THE VW TIGUAN WAITING FOR THE BEMIS POINT FERRY AT CHAUTAQUA LAKE
THE TIGUAN CUTS A FORMAL FIGURE IN FRONT OF THE HOTEL LENHART IN BEMIS POINT
By Vinnie Richichi
This week it’s a look at Volkswagen's small crossover, the Tiguan. This is a vehicle that is very easy to fall in love with even though it might not give you everything that the other cars in its class deliver. It is an upright stanced, tall roofed, easily maneuverable compact vehicle that is not unsatisfying. If you are a VW loyalist chances are you will love the Tiguan. But the competition in this segment is stiff and the CRV’s and RAV4’s of the world as well as the Korean brands just seem to give you more for less.
From the outside the Tiguan sits tall and well proportioned. The design has been around for a number of years and is unique in that it doesnt look like everything else out there. It almost comes off as a hatchback more than a crossover. Its height and large windows make you feel like it is bigger than it is. The taller roof also allows you to sit up high…a preferred driving position for a lot of folks who own thsee vehicles.
Inside the interior may be the highest quality of any of its competitors. Well designed and comfortable the leather seats in the SEL version I drove were supportive and had plenty of adjustment. Materials have a quality feel to them and the panoramic sunroof really adds to the openness of the tall crossover. Visibility may be the best of any car in the class with the tall roof and plenty of glass. The dashboard is well laid out with circular easy to read gauges and an information center in the middle. Steering wheel controls are logical for the most part but the screen size for the nav system is small by comparison to others in this class. The Tiguan is also a winner when it comes to ease of operation. The SEL gets the push button ignition switch…easily located on the console…and the electric parking brake switch.
The 200 hp turbo four cylinder moves the Tiguan along at a pretty good pace. Peppy and revvy the engine matched up to the six speed automatic nicely. It’s not a sports car driving experience but the Tiguan takes the curves nicely and never feels hungry for power, never strained. The Tig also has a 200 pound towing capacity…perfect for the jet ski or taking the atv up to the country. One other thing about the Tiguan...it actually has some off road capability...you may not want to go swamp diving with it but off the pavement and through the woods the Tiguan can hold its own in light duty off road use.
Moving the Tiguan through upstate NY rural roads it felt well connected with the power steering never feeling too light and the car sticking to the road. The 4motion system delivers most of the power to the front wheels until some is needed at the rear wheels. It works seamlessly. It also had a very impressive turning circle, great for turning around after you miss that garage sale!
Sticker price on the SEL model I drove with Nav, Fender sound system and the panoramic sunroof was $35,490. Mileage figures came in at 20 city 26 highway 23 combined. Safety wise Tiguan is one of the only vehicles in its class with thorax air bags available as an option. It gets a "Marginal" rating in small frontal crash tests but a G rating in the rest of the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety tests.
The Volkswagen Tiguan is a good vehicle. Its peppy, handles well with excellent road manners, has high grade interior materials and great visibility. What it doesn’t have is the cargo room of the others, the gas mileage that the competition gives you and it costs more to similarly equip in a class that offers a lot as standard equipment. It does offer better visibility than most other vehicles in its class and it's owners are fiercely loyal. They like driving something a bit different looking than everything else in the class. Is it enough to pay a premium for?
For more information go to http://www.vw.com/models/tiguan/ or click here
CARGO SPACE IS SOMEWHAT LIMITED IF YOU ARE CARRYING FOUR PASSENGERS