2012 Volkswagen Tiguan Consumer Review: Great compact SUV, except for

2012 Volkswagen Tiguan - Consumer Review

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Great compact SUV, except for the transmission
By tom365 on


2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 4Motion 4dr SUV AWD w/Premium Navigation, Dynaudio, Rearview Camera (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)


This is an excellent SUV; great build quality, fun to drive, practical, rides great at highway speed and has that Volkswagen feel.

However, VW has greatly modified the shift pattern of the transmission for 2012.
The car tries much too hard to be in the highest possible gear, like 5th or 6th gear between 30 - 35 MPH.
This results in severe lugging of the engine which causes the vehicle to shudder and actually shake.
It also makes an annoying low-pitched rumbling sound at these speeds.

I would strongly advise anyone considering this car to test-drive it for several miles at speeds around 30 - 35 to see if the shaking and shuddering bothers them.

Best Features

Build quality. Interior design and materials. Good size for city driving but cruises very well at freeway speeds. Great 2.0L turbo engine.

Worst Features

My only complaint is the transmission. VW tried very hard to make changes in 2012 to improve gas mileage, which is commendable. However, they took their eye off of day-to-day drivability. As I mentioned in the review, the transmission is very bad. It needs to be fixed if VW is to keep it's reputation for enjoyable cars. If I was aware of the transmission problem, I would not have bought this car. I'm saving my $$ and learning how to spell BMW.
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Comments (3) Post a Comment
By wgoldthwaite
on 07/18/12 13:14 PM (PDT)

Hello, I guess VW has a transmission problem that is built in Japan I beleive. I also have a problem maintaining a low speed of 15-35 and 40 MPH and that is a must for driving thru some of these small towns that will have there police stop you for going over the speed limit more than 1MPH. My car being a 2012 Tiquan and just traded in a 2011 tiquan Wolfberger Addition which was a great little car and not much power. But this new Tiquan SUV-SEL1 is a beautiful car except that the transmission needs rebuilding. The car makes a loud shaddering noise at the lowest speeds which is something I will not tolerate and probably have a battle with VW. I was also told that the car would adjust to my driving habits. Sorry I cannot beieive that to be the truth. My wife also drives this vehicle and how does the engine cope with two differant driving habits??. Well thanks Tom for your input on the problems that you are having. I will go back to VW for the second time and see what they come up with. I think we all have a lemon. I beleive there is a law protecting us against the purchase of a lemon vehicle. Thanks: wgoldthwaite

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By bob481
on 04/09/12 09:16 AM (PDT)

Agree with most everything in tom365 review. I have the SE 4Motion. Transmission kicks and struggles over hills. Some people have stated that the transmission is smart enough to adjust to the driver's particular driving style over time. I haven't found that to be true, been driving mine since November. And YES, it makes a rumbling sound at 30-35mph. Sport mode doesn't help but just makes the engine sound louder. Can't imagine a normal driver ever needing or wanting to go into Sport Mode. Other gripes: If you want to open ONLY the back windows while driving you cant, not without a brain-crushing noise and tremoring. Is this true of any SUV/CUV? Sound system is lacking. To my ears, there's a hollow, echo sound no matter how tweak it. And the radio, CD player, Satellite radio, and Blue-Tooth Audio Input all play at slightly different volume levels. Constantly adjusting the sound level. And the ride is OK, but FAR from cushy. My previous car was a 1998 Acura CL. Wanted to try a roomy 4seater this time, but I'll probably go back to a sporty 2seater once this lease is done or if I can get out of it.

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By nlmlillysmom
on 07/22/12 17:17 PM (PDT)

The Tiguan, according to my dealer, is one of 2 VW cars that is still manufactured completely in Germany, not Japan. It isn't a lemon. Read all the other posts that continually mention the transmission fix in the form of a software update. I found that simply referencing the tech bulletin in a conversation with a service representative resulted in the update being done quickly and effectively.

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