2009 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

Pros & Cons

  • Peppy turbo engine, composed handling, comfortable ride, upscale cabin ambiance, solid build quality.
  • Shy on cargo space, pricey compared to the competition.
List Price
$8,378

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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

Vehicle overview

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.

2009 Volkswagen Tiguan models

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.

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2009 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Un-Reliable after 50K miles!
negaverse,01/10/2013
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.
Very disappointed!!
Josue Lopez,03/02/2015
SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
One of the worst Volkswagens I have ever driven. A car with less than 70k miles had to get a new engines, throttle issues, oil leak issue, and much more. I have never had any issue with other makers such as Toyota and Nissan. I highly do not recommend this vehicle or anything else from VW please do not purchase VW it so unreliable.
Fun to Drive, but Not Fun to Own
Erin T.,08/28/2017
SE 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
My dad got this car in 2012 used. One previous owner, no problems. The turbo is punchy and this car is so responsive--super fun to drive. It's comfortable, got great space in the back seat and the trunk, and corners on a dime. None of that matters, though, because in 2015 it went lemon. After doing around $2,000 repairs to the leaky sunroof and some other minor things, the engine quit. Kaput. We sank $7,000 more into replacing the engine. This car has almost cost itself over in repairs since we got it, and I can't in good faith recommend it to anyone.
HUNK OF JUNK
Al Carl,04/11/2016
SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I purchased my 2009 Tiguan used in 2012 and it only had 20k miles on it. Now I'm pushing 90k miles and sadly I still owe 6K. It all started in September when the timing chain mysteriously jumped, basically destroying the top end of the motor. The VW dealership fixed all that for 5.3k. I complained so loudly to VW of America they actually sent me a check for 2K because they know their car is a lemon. Even the guys at my dealership in Topeka, Kansas are saying "oh yes, these Tiguan engines have a lot of problems" Thanks Captain Obvious! 6 weeks after that disaster the transmission fluid cooler springs a leak, draining all the fluid, and destroying the transmission. No dash lights came on! That was another 25 hundred including a deal on a junk yard tranny and a hook up with a local mechanic, not the dealership. I tried to get VW of American to pony up some money to help with the transmission. Their response: "We made one good will payment for the last problem, we won't be doing it again." Now there's an oil leak. Dave at VW & BMW of Topeka tells me that the crank case vent valve went bad causing the rear main seal to blow out spewing oil all over the undercarriage of the car and on any parking spot I use. That's another 18hundred. Not under warranty. A terrible car. A bad experience. Never VW again. Ever.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan

Used 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan Overview

The Used 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan is offered in the following submodels: Tiguan SUV. Available styles include S 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SEL 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SEL 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SE 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), S 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD w/Leather (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and SE 4dr SUV w/Leather (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A). Pre-owned Volkswagen Tiguan models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 200 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion is priced between $8,378 and$8,378 with odometer readings between 100001 and100001 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2009 Volkswagen Tiguans are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2009 Tiguans listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,378 and mileage as low as 100001 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan.

Can't find a used 2009 Volkswagen Tiguans you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Tiguan for sale - 10 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $16,851.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 5 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $21,326.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Tiguan for sale - 9 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $24,217.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 11 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $10,691.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen Tiguan lease specials