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AAA World Article

Car Review: VW Tiguan

Even in a crowded compact crossover segment, the Volkswagen Tiguan still manages to stand out.

By Alan Rider

All photos courtesy of Volkswagen

Even in a crowded compact crossover segment, the Volkswagen Tiguan still manages to stand out. And not just because of the brilliant orange paint that adorned our test model.

The recently updated Tiguan has several distinctive features that transcend its color palette. For starters, it’s the only compact crossover that offers a third-row seat (as you’d expect, it’s only suitable for small kids).

Its next neat trick is the driver-configurable 12.3-inch digital dash on top trim levels. This feature allows you to position such items as the navigation screen in the space normally occupied by a traditional speedometer and tachometer so that the info is available at a quick glance.

The final difference is peace of mind, thanks to Volkswagen’s impressive new 6-year/72,000-mile transferable bumper-to-bumper warranty. It’s a guarantee that looks good even compared with 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain-only versions offered by some automakers.

The 184-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine along with firm suspension and precise steering deliver an engaging driving experience. Inside, you’ll find an attractive if subdued cabin dressed up in quality materials, comfortable seating for four adults and a generously sized cargo hold with the third-row seats folded.

Ultimately, though, the Volkswagen Tiguan stands out for just one reason: because it’s something different, and different is a very good thing.



  • Uncommon (for compact crossovers) third-row seat
  • Long, transferable bumper-to-bumper warranty
  • Roomy interior


  • So-so acceleration
  • Fuel economy could be better.

Bottom Line

  • An unusual—and unusually satisfying—choice in a crowd of compact crossovers


  • Base Price: $24,295
  • As Tested: $28,190


  • NHTSA: Overall: 5 Stars (out of 5); Front: 4 Stars; Side: 5 Stars
  • IIHS: Small Overlap Front/Moderate Overlap Front: Good (highest rating); Side: Good

M.P.G. (city/highway)

  • 22/29 (front-wheel drive)
  • 21/29 (all-wheel drive)

Interesting Technology

  • Adaptive headlights
  • Customizable dash display

Also Consider

  • Honda CR-V
  • Mazda CX-5

This car review originally appeared in the May/June 2019 edition of AAA World.

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