Car Review

2015 Volkswagen Tiguan: New Car Review

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan SE
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan
$14,450
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan 4Motion
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan
$17,988
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan S
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan
$14,750
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan
$18,831
RELATED READING
See all Volkswagen Tiguan articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader April 2015

The 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover that does more with less. Its modest size suggests cramped accommodations, but in fact, there's adult-sized room all around. Its turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is rated at just 200 horsepower, yet the Tiguan feels quick. And although the badge on the grille says VW, the driving experience feels like Audi because the Tiguan is impressively quiet and composed at speed.

But the Tiguan does tend to cost more than its rivals, not just when you first get the keys. The Tiguan's fuel economy is behind the times, and you also need to think about lifetime maintenance costs, which are generally higher on European vehicles such as this VW.

Still, we think the Tiguan is worth the extra coin. Every time you fire it up, you'll be reminded that you didn't settle for a run-of-the-mill crossover; you made the stretch and got one of the best. The Tiguan's unassuming Golf-on-stilts styling may set a humble tone, but there's a lot more to this crossover than meets the eye.

What's New for 2015?

As the Tiguan nears the end of its production cycle, Volkswagen adds a few standard features across the line, including roof rails, Car-Net telematics, a rearview camera and a touchscreen audio system with satellite radio. Sadly for self-shifting enthusiasts, the manual transmission has been discontinued.

What We Like

Peppy turbocharged engine; good fuel economy with automatic transmission; uptown interior; roomy back seat; smooth and quiet ride

What We Don't

Disappointing fuel economy; iffy frontal crash-test performance; high price

How Much?

$27,120-$38,515

Fuel Economy

Available with either front- or all-wheel drive, the Tiguan is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder rated at 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission is mandatory (and not to be confused with VW's dual-clutch DSG automatic, which isn't offered here).

Fuel economy is just 21 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive. Adding VW's 4MOTION all-wheel drive yields 20 mpg city/26 mpg hwy. Frankly, we expect more from a small turbocharged engine in this day and age.

Standard Features & Options

The 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan is offered in five trim levels: S, SE, SE with Appearance, SEL and R-Line. Note that all-wheel drive is optional on every Tiguan.

The S ($27,120) starts with 16-inch alloy wheels, an electronic parking brake, heated exterior mirrors, 8-way manual front seats with height and lumbar adjustments, cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, reclining rear seats, a trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity, Car-Net telematics, cruise control, a rearview camera and VW's Premium VIII audio system with a 5-in touchscreen display, satellite radio, a 6-CD changer, an SD card reader, satellite radio and eight speakers.

The SE ($29,115) adds 17-in alloy wheels, heated front washer nozzles, leatherette upholstery and heated front seats with driver power recline.

The SE with Appearance ($32,125) adds 18-in alloy wheels, fog lights, silver roof rails, chrome details, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry/start and power front-passenger recline.

The SEL ($34,455) comes standard with a navigation system, dual-zone automatic climate control and a premium Fender audio system.

The R-Line ($38,515) boasts 19-in wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a sport-tuned suspension, sporty R-Line styling cues (including a restyled rear bumper for 2015), power-folding heated exterior mirrors, full power front seats with adjustable lumbar, driver memory functions, leather upholstery and shift paddles.

All Tiguans can be equipped with a trailer-hitch package that unlocks a 2,200-lb towing capacity.

Safety

The Tiguan comes standard with anti-lock brakes, electronic traction and stability control and six airbags (front, front-side and full-length side-curtain).

In government crash-testing, the Tiguan scored four stars out of five, including three stars for frontal impacts and five stars for side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety deemed the Tiguan Good (the highest rating) in all crash tests except the small-overlap frontal test, where the Tiguan received a Marginal rating (second-lowest of four).

Behind the Wheel

It's been said that the Tiguan drives like a jacked-up GTI, but let's be honest: This crossover is all about comfort, with a suspension that's tuned to isolate occupants from the elements. And you know what? We wouldn't change a thing. The Tiguan is a lovely car on the highway, suppressing road and wind noise so thoroughly that it might as well have an Audi badge on the steering wheel. It's equally at home on patchy urban streets, thanks to its combination of decent ground clearance and generous ride compliance. We can't think of a more pleasant compact crossover to drive at this price.

Under the hood, the Tiguan's aging 2.0T engine doesn't employ VW's latest technology, but it's still a gem, delivering sprightly acceleration almost from idle to redline. The automatic transmission serves up smooth, prompt shifts that reinforce the sense of careful engineering. Unfortunately, the Tiguan's fuel economy sticks out like a sore thumb, as 26 mpg hwy just isn't up to snuff for a small crossover these days. Volkswagen has generally kept the Tiguan current, but it certainly shows its age in this respect.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Kia Sportage -- Check out the stylish Sportage's optional turbocharged engine; it's a great value for all that performance.

2016 Mazda CX-5 -- Similar in spirit to the Tiguan, the CX-5 is a compact crossover with a premium feel, and it offers genuinely athletic handling. If you want to keep up with the Tiguan, though, go for the bigger 2.5-liter engine.

2015 Ford Escape -- The Escape with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine is a tough matchup for the Tiguan, though the Ford can get pricey, too.

Used Volkswagen Touareg TDI -- The diesel-powered midsize Touareg TDI gets a remarkable 29 mpg hwy, and you can find a certified pre-owned example for the price of a high-end Tiguan.

Autotrader's Advice

We think that the Tiguan is at its best toward the low end of its price range. As such, our choice would be either the S or the SE. Pricier Tiguans compete surprisingly well with entry-level luxury crossovers, but remember that the S and SE have the same drivetrain and interior.

Find a Volkswagen Tiguan for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan SE
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan
$14,450
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan 4Motion
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan
$17,988
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan S
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan
$14,750
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line
Used 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan
$18,831
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Volkswagen Tiguan: New Car Review - Autotrader