2011 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

Pros & Cons

  • Lively turbocharged engine
  • composed ride and handling
  • premium cabin appointments
  • top safety scores
  • solid build quality.
  • Shy on cargo space
  • pricey compared to the competition.
List Price Range
$6,490 - $11,990

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan offers a different flavor in a vanilla class by trading some practicality for a top-notch cabin and European driving manners.

Vehicle overview

There's a gray area between mainstream crossover SUVs and luxury models and that's where the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan resides -- a niche where economy and utility collide with upscale appointments and badge recognition. The big question is, can a vehicle be both mainstream and luxury? The short answer is a waffling, "maybe."

The VW Tiguan's interior is a welcome departure from the plastic-trimmed cabin of the typical compact crossover. The quality of materials in this VW approaches that of premium brands like Audi, while the solid construction of this VW's interior eclipses that of its competition in the segment. Even the Tiguan's road manners achieve a certain level of sophistication. Compared to its rivals, the Tiguan is, in a single word, European.

The Tiguan's styling cues place it somewhere between the larger VW Touareg SUV and smaller VW Golf hatchback. The Tiguan's look has been updated ever so slightly for 2011, notably with a new grille. Other than this, the only substantive change for 2011 is the elimination of the Wolfsburg Edition trim level. All this suits us just fine, as the mix of European charm and engaging driving dynamics is what sets the Tiguan apart from the rest of the compact crossovers, not simply its styling.

At the same time, the 2011 VW Tiguan comes up slightly short in terms of space and utility. The Tiguan's passenger space is decidedly smaller, and luggage capacity behind the rear seat is substantially less than that of the 2011 Honda CR-V and 2011 Toyota RAV4. Even when the rear seat is folded down, the VW's maximum cargo space still comes up about 25 percent shy of its bigger Japanese competitors. Buyers who place a premium on pure utility would probably be better served by something else.

Buyers whose priorities are weighted toward quality and refinement, however, will find the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan a compelling proposition. Of course, even the Tiguan's mix of style and refinement now has been embraced by some of its competition, notably the 2011 Hyundai Tucson and 2011 Kia Sportage. The VW still has an edge when it comes to interior quality, but we think it best to check out all of the alternatives before saying "maybe" to the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan.

2011 Volkswagen Tiguan models

The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover SUV available in S, SE and SEL trim levels.

The base S model comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, keyless entry, cloth upholstery, eight-way manually adjustable front seats, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The SE adds 17-inch wheels, additional chrome exterior trim, foglights, a roof rack, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, heated washer nozzles, a power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, leatherette vinyl upholstery, a trip computer, a roof storage console and an upgraded touchscreen stereo with satellite radio and an iPod interface. Opting for the SE's Sunroof and Navigation package will get you 18-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof and a navigation system.

The SEL includes all of the above plus adaptive bi-xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient interior lighting, a 12-way power driver seat with memory, keyless ignition and leather upholstery. Adding Premium Navigation to the SEL also includes a rearview camera. The SEL 4Motion with Premium Navigation and Dynaudio option rounds off the Tiguan with all-wheel drive and an eight-speaker premium Dynaudio sound system. Options for all Tiguan models include a trailer hitch, side steps, a ground-effects kit of body pieces and 19-inch wheels.

2011 Highlights

Besides a minor face-lift, the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan sees few changes, which include a few feature shuffles among models along with the discontinuation of the Wolfsburg Edition trim.

Performance & mpg

The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that produces 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. All trim levels come standard with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is optional on the SE and SEL. A six-speed manual is standard on the Tiguan S, while a six-speed automatic is optional on the S and standard on the SE and SEL.

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 other crossovers in this class. Its EPA-estimated fuel economy is again average at 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined for both the front- and all-wheel-drive models with the automatic, while the S trim's standard manual is essentially the same at 19/26/22.

Safety

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

In Edmunds brake testing, the all-wheel-drive Tiguan 4Motion came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet -- an average performance. In government crash testing, the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan was awarded a perfect five stars in all front and side crash categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Tiguan one of its "Top Safety Picks" earning its best rating of "Good" in frontal-offset, side and roof-strength tests.

Driving

The 2011 VW 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 or when passing slower vehicles. When cornering, the Tiguan feels confident and poised, absorbing ruts and bumps with ease. Over rough roads, its high-strength steel frame and heavy-duty dampers add an extra measure of durability.

For the most part, the 2011 Tiguan's electrically assisted steering feels very similar to a traditional hydraulic-assist 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

As with most vehicles in the Volkswagen lineup, the 2011 Tiguan boasts a premium-style cabin that approaches Audi in its overall sense of quality. High-end materials, solid craftsmanship and even actual metal trim enhance the premium feel. Most controls are large and well placed, and the available navigation system sports a large screen and a simple 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 backrest also reclines.

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Love it
stavrosk,04/28/2011
I have my white SEL now for 4 months with 4000miles. It is really excellent from every aspect. Friends and colleagues that have riden with me were amazed about the sunroof and the quality of the interior. It is really a high end SUV. Driving and handling is also amazing. Maybe a little bit delayed response on the gas until the turbo kicks in, but on the other hand I have not really tried to drive it with the stick on the S position. The only complain really is that I do not get anywhere near the promised consumption, usually average about 3mpg less than what is advertised for city and highway. Just wish VW would bring the turbo diesel in the US.
Love it!
rufus,09/11/2010
Having driven a mini cooper S for the past five years, I was dreading the thought of driving something even as big as a crossover. However, the Tiguan feels almost as sporty as my mini. The handling is terrific! In my comparison shopping, I didn't find anything else in the crossover segment that compares to the interior quality and zippy nature of the Tiguan. Get it.
Excellent Choice
M Webber,11/20/2010
have about 1200 miles on the Tiguan so far. i looked at CRV, RAV4 as well before buying. the RAV was too "loose" in driving, and the honda was nice, but the Tiguan is a lot more fun, and tigher (great german engineering )to drive. Dealership was amazingly easy to deal with in Belleve WA.
Safest car you can buy
Paul,11/30/2010
This is actually the second Tiguan we've bought in 4 months. The first was totaled with a head on 45 mph crash with a vehicle twice its size. We survived because the crash cage is 3.9 times that of the federal safety standards according to the police officer. Hence when it came to a replacement, it was this, the Volvo XC60 (or if we could wait for it Saab 94X). We chose the Tiguan as its more fun to drive than the XC60, has a nice interior, and although the ride can be firm (along with the seats). It eats through the miles quickly. The interior is slightly different to the 2010 model. I prefer the old steering wheel controls and stick shift, but ipod/phone integration is a lot better.

Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
MPG
20 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
MPG
19 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
MPG
20 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
See all Used 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover18.5%
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 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan

Used 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan Overview

The Used 2011 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), S 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SE 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), S 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SE 4dr SUV w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SEL 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), S 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), SEL 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD w/Prem Nav, Dynaudio (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and SEL 4dr SUV w/Premium Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion is priced between $8,995 and$11,990 with odometer readings between 94294 and105764 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan S is priced between $7,391 and$7,599 with odometer readings between 83703 and104241 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan SE is priced between $6,490 and$8,499 with odometer readings between 93092 and110424 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan S 4Motion is priced between $11,888 and$11,888 with odometer readings between 41660 and41660 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 2011 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) 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan for sale near. There are currently 8 used and CPO 2011 Tiguans listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,490 and mileage as low as 41660 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 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan.

Can't find a used 2011 Volkswagen Tiguans you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Tiguan for sale - 8 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $10,334.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 3 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $7,819.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Tiguan for sale - 9 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $24,534.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 6 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $22,300.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 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