Crossovers are here to stay, and the market is open for more efficient and useful designs. The Tiguan from Volkswagen was one of the first crossovers to hit the market back in 2007. Using the same chassis and powertrain as the Golf, the Tiguan is capable and practical.
Power comes from the same 2.0L turbo four found in almost every VW, and it is a smooth operator. We didn’t notice any turbo lag, and passing power could be found in almost every situation. With a cast iron block and timing chains versus belts, long term maintenance costs will be lower than the more exotic competition. Hot rodders will like the fact that the engine’s bore to stroke ratio is 3.25” to 3.65”- more crankshaft stroke than is found in the Corvette Stingray. Smaller bore and large stroke engines are known as under-square. They make great torque at low rpm, which keeps the turbo, and your right foot, happy.
The interior of the Tiguan is, first and foremost, useful. With a generous cargo area, the second row folds flat to allow for 56.1 cubic feet of storage. Interior materials are top notch, with the dash being a spongy, memory foam like material. Seating is flat but comfortable. Of the seats, only the driver’s is powered, and just the backrest only. Bottom angle and elevation of the driver’s seat must be changed manually.
HVAC controls are easy to use, and the vents are optimally placed to direct airflow. The A/C blows very cold, and features a handy glove box vent to keep your drinks cool. Audio is handled by an 8-speaker system with easy-to-use controls. The only advanced features are Bluetooth and an iPod cable.
In typical German fashion, the exterior body panel gaps were very tight. Our car was finished in Pepper Gray Metallic, with a mile-deep shine. The clear coat had no orange peel, almost as if had been buffed prior to dealer delivery. All doors are triple-sealed and operate with a very solid feel. The beltline is very high, which makes the body panels rather slab-sided.
The Tiguan is a low-stress machine. Wind noise is lower than the competition, and road noise is well abated with great floor insulation. The ride is smooth, even over broken pavement. Layout of the controls is intuitive, and symmetrical for the most part. While not underpowered, we would like to be able to spin the tires once in awhile. All things considered, Tiguan has no polarizing qualities, nor any major flaws. If you are looking for a smooth, no frills German crossover, give this one serious consideration.