2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Volkswagen Tiguan Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan

  • With its European breeding, the new 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan promises a little different flavor in a mostly vanilla class.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Peppy turbo engine, composed handling, comfortable ride, upscale cabin ambiance, solid build quality.

  • Cons

    Shy on cargo space, pricey compared to the competition.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Tiguan is Volkswagen's first entry in the compact crossover SUV segment. It's based on VW's small-car platform and boasts a turbocharged engine and European-flavored driving dynamics.

Full 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Tiguan is Volkswagen's first entry in the compact crossover SUV segment. It's based on VW's small-car platform and boasts a turbocharged engine and European-flavored driving dynamics.

Introduction

Talk about being late to the party. The hors d'oeuvres are long since gone, the DJ looks ready for bed and the revelers are doing the Electric Slide for the third time. Still, tardiness may not diminish the appeal of the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan to the compact crossover SUV crowd.

Don't bother looking the name up in the dictionary. You won't find it, as it's a concoction from VW's marketing department. We're told the name's a melding of tiger and iguana, which nearly makes for an entire zoo, given that the Tiguan is based on the same platform as the VW Rabbit. The Tiguan gets VW's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine -- the same sprightly workhorse that also sees duty in the GTI, GLI and Audi products such as the A4 and TT.

In general, the Tiguan doesn't stray too far from the typical compact SUV design. It seats five, is offered in front-wheel or all-wheel drive and has nearly all of the latest convenience and safety features. But the Tiguan does offer a neatly tailored Euro design as well as the high-grade cabin treatment for which Volkswagen has become known. It also boasts composed handling and a comfortable ride.

These aspects help the Tiguan stand out a bit at the crossover party. But is it enough? Well, for people who have bought VW products in the past, the Tiguan will no doubt be a hit. And those who like to drive will find its Teutonic driving dynamics appealing.

But there are some downsides, including a price tag at least a few thousand above comparable vehicles and a smallish cargo capacity. As such, you might find models like the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 to be more practical. There's also the Nissan Rogue, which is similar in concept to the Tiguan but less expensive. Still, the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan could be a nice alternative for discerning consumers looking for a little spice in a mostly bland segment.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover SUV that's offered in three trims that all share the same powertrain. The base S includes 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, an eight-speaker audio system with CD player and auxiliary jack, aluminum interior accents, eight-way manual adjustable front seats, air-conditioning, cruise control and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat.

The SE upgrade includes 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a roof rack, chrome exterior accents, deep-tinted glass, upgraded upholstery, heated front seats, a power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a trip computer and upgraded audio with a CD changer and satellite radio.

The top-shelf SEL comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, leather seating, a 12-way power driver seat with memory settings, a premium "Dynaudio" audio system, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Options include rear side airbags, a towing package, a panoramic sunroof and a navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

All Tiguans are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 200 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. The S can be had with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, while the SE and SEL are automatic only. The latter two trims are also available with VW's "4Motion" all-wheel-drive system.

Volkswagen estimates that the Tiguan can go from zero to 60 mph in fewer than 8 seconds, which would make it one of the quickest compact crossovers available. Its towing capacity of 2,200 pounds, however, is about 1,300 pounds less than V6-powered rivals.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags are all standard. Side airbags for rear passengers are optional.

Interior Design and Special Features

In keeping with Volkswagen's reputation for fine cabins, the interior of the Tiguan boasts high-quality materials and tight-as-a-drum build quality. Real aluminum -- not silver-colored plastic -- enhances the premium feel. Most controls are large and well-placed, and the available navigation system boasts a large screen and a simple interface.

Firm, well-shaped seats offer proper support when logging miles on the interstate or slicing through a twisty two-laner. The reclining rear seat offers a 60/40-split design as well as a pass-through in the middle, which allows the Tiguan to carry long items and four passengers at the same time. The rear seat also slides fore and aft to improve either rear legroom or cargo space. With all the seats in use, the Tiguan offers a maximum of 16.6 cubic feet of cargo capacity, about the same as a large family sedan's trunk. With the second row folded down, maximum capacity measures 56.1 cubic feet, about 17 cubes shy of class leaders such as the CR-V and RAV4.

Driving Impressions

Spirited acceleration is almost always on tap thanks to the turbo-4's broad power band. In corners, the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan's body remains poised. Most compact SUVs tend to skate over rough surfaces, but the Tiguan remains firmly planted while tracking steadily. To add an extra measure of durability for rough road use, there's high-strength steel in the frame plus heavy-duty dampers.

The Tiguan's electromechanically assisted steering does a decent job of imitating a traditional hydraulic setup. The assist starts soft and builds to a moderate amount of effort that won't tax even the skinniest of arms. There's not much effort needed for the brake pedal either, as it delivers plenty of stopping power with a modest push.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



My first car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4dr SUV w/Leather (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I am a first time car buyer and I really like this car. I bought a used 09 with 57k miles on it in December and now it has 73k. I heard stories of German cars having a lot of trouble after 60k miles but I haven't had any yet. Yes the brakes squeak a little but I'm used to that I drove a Land Rover Discovery in high school. My tiggy has leather seats, xm, and bluetooth. really all you need. it gets me where I need to go...I would say the most unfortunate thing is that it only takes 91 gas and I'm in CA it's super expensive. Other than that I plan to have this car for at least another 5 years until I can get my dream car the merc glk :)



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Fuel injector issues/money pit

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

16 fuel injectors..3 throttle bodies... Nonstop breakdowns. Google Tiguan fuel injectors and you will not buy. Dangerous erratic acceleration out pf the blue when it breaks.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Stay far away

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Love driving this car but... I'm the second owner since 63000km 16 fuel injectors and 3 bad throttle bodies later I have decided that I'm done with constant breakdowns. For sale 1 tiguan 123000km




At 70k what you could

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I bought my Tiquan new in 2009. It ran well up to 60K. In the last 10K I need a front drive axel ($650), a new manifold / seals as sensor light is on and there is carbon buildup ($700), yesterday it needed a pressure switch for the AC ($340), and then a electronic ignition problem caused a plug to blow ($150). Not sure what to do at this point, trade or keep putting money into the car. There has not been a lot post by people who had the car for 3-4 years.



6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Un-reliable after 50k miles!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I bought the car brand new in 2009 and it was a great drive at first. The car was awesome for the first 2 years. I drove it about 20k miles a year. It was so comfy and fun to drive esp on long trips. But, after about 50k miles, I had so many problems!! Those dreaded EPC lights would always come on! I ended up taking a huge loss on the car with another 1.5 years to pay off but I had safety concerns with a car that would stop accelerating in the middle of the road. I have heard the myths bout VW electrical issues but did not believe them until I bought my own VW. Unfortunately they are true.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Better build than our bmw!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Over 3 years now with our 2009 Canadian Highline model Tiguan, and we still love it. 48K kms and no problems. Took a road trip in June through the Rocky mountains and got awesome fuel economy! Winter driving we swap out our 18inch rims for 16inch aluminum ones with Gislavid winter tires (from Finland) and can plow through snow that the bottom of the chassis is dragging on. It takes 5 days after a major snowfall before the County plows our road, and we have alread had one dump of 35 centimetres and last week another 25cm.



Talk About The 2009 Tiguan

2009 Volkswagen Tiguan Discussions See all Started By

rv65
rv65
11-14-2007
VW has a new Navigation System coming out. It's called the RNS-510. The Tiguan will get it first then the rest of the 09 models. This new model has lots of features....


Kirstie_H
Kirstie_H
03-18-2005
Will VW find a market for this compact SUV?...


Karen_CM
Karen_CM
09-28-2007
First Drive: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan...



Read more about the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan

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