual, no sale.
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    As for premium fuel...good grief. ...

    I guess you're right. At 15000 Miles/Year and 25 MPG, it equates to $150/Year ... but it still bugs me for some reason. Maybe I'm thinking I could instead buy two more fill-ups of 87 Octane for the same amount. I wonder why so many of the European manufacturers insist on gas turbo engines? At least VW is offering a manual tranny in some configurations (hooray!) on Tiguan.

    With the USD's weakness and VW lacking a US plant, it'll be interesting to see if VW can stick to its pricing hopes.
  • Volkswagen today introduced the production version of the Volkswagen Tiguan at the 2007 LA Auto Show. Powered by the 2.0 liter TFSI engine from the GTI, the Volkswagen Tiguan produces 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft. of torque.

    The Volkswagen Tiguan will be available in a choice of either a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission options.

    The long-awaited Volkswagen Tiguan will make its debut in the U.S. in the summer of 2008 and will carry a price tag of $22,490.
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    I am only interested in the Tiguan Track & Field, so how could I order this car into the US. Does anyone know when this model will be in the US. Who is responsible in the VW US to determine what car will be available in the US. What are the main reasons?

    I have seen the Tiguan in Europe and its dimensions are similar included the cargo area to the Hyundai Tucson. Only the Track and Field has the rear seats mechanism similar to the Tucson, i.e. folded flat completely. My partner and I have slept many times in the Tucson when it was required, e.g. too late for a camping resort to open the doors, or got lost in the wilderless.
  • Not really acquainted with the diesel but sounds appealing, especially in the Tiguan. Can you explain "after treatment due to increased weight/load on engine?"
  • akbossakboss Posts: 10
    This little truck is meant to be off-road. I know its a brand-new vehicle, but if anybody hears about people modifying them for off-road use I'd be interested. Like a few others here, I'm waiting for the diesel 4x4 manual. I'm guessing for the additional cost of a Track & Field edition, you could take it to a shop and get some work done that would trounce what the factory truck can do off-road.

    According to Carguide magazine, interior space is officially 16.6 cu.ft seats up, 53.3 cu.ft seats down. For comparison, a new GTi has 14.1 cu.ft. with seats in place.
  • novicenovice Posts: 64
    Does anyone know if the Tiguan will have the DSG transmission?
  • ebldfebldf Posts: 2
    Is the Tiguan the same as the Touran which is a model available in Europe now?
  • I don't know if you are serious or not, but the Touran is a van while the Tiguan is an SUV.

    Visit or for more info.

    I spoke with a local VW dealer who attended a meeting of the local VW dealerships in Chicago and he confirmed a May 31, 2008 release date. Now when they will actually be available is still not clear. Hope this helps.
  • ebldfebldf Posts: 2
    My bad! I should have been more specific in referencing the two vehicles as having the same and/or similar engines. I was hoping to share the experience I had driving a Touran in Europe last month for 1600k with the 2.0 TDI 140PS engine but I guess it's not relevant. Let me know when you get off your high horse & if your interested in my opinion. :mad:
  • rv65rv65 Posts: 1,076
    No DSG but it will get tiptronic.
  • This car looks great. We are currently in the market for this type of car and this could be the winner, however ...

    1) 4-Motion is only available with an automatic trany, why?!? The last 4-5 years VW has started doing this to all of their vehicles. With the Passat I figured they were trying to push us up to an Audi. Too bad we may go with an X3 (possibly used) instead.

    2) Putting the TDI in this machine would make it an instant success. VW has a bright future if they can bring the TDI out to everything ASAP.
  • feliciatwofeliciatwo Posts: 68
    Rate of exchange seems to be the problem with us not getting the Diesel .It's now May 09. They get the equivalant of $45,000 for the Diesel in Europe.
    When I called "I drive vw" corporate....she implied their were noon sight....meaning "never?" ...or next year?

    They don't act like they even care if we ever get their diesel since our price ----Loaded will prob. top out at $30,000
  • gldn75gldn75 Posts: 1
    When the Tiguan information first started rolling out, it had the earmarks of being able to fill a unique, and in my opinion needed, niche in the market, at least in the 'Track & Field' configuration. It seems like this with a diesel should have been VW's "flagship" trim for this model and instead it looks like they are going to emasculate it right from the start. What I feel we need is a small to med size SUV or Truck that has the economy, along with the power/torque, of a diesel, with 4x4, that is more geared towards medium off-road capability. Not talking "rock-hopping' here, just the ability to get you out into the outdoors and handle dusty, dirty, unstable terrain. And it would be great if it could tow a reasonable amount, say 3,000-3,500 lbs. :shades:
  • morey000morey000 Posts: 384
    VW web site has it listed as 23.8 cu ft, which seems about right for a compact CUV.

    56.1 cu ft, with the rear seat folded down.
  • rv65rv65 Posts: 1,076
    Bluetooth is coming out for the Tiguan. Only SE and SEL models only. Unless you S models want to get an SE dashboard and retrofit it. The Bluetooth system is hands free and has Bluetooth Audio streaming. It's was just released and should be coming out soon. 1K0 051 437 is the part number. Should be around 340 USD but 1stvwparts has it for just under 300 USD. The microphone is mounted in the overhead console. The unit supports your usual bluetooth features. It does activate the phone button. It also integrates with the MFI. Just in time for the CA ban. Installation however has to be done at the dealership since it has to be prorgrammed with their VAS computer. The MFI has a telephone menu which you can access the bluetooth from it as well.
  • his editor column this week (09/03/08).
  • I'd consider the Touareg, Tiguan or Routan if only they offered the same diesel engines available in the US (and in other US models.)

    The problem with the Cayenne/Touareg is fuel consumption -- driving around town at 15-17 mpg is 1989, not 2009.

    I can't afford it, but the GL320 is simply the better car and smarter engine as well as having the versatility of off-road capabilities, towing and safety.
  • Great service! I purchased the 09 black VW Tiguan SE w/ sandstone leather and panoramic sunroof and navigation for 28.3 which was 3K less than MSRP from Roy at Alexandria VW. Financed the new
    car at 0% APR over 3 years. I looked at everything, Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX3, etc.. I luv the Tiguan.. Why? The turbo TSI 4 banger is a thrill to drive along with stealer
    handling. Unlike our other car Saturn VUE, the Tiguan is incredibly quiet at highway speed. It's amazing how the compact SUV feels cruising at 85mph, it would be nothing to "punch it" to 120mph, not that I'd do that...
    The interior is stellar - leather is first rate, everything is designed with the smallest details. Red LEDs to illuminate the center console, formed cup holders in the side doors (6 cup holders all together), the navigation system from Siemens is easy to use and I like how it integrated with the multi function display b/t the mph and rpm dials. Visibility to superb, the backup camera is becoming indispensable. The undivided panoramic sunroof is huge, I feel like we have a convertable.

    I've always been a GM owner - Saturn and Saab, but the Tiguan is such a superior car... I test drove the Equinox and I couldn't even compare it to the Tiguan. And I wasn't going to purchase another VUE.
    Yes I would have like the TDI engine, but maybe 2011???
  • jwdkhanjwdkhan Posts: 11
    Bought our White 2009 SE for $26,300 OTD with the 0% apr 36 month financing last week. The only extra options it came with were the cargo mat, heavy duty floor mats & an ipod adapter. Love it so far though coming from a Volvo XC90, some minor features could have been done slightly better - e.g. roof light buttons should have had a more solid feel. Love the many small areas to store misc things like coins or other minor items.

    Have connected my iPhone and can get to control music through the steering controls or radio buttons but can't figure out how to stop/pause a track. Does anyone have a clue? I can go back/forward to the next track but still no sure how to stop or pause a track or what button to use for that. If I turn off the radio and then back on again, that will start the track from the beginning and not pause it. Thanks for any suggestions.
  • jwdkhanjwdkhan Posts: 11
    Ok please ignore my last post. Turning off the power button on the radio does halt the track at where it last was. So it essentially works like a pause button.

    I now have to figure out how the rear door locks can be disabled with the child safety switch on the driver's door. The instruction manual says turning on the switch (light turns yellow) on the driver's door should de-activate the rear power window controls and the rear door locks. This is a neat feature if you have small kids in the back. I tried it, the rear power windows are disabled and the kids are unable to open/close them, but the door locks still work, i.e. they can open the doors themselves.

    I would have wanted this work rather than having to use the child safety locks on the sides of the doors whereby doors cannot be opened from the inside any longer. If someone has been successful in controling the rear door locks through the central safety switch, please share.

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