2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 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 22/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • 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

  Average Consumer Rating (8 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Fantastic upgrade from manual economy

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4dr SUV w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I was in need of something with more cargo space & towing capacity, but could still be an everyday commuter. I liked the control of manual transmission vehicle, and it was VERY hard to give that up. I found the Tiguan to have far superior handling, power, and responsiveness (when I compared to other CUVs) that I was willing to give up my manual . I still feel in control. It has the extra cargo space & towing I was looking for, fun and easy to drive on a daily basis, and the luxury interior I didn't know I wanted until I have & love it! With a good pair of winter tires, front wheel drive is all you need. Drives great in WI winters & MO ice storms!



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

2012 tiguan exceeds my expectations

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4dr SUV w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I've owned VWs for over forty years and never really liked the Tiguan. I saw it as a too-small overweight, overpriced, gas-wasting SUV. However, my wife has always wanted a Tiguan and when a used 2012 white Tiguan SE with nav, pano roof and 6K miles showed up at a nearby Mazda Hyundai dealer, we traded her 2007 Passat 2.0T in on it. I'll have to admit that I'm really impressed with the Tiguan. It's much quieter and has a much smoother ride than the Passat. It handles well, has plenty of power and is a pleasure to drive. The automatic transmission has no problems...however, I think the transmission programming was fixed before we bought the Tiguan.



2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Poor transmission

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4dr SUV w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Love the Tiguan’s concept and design. It’s beautifully styled, very comfortable with nice positions of the steering column and instrumentation. Seats are exceptionally comfortable. What I am deeply disappointed in is the drive and its transmission. At lower speeds, it seems as if the engine is going to stall. It makes a terrible noise, and sort of kicks back a little. I have had it in for service now twice. Initially to have the transmission reset. Second service was to replace both fuel pumps. None of the VW fixes have resolved the problem. Very disappointed in VW, wish they would get it fixed quickly otherwise I may leave the VW brand. Anyone else having similar concerns?



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Awesome 2012 tiguan

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4dr SUV w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

the 2012 tiguan (mine an se with sunroof and nav) puts a smile on my face each time i drive it. with over 1,000 miles put on, it has already achieved the 27 mpg rating on the sticker. yes, it is recommended to use 91 premium unleaded. between wanting an audi A3 and the european passat wagon, somehow, the tiguan offered me a blend of the best of both worlds. refinement and creature comforts of both, newly freshened look which is quite handsome, and 3 yr/36K miles carefree maintenance. for some reason, my tiguan does not shake, rattle, or lug. the adaptive transmission quickly learns how to drive the way you want to drive. definitely quieter than the 2012 and 2011 honda crv. love this car.



8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Great, except for the transmission

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4dr SUV w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

This is a great car, however, the programming of the automatic transmission is horrible! To achieve high MPG, the transmission shifts to 6th gear around 35 or 40 mph! The result is very low RPM and engine noise. This happens in D mode. Going to S mode is not a solution since then, the shifting point is around 3000 RPM which is then too high. So hopefully VW of North America addresses this and does a reprogramming of the transmission.



8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Impressed with my first suv

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4dr SUV w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I was a Volvo C30 owner and decided that I wanted to see what was going on around me while driving: It was just too low. I decided to replace it with a SUV. The XC60 was too expensive, and the CRV was too dull. I decided on the Tiguan, even though Edmunds lists the Total Cost of Ownership quite high. As to the car's quality feel, the other reviewers are spot-on. I am liking the car more and more each day. But... The transmission races to get the car into sixth gear as quickie as possible in order to save fuel at the expense of smooth, linear acceleration. This is somewhat remedied by using sport mode but at the cost of greater fuel consumption. I wish VW had sought the middle road.



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 22
  • 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.

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