Compact SUV Review:
Volkswagen has done it again, they've come up with a model name that
thoroughly baffles just about everyone -Tiguan. I am sure that it means
something to somebody, but I just cannot find out what. I will leave
that mystery for another day.
The Tiguan is VW's
entry into the compact sport utility segment, going head to head with
the likes of the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and others.
According to VW, the Tiguan features the "fun to drive" handling and
performance expected from a Volkswagen.
From the outside the
Tiguan has a European look to it, a combination of formal and sporty.
There is a familial resemblance, especially to the Touareg, its larger
SUV sibling. To give you an idea of the size of the Tiguan, it is 174.3
inches long compared to the RAV4's length of 178.7 inches.
Compact sport utility
vehicles are gaining favor with people over forty for a reason many
would never consider, the seat height. As we age (as I am rapidly
finding out) it is harder to sit down onto, or get up from, a seat way
down there. We like to be able to just sit without having to bend down
or climb up. So as the baby boomers ease on into decrepitude, maybe it
is fitting that we figurative move from Microbuses to Tiguans.
The Tiguan is a
four-door vehicle with a rear hatch. It easily seats five people, even
five adults. There is 23.8 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seat
and a whopping 56.1 with the rear seat folded.
Being a clueless North
American, I have a problem with cars that use International symbols on
the controls. I have no idea what the little symbols mean, which
confuses me, and makes it difficult to master the sound system, climate
control, and whatever else I needed to use in the week I had the Tiguan.
Others seem to have no problem, so I guess it's me. Once I figured out
the switches sufficiently to at least make things work, everything
worked very well.
Under the hood is VW's
2.0-liter, DOHC, turbocharged four-cylinder. In the Tiguan it makes 200
hp, and 207 lb-ft of torque. Both a 6-speed manual or automatic is
available, and the Tiguan may be ordered with front-wheel-drive or
I always seem to have
trouble getting used to driving a Volkswagen and the Tiguan was no
different. The problem is the throttle, it is not very linear. You push
down gently, to ease away from a stop, and nothing happens. So you push
a little harder, still nothing. Then you push just a bit more and "Whoa
Nellie!" you're away to the races. It does not help that the
Tiguan's engine is
turbocharged too, so the turbo lag just adds to the problem. The turbo
does help a whole bunch in mid-range driving, like passing. The power is
right there when you need it.
I drove an automatic
transmission version of the Tiguan and I have no complaints about the
transmission. It is amazing that 6-speed automatic transmissions are so
common place now; it was not that long ago that a four-speed was a
One aspect of European
vehicles that I like is the comfortable ride, and the Tiguan is no
exception. I am not sure how they combine precise handling with enough
give to smooth out rough roads, but it works.
There are three basic
Tiguan trim levels, S, SE, and SEL. They all seem to be well equipped
with each level having more standard equipment than the previous.
Standard on the S is 215/65RH all season tires, ABS with front and rear
disc brakes, 8-speaker sound system with MP3 compatible in-dash CD
player, cloth interior, manual climate control, cruise control, head
curtain airbags, front and front side thorax airbags, and more. The top
of the line SEL has huge 235/50R18 tires and the full zoot interior. A
great feature on all Tiguans is the "steerable" headlights that turn up
to 15 degrees into a corner, so no more wonder as to what is just around
the bend in the road.
transmission 4Motion Tiguan is rated at 18-city and 24-highway; the
manual transmission 2WD is rated 19-city and 26-highway.
Prices for the Tiguan
start at $23,200 for the S with a manual transmission. A Tiguan SEL
with 4Motion hits $32,940. There are some options such as navigation
system, tow package, and a huge, panoramic sliding sunroof that could
drive the price up another $3,000 plus.
I like this class of
SUVs, they are relatively fuel efficient, easy to drive, and roomy
enough for all but Sarah Palin's family. The Tiguan is a worthy addition
to this ever-expanding compact SUV segment
By Bruce Hotchkiss ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Byline: Compact SUV
Review provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
VW Home Page
Column Name: The Tiguan
is VW's entry into the compact SUV segment
Topic: The 2008 VW
Word Count: 869
Photo Caption: The 2008
Photo Credits: VW
Tiguan Internet Media
Series #: 2008 - 62
the Microsoft Word version here:
2008 VW Tiguan
Download the Original Image File here:
2008 VW Tiguan