2010 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Peppy turbo engine, composed ride and handling, upscale cabin appointments, top safety scores, solid build quality.
  • Shy on cargo space, pricey compared to the competition.

The 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan trades some practicality for a top-notch cabin and European driving manners. It's a different flavor in a vanilla class.

Vehicle overview

The name Tiguan comes from a mash-up of the words "tiger" and "iguana." No, we're not joking, and no, we're not sure if they're pumping something funky into the air supply of VW HQ. Why not the VW Giraffaroo or the VW Turtlephant?

So the 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan's name is pretty different, but in a way it's rather fitting. While other compact crossovers put an emphasis on family-friendly utility, this VW is known for its impressive build quality, high-end interior and sophisticated road manners. The only small crossover from a European automaker, it's certainly a step up from something like a Honda CR-V, though it's still not as luxurious as a full-bred luxury crossover like the Audi Q5.

The Tiguan's appeal starts with its exterior, which draws inspiration from both the bigger Touareg SUV and the compact Golf hatchback. Its curvaceous lines are subdued, but the Tiguan won't be confused for anything else. The same can be said for its high-class interior, which boasts best-in-class materials and simple controls. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of passenger and cargo space. Indeed, the Tiguan is one of the most compact of compact crossovers. Its sliding rear seats help expand space for the cargo area or the backseat, but in general, if you're planning on lots of long-distance family vacations or frequent trips to Ikea, the Tiguan is probably not the best choice.

In the end, the 2010 VW Tiguan's appeal will depend on what your requirements are for a compact crossover and whether you think its higher quality is worth the higher MSRP. Those in need of more space will find the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 better choices. If the Tiguan's size is just fine, you may find that the Nissan Rogue or VW's own Jetta SportWagen can meet your needs at a lower price. But then, none of those rivals are weirdly named after a pair of unrelated animals, are they?

2010 Volkswagen Tiguan models

The 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover SUV available in S, SE, Wolfsburg Edition and SEL trim levels. Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry, eight-way manually adjustable front seats, and an eight-speaker stereo with a CD player.

The SE adds 17-inch wheels, foglights, heated washer nozzles, a power driver seat, heated front seats, upgraded cloth upholstery, a multifunction steering wheel, a trip computer, Bluetooth and an upgraded stereo with a six-CD/MP3 changer and auxiliary audio jack. Leather upholstery, an upgraded power driver seat and driver memory functions can be packaged together on the SE. The Wolfsburg Edition adds unique 17-inch alloy wheels, special badges and leatherette vinyl upholstery.

The SEL starts as an SE with the Leather package and adds 18-inch wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control and a premium Dynaudio stereo.

Options include a panoramic sunroof, rear-seat side airbags and a hard-drive-based navigation system that includes a rearview camera and digital music storage.

Latest Volkswagen News from Edmunds
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2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Review | VW's Capable Compact SUV | MPG, Specs & More

2010 Highlights

For 2010, the VW Tiguan gains standard Bluetooth for the SE and SEL trim levels. A new Wolfsburg Edition also debuts.

Performance & mpg

Every VW Tiguan is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that produces 200 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. All trims come standard with front-wheel drive, while 4Motion all-wheel drive is optional on the SE and SEL. The S and Wolfsburg Edition get a standard six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic is optional on them and standard on the SE and SEL.

In performance testing, an all-wheel-drive SEL went from zero to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds -- midpack performance. Its EPA-estimated fuel economy is again midpack at 18 mpg city/24 highway and 21 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and the automatic, while the S trim's standard manual raises those numbers to 19/26/21. With all-wheel drive, the Tiguan returns 18/24/20.

Safety

Standard equipment on the Tiguan includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags are optional.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Tiguan 4Motion came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet -- an average performance. In government crash testing, the 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan was awarded a perfect five stars in all front and side crash categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Tiguan its best rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset, side and roof-strength tests.

Driving

Its 0-60 acceleration time many not be that impressive, but with a torquey power delivery, the Tiguan's turbo inline-4 feels spirited around town and when passing on the freeway. In corners, the 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 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan's electromechanically assisted steering does a decent job of imitating a traditional hydraulic setup. The steering effort starts light and builds to a moderate amount that won't tax even the skinniest of arms as speed increases. 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 upscale 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, whether 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 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.88 out of 5 stars
Love my Tiguan
John,11/21/2010
Wolfsburg Edition 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
This is the third VW I've owned and I love it even more than the others. Nice, clean styling combined with easy to use controls and great performance around town, make the Tiguan a fantastic vehicle to drive.
5 out of 5 stars
Among the best cars I've owned.
Maria Vale,12/04/2015
Wolfsburg Edition 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I've driven and owned a numerous amount of cars in my life, given my constant travels and former business assignments, so I can say with certainty, that this Tiguan is turning out to be an excellent decision to purchase. I grew up seeing many VWs, Mercedes, Volvos and Datsun/Nissans, as well as Fords, that were decades-old, still on the road, so I knew those brands were the way to go when it came to ownership. Volkswagen has hit a nice mark with the Tiguan since it's a small SUV, completely manageable for someone who's below 5'3" tall. The car has a peppy pick up when on the highway, especially if you shift it into Sports mode. This little car can run! It takes a couple of seconds longer to pick up highway speed on the regular Drive shift as compared to the Sports mode, but in both gears it responds fast. It runs smoothly and it has come thru for me in important situations such as quick/sudden braking, even in the most hazardous conditions such as slippery roads, poor visibility and heavy (almost blinding) rain. I consider this car the way I'd consider a loyal friend, who's always there for you, no matter what. This car is no diva despite its beautiful exterior and interior. It has leather beige seats, beige interior, panoramic sunroof, 40/60 back seats, front bucket seats, computerized diagnostics, amazing sound system, noiseless and totally gorgeous and comfortable inside. The only things were I'd improve would be in the gas mileage. I get a range of 11-18 MPG in city (11-13 in NYC) (18 in Florida) to 21-24 on the highway. I was not careful to learn before purchasing that this car requires premium gas. Thankfully the price of gas is much more affordable where I live now, so a full tank nowadays (about 16 gallons) requires anywhere between $40-45. I always use Shell Premium. Also, since this is my first SUV (always driven sedans), it's not as smooth as a sedan ride. But the service guy tells me all trucks and SUVs have that feel. My Tiguan does have a bit of engine hum, very, very low, but again, I've been told is normal in an SUV. I also watch the RPMs and when in idle mode, they always remain at below 1000 RPMs, and that's a positive sign of a healthy engine. The minor engine hum doesn't really bother me since I always have my radio on anyway, so I don't really hear it. Regarding repairs, I've only had to take it in for repair once when I gave someone a boost and not sure why but one of the electronic computer boards burnt. Since it's under Warranty, the dealership (VW Schumacher) took care of it and put me on a nice loaner (the CC). The service is always fast and friendly at the dealer. Also, I've kept the car under warranty extensions. A good investment. I'm very happy with my Tiguan. I've been warned that perhaps problems may come at over 100,000 miles, like in all cars, where parts need to be changed, but I believe in good German engineering. After all, this model was completely built in the Germany plant. UPDATE: At the end of the 3rd year, once my Tiguan went past the 50K mile mark, it was time to change parts, fans, filters and it got expensive. The engine began to respond with a delay, so I was told at the dealer it needed a change of fuel injectors. I only used Shell Premium! It was going to cost me about $700+. At this point, another German competitor offered to put me in one of their leases in exchange for the car, including what was still owed. I took it. BMW offered to cover everything for the lease payment, including the car wash. My gas bill, insurance rate and car expenses dropped dramatically. Lesson learned, German cars are great to lease, not to own long term. The next time I look to buy a car for long term it'll likely be Japanese.
4 out of 5 stars
Great fun to drive, agile, but problems
Edward Becker, Jr.,03/28/2015
Wolfsburg Edition 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
This compact SUV drives like a small European sports car. Adequate passenger space, high quality interior, 4 motion AWD tracks well through some of the worst winter snow and ice (except moderately high snow drifts). My complaints are with below average reliability. Problems began at around 70,000 miles. I've had 3 water pumps, trouble with emissions system, replaced turbo, clogged injectors, replaced virtually every motor seal, and other issues. Total cost of dealer completed repairs and maintenance to date (with 108k miles)- $13,600.(ridiculous). If you buy one of these, keep it until around 60k, then get rid of it! I traded in the car in 2016 for a Mazda CX-5. I got $8,500. on the Tiguan trade in. I am very pleased with the Mazda CX-5. It's not as quick as the Tiguan, but so far no problems with the CX-5 (now 38k miles on it). My neighbor is an airplane mechanic and has a VW with the same 2.0 liter motor as I had in the Tiguan. He also has had much the same problems with it, and in fact was putting in the third water pump this week (3/18), but he is able to do all repairs himself, saving thousands of dollars. He has around 200k miles on his VW 2.0 liter, but again has had lots of problems with it. I looked at the new 2018 Tiguan with the 2.0 liter engine when at my dealer for an oil change on the CX-5 recently. It's very impressive, larger, redesigned, and they have extended the powertrain warranty to 6 yrs./72k miles (i think). I'm tempted, but my inner self tells me - no way, don't want those expensive problems again! Sorry VW!
4 out of 5 stars
Great Performance but worried about reliability
Jeff,11/16/2017
Wolfsburg Edition 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Being a multiple VW owner I picked up this car for my wife used, 3 years old with 28K miles. I enjoy driving it but I am somewhat worried about future problems. I do most work on my cars and the Tiguan is a challenge. At 78k the water pump started leaking. I saw the cost to replace the pump is about $1,200.00 and found out why. Since the pump is not on the timing chain or serpentine belt it is buried deep in the engine on the front the of engine block. Many parts have to be removed and the placement of the bracket holding up the throttle body was completely idiotic. I think the book time to change the pump is 8 hours plus the part at $360 and you are at $1,200.00. There is also an issue with the VW 2.0 TSi engine of this year having carbon build up on the intake valves. When I pulled the intake I found the carbon build up (due to the engine design) and believe that all engines will have this problem. Burning premium does not prevent this but is recommend because of the turbo. I clean the port separators but will do the ports and valves later. Too much carbon build up with cause problems with cold starts, engine idle and eventually throw a check engine light but I have not experienced this. The other issue that I have is with the turbo. Check engine light came on and code indicated a boost problem. I replaced the appropriate valve but still had the problem. After doing some research it seems that the problem is with the turbo waste gate. The issue here is that VW used a turbo with the waste gate built into the turbo and this is why some who have posted had to replace the turbo. Mine only occurs in the summer when the temperatures are mid 90's plus and with AC on so most of the year there is no problem. The other common problem is the timing chain tensioner. A design flaw allows for the tensioner to pop loose, the chains skip and the valves hit the pistons and motor is dead. There is a kit that you can buy for about $250 (tensioner and cover) that will replace the stock with an updated tensioner. It is about a 2 hour job to replace. I change the oil every 5k miles with full synthetic and this probably helps but I plan on upgrading the tensioner. The only real repairs that I have had to do besides the water pump and turbo pressure relief valve is two control arms for the suspension. I probably didn't need to do this put the shop where I take the car for alignments talked me into it. The car itself drives and handles great. Good handling in the snow even without snow tires and is fun to drive. Controls are easily laid out and logical and the seats are comfortable even for long drives. Good space to a compact SUV. Gas mileage is a bit less than you might expect from a 2.0 liter but nothing terrible. About 24.5 mpg on highway (70-75 mph) and around 18 mpg town and suburban. Paint job is good and still nice after 7+ years. Only fault with interior is that drivers seat base has cracked on one bolster side (was like this when I bought it). It is the synthetic leather and maybe the previous owner did something to it ? I will acknowledge that the VW is not as reliable as its Japanese counterparts but is way better handling, quicker and loads more fun to drive. Maintain it properly and it shouldn't be too bad.

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 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan

Used 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan Overview

The Used 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan is offered in the following submodels: Tiguan SUV. Available styles include SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SE 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), S 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), S 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), SE 4dr SUV w/Leather (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Wolfsburg Edition 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Wolfsburg Edition 4dr SUV (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 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan comes with all wheel drive, and front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2010 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 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan?

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Which used 2010 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) 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan for sale near. 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 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan.

Can't find a used 2010 Volkswagen Tiguans you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Tiguan for sale - 5 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $22,473.

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Should I lease or buy a 2010 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.

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Check out Volkswagen Tiguan lease specials