Volkswagen Tiguan

The Essentials

  • Price from £20,615
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 53.3mpg
  • What is it? The VW Tiguan is a classy SUV that's fairly practical and enjoyable to drive

Great

  • The cabin is smart, spacious and fairly practical
  • The Tiguan is enjoyable to drive and feels like a much smaller car
  • The VW badge means you'll be able to sell it on at a decent price

Gripes

  • The ride will be a bit firm for some tastes
  • Rear visibility isn't great
  • Its off-loading abilities are limited
  • Drive

    The Tiguan feels easy to drive and most engines have plenty of oomph

  • Inside

    The dash is simple and logical to use, and all seats are comfortable

  • Safety

    Decent safety kit but rear curtain airbags are a cost option

  • Reliability

    Feels solid though not all owner surveys back this up

  • Space

    Better for passengers than for their luggage

  • Standard and extras

    Even entry-level cars are decently equipped

  • What's it like to drive?

    While the Tiguan has all the practicality of an SUV, and even some off-road ability, it's actually pretty compact overall and feels like a much smaller car to drive; it doesn't sway on corners and feels glued to the road. The 1.4-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines come with a variety of power outputs; the two more powerful diesels provide some useful extra muscle. There are four-wheel-drive models but the 2WD cars are better to drive. The cabin is a generally calm place to be although that car-like handling comes with a slightly jiggly ride.

  • What's it like inside?

    The front of the cabin looks much like any other VW Group car; it's smart and very easy to use. However, rear visibility isn't that great so it's worth paying for the rear-view parking camera. The Tiguan is roomy for four and will sit five at a push, but if you push the rear seats back to increase legroom, be ready to compromise severely on boot space. Otherwise, the boot is well shaped and it's a very easy to fold the seats flat. As well as sliding the rear seats you can also recline their backs, though they need to be upright to take a child seat; both of the outer rear seats have Isofix with top-tether points. Entry-level S models are decently specced, including air-con, alloys, four electric windows and a digital radio; SE cars get dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and Bluetooth; Sport cars get part faux suede seats while Escape cars have body protection for off-roading and come only with 4WD.

  • How reliable is it?

    The interior feels both smart and solidly built, though the Tiguan scored only three stars for reliability in the 2012 JD Power customer satisfaction survey. Safety provision looks better, with stability control and emergency brake assist standard. However, you have to pay an extra 260 for the curtain airbags to extend to the rear seats. Deadlocks and an alarm help to deter thieves.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Tiguan is competitively priced and holds its value well. Running costs are low on 2WD models, which is another reason to consider these over their 4x4 siblings.