2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV

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Volkswagen Tiguan Features and Specs

Features & Specs

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

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (20 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

Lots of issues

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

I leased the 2009 Tiguan and after doing that I will never buy another VW again. Within the first 6 months one of the door handles came off in my hand. I had it put back on but it would fall off every few months. I also had severe leakage problems with my sunroof and had the interior ceiling reupholstered- twice. This car has serious moisture problems and the windows are completely fogged up every day. I need to keep a towel in my car to wipe down the window everytime I need to drive somewhere. The mildew smell is awful and there is growing in the car. I'm grossed out by the car & can't wait to get rid of it. It's ashame b/c it's adorable and drives well- just has too many issues.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Best vehicle i have owned

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

I have owned my Tiguan since October 2008 and have never had a problem. The 2.0 Turbo engine is fantastic and gives you the acceleration you need when you push down on the gas pedal. The transmission is smooth and both the interior and exterior are built with quality materials. This is the best vehicle I have owned in my over 30 years of driving. In addition, I was T-boned by a driver who ran a Red light doing 30 – 40 mph who crash strait into my driver’s door and walked away without a scratch due to the safety features and quality build of the Tiguan. As to people who complain about pulsating brakes during hard braking – that’s call Antilock brakes. Also, if you have a sunroof you need to close it when it rains. That will cut down on your mold problems.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Vehicle rollover safety

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

Just FYI: Purchased this vehicle for my wife; last week she was side-swiped by a taxi. Car rolled over on one side (driver's side), then righted itself and landed on top of a third vehicle with 2 wheels in the air. The build on the vehicle saved her life; without the driver's side airbags, my wife would be gone!!! Insurance is replacing the vehicle, and I'm getting her a Tiguan again. Thank goodness for VW!!!

Poor performance engine

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

From the start witht he purchase of this vehicle I have had nothing but issues. First the dealship messed up the paperwork and we were called back in at least 3 times. NOW after a year old the engine just stopped on the PA turnpike, stranded me there for 3 days. The dealer said that the fuel injector ALREADY needs to be replaced! VW left us out there with no help! They said because I was over my warranty by a 1000 miles. Nice 1st time I have ever bought a VW and will be the last! MY GM car's never gave me issues like this in such a new car. Oh and CD's get caught in the CD player, it grinds, but maintenance said it's ok!!

Fuel injectors

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

I bought this car, needing a small SUV for work and had a lot of problems. Since January, its been in the dealership 6 times with fuel injector problems....all under warranty but its getting really frustrating. The last time it was in the dealership, all the fuel injectors were completely replaced and we were hoping that the problem would be solved. Earlier this week- it was the same, driving and the check engine light comes on, then it shakes and acts like its choking, then it dies and gets towed into the dealership.

What's up with the brakes?

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

I owned my car for 3 months and the brakes started squeaking. Took it to dealer who says brakes had a little dust and they clean them. One month later same and worse. Rain, early morning worst, but sunshine too. I'm simply embarrassed that I drive a new car with less than 10,000 miles that screams like it needs a serious brake job, that's dust? Never had any stopping problems and love the car otherwise. More later when dealer looks at the car again. Not too happy right now.

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.


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.


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.

Talk About The 2009 Tiguan

Read more about the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs