Used 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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Used 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV Review

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2013 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV

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Summary

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan offers a top-notch cabin and European driving manners, but some competing crossovers are more desirable overall.

  • Pros

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

  • Cons

    Shy on cargo space; pricey compared to the competition.

  • What's New for 2013

    For 2013, the Volkswagen Tiguan carries over largely unchanged. All models now come with a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel. Volkswagen also drops the LE trim level.

Review

Most folks buy a crossover SUV for an important measure of practicality, even a compact one like the 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan. For example, your priorities might call for a comfortable and fuel-efficient daily driver, but many buyers also want room for bikes and backpacks, a Marshall stack and a PA, or even just a Great Dane and a month's worth of its food. Whatever the need, the Tiguan distinguishes itself from other small crossover SUVs with an upscale interior and sophisticated driving dynamics.

The Tiguan's interior feels refined for its class, with Audi-like levels of quality and fitment. Though it's perhaps a little too nice for outdoor adventurers, this cabin nonetheless enhances everyday driving and feels like money well spent. Under the hood is a spirited 200-horsepower turbocharged engine with useful and seamless low-end power delivery that can be matched to an available all-wheel-drive system. And while it's not exactly sporty to drive, even the base Tiguan feels more compact and agile than you expect when the road begins to wind.

Here's the knock on the 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan, though. It just doesn't offer much cargo space, as the Tiguan is one of the smaller crossovers in the class. The Ford Escape, for example, is not quite 4 inches longer, yet offers 12 more cubic feet of volume than the Tiguan. Even the Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen offers more cargo room. On the upside, the Tiguan does feature a fold-flat front passenger seat that allows long loads that measure 8.1 feet overall.

Consider also that the Tiguan's trim levels can be priced significantly higher than comparable models. We'd suggest buyers also look at the redesigned Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan Rogue, as well as roomier crossovers like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. But if you don't mind paying a little more and sacrificing some space for buttoned-down European comfort and refinement, the Tiguan is a top pick.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan is available in three trim levels: S, SE and SEL.

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

The SE adds tinted windows, 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior trim, roof rails, foglamps, heated washer nozzles, premium leatherette vinyl upholstery, heated front seats, a power-reclining driver seat with manual height adjustment, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and an upgraded sound system with a touchscreen interface, six-CD in-dash changer, SD card reader, satellite radio and an iPod interface. 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, driver memory functions, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a rearview camera.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 200 hp and 207 pound-feet of torque. The Tiguan S comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic is optional. The automatic is the only choice for SE and SEL models. Front-wheel drive is standard on all models, and all-wheel drive is available across the board except for S base models with the manual.

In Edmunds performance testing, a front-wheel-drive Tiguan with automatic transmission accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, a quick time for a small crossover and largely equivalent to similar size crossovers fitted with a V6 engine.

EPA-estimated fuel economy for the front-wheel-drive Tiguan with manual transmission is 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. Automatic-equipped models return 21/26/23, while all-wheel-drive models achieve a respectable 20/26/23.

Safety

Standard equipment on the 2013 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 front-wheel-drive Tiguan came to a stop from 60 mph in 125 feet, an average result for the class. 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

Like most vehicles in the VW lineup, the Tiguan features an upscale cabin that approaches Audi levels of quality with its solid craftsmanship (tight panel fitments, deft stitching), soft-touch materials and genuine metal trim. Climate and audio controls are well placed and intuitive, particularly the latest generation of the touchscreen interface. The navigation system is a bit of a letdown, however, as its small screen lacks detailed street names and other information.

Firm front seats -- heated on SE models -- offer ample support on long hauls or nightmare commutes. Rear seat riders have it pretty good, too, with reclining seatbacks and 6 inches of seat travel fore and aft. The three-way split-folding rear seat also allows two rear passengers to sit alongside longer items like skis or snowboards slotted in the pass-through.

Push the rear seats fully forward and the Tiguan can accommodate 23.8 cubic feet of cargo. Fold down the second-row seat and capacity jumps to 56.1 cubes. That's a pretty respectable number for a smaller crossover, though still well shy of the 70-plus cubic feet afforded by the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. The front passenger seat also folds fully flat, offering up 98 inches from front to rear.

Driving Impressions

If the 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan doesn't charge ahead as fast as some V6-powered compacts in its class, it makes up for its horsepower deficit with plenty of useful low-end torque. Whether loping around town from stoplight to strip mall or passing a semi at highway speeds, the Tiguan's turbocharged four-cylinder puts power down where it's needed.

The Tiguan also feels confident and poised in the corners, particularly so in the SEL model with its sport suspension. But this is no Mazda CX-5; you won't find the Tiguan bending to your will around corners. But the small crossover still handily blends a firm, sporty ride with urban civility and, in all-wheel-drive configuration, all-weather capability.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the Volkswagen Tiguan carries over largely unchanged. All models now come with a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel. Volkswagen also drops the LE trim level.

Introduction

Most folks buy a crossover SUV for an important measure of practicality, even a compact one like the 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan. For example, your priorities might call for a comfortable and fuel-efficient daily driver, but many buyers also want room for bikes and backpacks, a Marshall stack and a PA, or even just a Great Dane and a month's worth of its food. Whatever the need, the Tiguan distinguishes itself from other small crossover SUVs with an upscale interior and sophisticated driving dynamics.

The Tiguan's interior feels refined for its class, with Audi-like levels of quality and fitment. Though it's perhaps a little too nice for outdoor adventurers, this cabin nonetheless enhances everyday driving and feels like money well spent. Under the hood is a spirited 200-horsepower turbocharged engine with useful and seamless low-end power delivery that can be matched to an available all-wheel-drive system. And while it's not exactly sporty to drive, even the base Tiguan feels more compact and agile than you expect when the road begins to wind.

Here's the knock on the 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan, though. It just doesn't offer much cargo space, as the Tiguan is one of the smaller crossovers in the class. The Ford Escape, for example, is not quite 4 inches longer, yet offers 12 more cubic feet of volume than the Tiguan. Even the Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen offers more cargo room. On the upside, the Tiguan does feature a fold-flat front passenger seat that allows long loads that measure 8.1 feet overall.

Consider also that the Tiguan's trim levels can be priced significantly higher than comparable models. We'd suggest buyers also look at the redesigned Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan Rogue, as well as roomier crossovers like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. But if you don't mind paying a little more and sacrificing some space for buttoned-down European comfort and refinement, the Tiguan is a top pick.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan is available in three trim levels: S, SE and SEL.

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

The SE adds tinted windows, 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior trim, roof rails, foglamps, heated washer nozzles, premium leatherette vinyl upholstery, heated front seats, a power-reclining driver seat with manual height adjustment, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and an upgraded sound system with a touchscreen interface, six-CD in-dash changer, SD card reader, satellite radio and an iPod interface. 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, driver memory functions, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a rearview camera.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 200 hp and 207 pound-feet of torque. The Tiguan S comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic is optional. The automatic is the only choice for SE and SEL models. Front-wheel drive is standard on all models, and all-wheel drive is available across the board except for S base models with the manual.

In Edmunds performance testing, a front-wheel-drive Tiguan with automatic transmission accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, a quick time for a small crossover and largely equivalent to similar size crossovers fitted with a V6 engine.

EPA-estimated fuel economy for the front-wheel-drive Tiguan with manual transmission is 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. Automatic-equipped models return 21/26/23, while all-wheel-drive models achieve a respectable 20/26/23.

Safety

Standard equipment on the 2013 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 front-wheel-drive Tiguan came to a stop from 60 mph in 125 feet, an average result for the class. 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

Like most vehicles in the VW lineup, the Tiguan features an upscale cabin that approaches Audi levels of quality with its solid craftsmanship (tight panel fitments, deft stitching), soft-touch materials and genuine metal trim. Climate and audio controls are well placed and intuitive, particularly the latest generation of the touchscreen interface. The navigation system is a bit of a letdown, however, as its small screen lacks detailed street names and other information.

Firm front seats -- heated on SE models -- offer ample support on long hauls or nightmare commutes. Rear seat riders have it pretty good, too, with reclining seatbacks and 6 inches of seat travel fore and aft. The three-way split-folding rear seat also allows two rear passengers to sit alongside longer items like skis or snowboards slotted in the pass-through.

Push the rear seats fully forward and the Tiguan can accommodate 23.8 cubic feet of cargo. Fold down the second-row seat and capacity jumps to 56.1 cubes. That's a pretty respectable number for a smaller crossover, though still well shy of the 70-plus cubic feet afforded by the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. The front passenger seat also folds fully flat, offering up 98 inches from front to rear.

Driving Impressions

If the 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan doesn't charge ahead as fast as some V6-powered compacts in its class, it makes up for its horsepower deficit with plenty of useful low-end torque. Whether loping around town from stoplight to strip mall or passing a semi at highway speeds, the Tiguan's turbocharged four-cylinder puts power down where it's needed.

The Tiguan also feels confident and poised in the corners, particularly so in the SEL model with its sport suspension. But this is no Mazda CX-5; you won't find the Tiguan bending to your will around corners. But the small crossover still handily blends a firm, sporty ride with urban civility and, in all-wheel-drive configuration, all-weather capability.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 15 reviews) Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

We named her tiguanda

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan

She's a good car! We love the smooth ride and tight steering and suspension. My wife used to drive a Honda CRV, and then a Beetle as a rental after the Honda was hit by a deer and totaled. The VW Tiguan is the perfect combination of a Beetle and a CRV. Love it!



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Good every day driver

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan

Tiguan is has well controlled ride, good performance, good cargo space with easy to fold back seats. Size is perfect for secure hi way driving while being convenient for around town.



3 of 35 people found this review helpful

Seemed great until...

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan

I will be honest with you, I'm a Ford guy. But the wife came home with the Tig and at first I was pretty impressed. Quick little car, nice interior, great on gas. That was 20,000 miles ago. Now, if I knew more about the crash test ratings I would put the "peoples car" out of its misery. Moved from Texas to Michigan, apparently, our vehicle didn't appreciate the cold. According to VW, the EPC went out due to weather. $900 for replacing and again, due to weather, this time humidity, EPC out again. According to VW, "a number of vehicles are experiencing this type of difficulty, but not more than half." [non-permissible content removed].



23 of 23 people found this review helpful

There is a reason i named her nyx...

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan

I live in 4 seasons country and I have now converted to 4motion as a way of life. Driving to work everyday on poorly plowed roads allows me to do circles around other SUVs and I pushed my car hard to get to work on time and have yet to spin out. I am not a professional driver but I have driven a lot across the country many times and my car has yet to fail, sputter, or slight in any form of performance. She takes what gets thrown at her with a determined grin. The turbo-charged engine makes easy work of green lights and passing cars on the freeway. Mileage has been about 24/25mpg steadily and I have yet to have a major repair going on 1.5 years/ 11000+ miles. Miles are too easy.



8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Love this vw

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan

I test drove everything from Kia to Mercedes before buying the Tiguan, and this was a stand out vehicle from them all. The solid build quality, quiet cabin and quick turbo engine sold me on this one. It has a "fun to drive" factor that most small suv's do not. There is plenty of cabin room even in the back seat which slides forward and back and/or lays flat for more cargo room. If it weren't for the height and extra room you would think you were driving a GTI. Very sporty, quick and fun! Overall thrilled with my purchase!



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Best volkswagen yet

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan

This is my third and favorite Volkswagen. My first was a '95 Jetta, then a '07 4Motion Passat Wagon, and now this 2013 Tiguan. The interior is well laid out and comfy. The giant sunroof is just cool. This small crossover SUV has some trade-offs with my previous wagon. It's tallness makes it easier to maneuver in the city, but it's smallness means it doesn't feel as solid and smooth over the studded tire ruts on the freeway. After two longer highway trips I'm used to it and wouldn't go back. The transmission holds a low gear when you crest steep hills. It's a little noisy and strange at first, but works well to keep the car from accelerating rapidly at the crest of the hill.



Talk About The 2013 Tiguan

2013 Volkswagen Tiguan Discussions See all Started By

kyfdx
kyfdx
06-07-2008
Ask your Tiguan lease questions here!...


joetodd1
joetodd1
07-07-2015
I just picked up a 2013 Tiguan 4motion. The doors lock after a few yards of driving. Can I disable this 'feature'? I've had other German cars do this but it was always easy to find in the user manu...


vlad3225
vlad3225
04-03-2016
Looking to lease 2016 VW Tiguan SEL....



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