2011 Volkswagen Tiguan

For those of you unfamiliar with the Tiguan, this is Volkswagen’s compact SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle). The first model was officially introduced to the US during the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2007 and made its market launch, the following year. And in this New Year, the Tiguan has undergone minor makeover as it features a new grille and eliminated its Wolfsburg Edition trim level. It may be a bit pricy for its category, however, the distinct European qualities- fine interior and attractive exterior are what you get. And this Volkswagen’s compact SUV boasts high quality materials that are almost similar to the famous top of the line SUV brands such as Audi.

The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan has three different trims. The first is the S trim which comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, full power accessories, linen upholstery, eight way manually adjustable front seats, Bluetooth and CD player with eight speaker sound system. The second type is the SE model which features bigger wheels at 17-inch, fog-lights, enhanced chrome exterior trim, leatherette vinyl upholstery, upgraded entertainment system such as touch screen stereo with satellite radio and an iPod interface.

If you avail the SE’s Sunroof and Navigation package, you will also get better sized wheels at 18 inches. And for the SEL trim, aside from the same features as in S and SE trims, rain sensing wipers, dual zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition, leather upholstery, ambient interior lighting, 12 way power driver seat with memory and parking assist program are included. And the more advanced SEL 4Motion with Premium Navigation and Dynaudio features a reliable rearview camera and an eight speaker sound system. Trailer hitch, 19-inch wheels, a ground – effects kit of body pieces and side steps are also available and can be used for any Tiguan unit. But regardless of the trim levels, the Tiguan has a reclining backrest and 60/40-split-folding rear seat which features a cargo pass-through in the middle, making it capable of carrying cargo and accommodating passengers at the same time.

Performance

Adding substantially to the Tiguan is a turbocharged 2.0 liter inline-4 that pumps out 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque and then mated to either six speed manual transmission (which is standard on S type Tiguan) or six speed automatic transmission (which is optional on S-trim but common to both SE and SEL models) with Tiptronic. Surprisingly, according to its manufacturer, zero to sixty miles per hour comes in more or less eight seconds. In short, it provides decent acceleration and highway cruising while improving fuel efficiency. And if the engine performance will be further improved, this Volkswagen compact SUV is expected to outrank its popular rivals.

Safety

With its safety features such as antilock disc brakes, height-adjustable telescoping steering wheel, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags, the Tiguan gained a perfect score in all front and side crash categories in the government crash testing and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety included it in their “Top Safety Picks”. The Tiguan also has a basic three-year/36,000-mile warranty.

Competition

However, with its poor fuel economy ratings and need for premium fuel, some consumers are considering the Hyundai Tucson (MSRP $18,895; 20 city / 27 hwy) and Toyota RAV4 (MSRP $22,475; 22 city / 28 hwy) as their alternatives. And the Honda CR-V (MSRP $21,895; 21 city / 28 hwy) and Toyota RAV-4 also exceed the cargo capacity of the Tiguan. While the CR-V can hold 72.9 cubic feet of load, the Tiguan can only accommodate 56.1 cubic feet of stuff.

Pros & Cons

Any vehicle will always have its pros and cons. The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan is considered as a safe family vehicle for it was awarded a full five star ratings in all front and side crash categories. Moreover, the performance of its powerful turbocharged engine is also impressive, even over rough roads. On the downside, although it has high quality cabin with versatile rear seats, it still provides lesser cargo space, compared to the competitors in its class. It is also expensive since it requires premium fuel.

Overall Rating
78 out of 100

What others say:

"The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan feels refined and sophisticated, but it's not especially rewarding to drive."Car Connection

"In most situations Tiguan has ample power, but some turbo lag is noticeable--particularly when exiting a slow corner. The manual transmission has smooth shift and clutch action. The automatic shifts promptly in automatic or manual mode."Consumer Guide

"The Tiguan's styling cues place it somewhere between the larger VW Touareg SUV and smaller VW Golf hatchback."Edmunds

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Compact SUV Base Price: $23,720.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.8 gallons Miles Per Gallon: 18 city /26 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 174.3 in. (442.7 cm) Width: 71.2 in. (180.9 cm)
Height: 66.3 in. (168.3 cm) Curb Weight: 3433 lbs (1557 kg)
Wheel Base: 102.5 in. (260.4 cm) Ground Clearance: 6.9 in. (17.5 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 23.8 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5
Performance
Engine: 2.0L 4 Cylinder, 4V, inline, gas turbocharged with intercooler Displacement: 121.1
Horsepower: 200 hp Max RPM: 5100-6000 rpm
Torque: 207 lb-ft @ 1700-5000 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
0-60 mph: 7.8 Max Towing Capacity: 2200 lbs (998 kg)
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Tiguan SE MSRP: $28,215; MPG: 20 city / 26 hwy
Option:Tiguan SEL MSRP: $33,135; MPG: 20 city / 25 hwy