2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 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 21/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan offers a different flavor in a bland segment by trading some practicality for a top-notch cabin and European driving manners.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Composed ride and handling; premium cabin appointments; lively turbocharged engine; solid build quality.

  • Cons

    Shy on cargo space; pricey compared to the competition.

  • What's New for 2012

    All versions of the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan receive freshened exterior styling plus tweaks to the automatic transmission that boost highway fuel economy by 2 mpg. Top-of-the-line SEL models also get new 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights. This year's Tiguan also gets a new LE trim level that slots between the base S and SE trims.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

One year and 20k mile

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Bought my 2012 Tiguan SE late in 2012 as a leftover with 0% financing. I now have driven it for one year and just over 20,000 miles and still love it. I traded in a Jetta TDI because I wanted to go back to AWD. I am averaging about 25 mpg on the Tiguan, with the majority on highways. Better than I expected. Can get 30 mpg on highway if you work at it. Very comfortable seats and smooth ride. Handles well for a small SUV but don't expect golf-like handling. Has decent power, once the turbo gets going. The transmission does shift a lot as others have said. Brakes are great. Love the sound system including Sirius and iPod. Very few issues and free VW service for 36k




Love the car, hate the

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Purchased the Tiguan because my elderly dad was finding the Jetta too low, so we decided to get a compact SUV. We love the VW's European styling and handling. My 2010 Jetta got about 20 MPG combined. Based on sticker I expected that I would get at least 20 maybe 21 MPG combined with the Tiguan, the dealer kept telling me after 'break in' period I would get better mileage, well it has been about 6000 miles, so is it broken in??? I like the car but if knew i was only going to get 18 MPG I would have purchased the CRV, Mazda, or any of the others. They are all fine.




Love it now time will

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Just picked up our 2012 Tiguan SE 4Motion yesterday so clearly too soon to tell but so far we love it. The end of model year incentive made the deal quite attractive, we figured the 4motion-SE would be good for resale when the time comes. The ride is very smooth. Took test drives in the CR-V, Mazda CX5, Hyundai Santa Fe/Tuscon, Kia Sportage and Ford Escape. Any of them would be fine, but we just liked the styling and European ride of the Tiguan. 2nd choice would have been the Sportage.



16 of 16 people found this review helpful

2012 tiguan transmission defect

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I bought a new 2012 VW Tiguan SE 4 Motion Automatic and in Drive (D) traveling about 25-34 mph the transmission stays in a high gear (5th) and makes a vibrating hum and shake.The transmission will not drop back to 2nd, 3rd or 4th at this speed and is overloaded in 5th.When I give it some gas it hums, lags and shakes more. After applying extra gas it abruptly downshifts lunging the car forward in a jerky fashion.I notified the dealer twice about this issue. The service rep told me the car is in itís Adaptive Learning phase and will work this problem out after I drive it for awhile. After 3000 miles the Tiguan transmission has not adjusted as the dealer indicated.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Fun to drive

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Living on a mountain, I needed a SUV with four wheel drive but didn't need a big vehicle. I test drove the gamut of small SUVs. The Tiguan was the right size and out performed most of the cars out there I looked at. The Tiguan is so much smoother over the bumps and quieter than my last car that it has really become a joy to drive. I like the firm but comfortable feel of the suspension and steering. Its a great car for traversing a mountain with its bends and curves. Once the turbo kicks in, the car has plenty of power and has lots of low-end torque. This gives it plenty of power to get up and down the hill. I understand now why people who own VWs love driving them now. They're fun!



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Transmission kicks and other problems

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Transmission kicks and struggles over hills. Some people have stated that the transmission smartly adjusts to each driver's particular driving style over time. I haven't found that to be true, been driving mine since November. YES, it makes a rumbling sound at 30-35mph. If you want to open ONLY the back windows while driving you cant, not without a brain-crushing noise and tremoring. Is this true of any SUV/CUV? Sound system is lacking. To my ears, there's a hollow, echo sound no matter how tweak it. And the radio, CD player, Satellite radio, and Blue-Tooth Audio Input all play at slightly different volume levels. Constantly adjusting the sound level. Ride is OK, but FAR from cushy.



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

What's New for 2012

All versions of the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan receive freshened exterior styling plus tweaks to the automatic transmission that boost highway fuel economy by 2 mpg. Top-of-the-line SEL models also get new 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights. This year's Tiguan also gets a new LE trim level that slots between the base S and SE trims.

Introduction

Utility might be the SUV's middle name, but practicality isn't always the most important consideration for some shoppers. If you're one of these folks, you might find the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan to be worth a look.

What really sets the Tiguan apart from other small crossover SUVs is its upscale interior and sophisticated driving dynamics, both of which are noticeably better than its competitors. Inside you'll find a premium-style cabin that approaches Audi in its overall sense of quality. And for power, the Tiguan comes standard with a turbocharged engine that produces a healthy 200 horsepower.

Yet even if practicality isn't your top concern, the Tiguan's limitations should also be taken into consideration. While its cargo hold may be roomy compared to your average midsize sedan, its capacity can't match the space offered by many other small SUVs. In fact, even the Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen offers more cargo room. You should also be aware that the Tiguan's trim levels can be priced significantly higher than comparable models.

As a result, we suggest buyers considering the Tiguan also have a look at a few alternatives. Similarly proportioned competitors include the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and Nissan Rogue, all fine vehicles in their own right. Before signing on the dotted line, it would also be wise to at least take a peek at more practical crossovers like the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester, as their larger interiors make them a good bit more useful in everyday driving.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover SUV offered in four trim levels: S, LE, SE and SEL.

The entry-level S version comes standard with 16-inch wheels (steel with manual transmission, alloy with automatic), heated mirrors, keyless entry, cruise control, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 40/20/40-split rear seats with reclining seatbacks, a trip computer, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. A panoramic sunroof is optional and it brings with it tinted windows.

The LE adds deep tinted windows, premium leatherette vinyl upholstery, heated front seats and a USB port/iPod interface. The SE adds 18-inch alloy wheels, additional chrome exterior trim, roof rails, foglamps, heated washer nozzles, driver seat power recline and manual height adjustment, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and an upgraded sound system with a touchscreen interface and satellite radio. Optional is the panoramic sunroof bundled with a navigation system.

The SEL includes all of the above plus 19-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, automatic wipers, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar adjustment and memory functions, leather upholstery and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The SEL can be equipped with an upgraded navigation system that includes a larger touchscreen and a rearview camera. To this, an eight-speaker Dynaudio premium sound system can be added.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 200 hp and 207 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the Tiguan S, while a six-speed automatic is optional on the S and standard on the SE and SEL. A choice of standard front-wheel drive or an available all-wheel-drive system round out the powertrain details.

In Edmunds performance testing, an all-wheel-drive SEL accelerated from a standstill to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, which is about average for a small crossover SUV.

A handful of engineering tweaks have resulted in slightly better fuel economy for 2012, with the automatic-equipped front-wheel-drive models now sporting EPA estimates of 22 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. All-wheel drive models come in at a respectable 21/27/23, while the front-wheel-drive base model with the manual gearbox brings up the rear at 18/26/21.

Safety

Standard equipment on the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

In Edmunds brake testing, the all-wheel-drive Tiguan came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet -- an average performance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Tiguan its top rating of "Good" for frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

As with most vehicles in the VW lineup, the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan boasts a premium-style cabin that approaches Audi in its overall sense of quality. High-end materials and solid craftsmanship (even actual metal trim!) enhance the premium feel. Most controls are large and well placed, and the available navigation systems feature a reasonably user-friendly interface.

Firm, well-shaped seats provide ample support whether you're logging lots of miles on a road trip or simply negotiating a freeway cloverleaf. The 60/40-split-folding rear seat has a cargo pass-through in the middle, so the Tiguan is adept at carrying cargo and passengers at the same time. The rear seat also slides fore and aft to improve either rear legroom or cargo space, and the seatback also reclines. This feature is common among larger compact crossovers like the Honda CR-V, but rare among smaller ones like the Tiguan.

With the rear seats positioned as far forward as they'll go, the Tiguan can accommodate 23.8 cubic feet of cargo. With the second-row seat folded down, maximum capacity jumps to 56.1 cubic feet, although this is about 17 cubic feet shy of the space afforded by the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan might not have the most impressive acceleration in the segment, but the torquey power delivery of its turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes it feel lively around town. While cornering, the Tiguan feels confident and poised, absorbing bumps with ease. In general, this is one of the most enjoyable small crossovers to drive, aided in part by accurate steering and confidence-inspiring brakes.

Talk About The 2012 Tiguan

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