2012 Volkswagen Tiguan Consumer Review: Great fun to drive small SUV!

2012 Volkswagen Tiguan - Consumer Review

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful
Great fun to drive small SUV!
By chemgeek on


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


I wanted to write an honest review and not just a whining about negatives.
You get what you expect for buying a Volkswagon.
You get a very European trim inside and out, a sporty firm ride, and an engine that hands down kicks the crap out of most cars on the road yet getting a reasonably good mpg.
The techie features are awesome and as a total package, it is well worth the money.
There are a lot of small SUVs out there but you get the features that compete with those of the Audis and BMWs at a lower cost.
10 times the car that a CRV could dream to be.
Now yes, like any car, there are quirks.
They either are deal breakers or they aren't.
The tranny is quirky, but still impressive.

Best Features

I bought the one with ALL the bells and whistles. I love the large navigation screen and the dynaudio is amazing. These are only eclipsed by the amazing panoramic roof. My SEL has FULL leather interior which isn't even an option on its lesser competitors. The keyless entry is so cool and fun to use. The huge 19" wheels make it look like a kid in their parents shoes but it looks awesome going down the road. The finish is truly VW and is what you expect from them. The engine is a blast, however, I would have loved to see this twincharged like the Euro TSI engine. The heart of a GTI truly beats in this car. If its too fast, your too old!

Worst Features

So, yes, I love 99% of this car, but there are quirks. The biggest one is the tranny. The Tiptronic is awesome and gives you crisp immediate response. The issue is when you have it in standard drive mode which typically is what you use in a day to day drive. It shifts A LOT! But that is the nature of the dual clutch system and their efforts to keep their mpgs up there. This is not a new system and is used by many supercar companies. It is provides a quicker shift and is much more responsive than what most people are used to and therein lies the problem. Euro has used these for a long time and they are just as durable as the old slush box. 5000 miles in and I have gotten used to it.
Recommend (8) (1)

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Comments (3) Post a Comment
By chemgeek
on 02/06/13 12:57 PM (PST)

Sorry crazed commuter but you are incorrect on this one. The Tiguan began being produced with the DSG in 2011. It is the same dual clutch system that they have been using for a while now and yes it is available in the US (they even had a large recall in 2009 on two DSG cars). It is a dual clutch in the 2012. Europe has a 7 speed version of it where we only have the 6 speed version. I guess it appears that we lost out, however, I have heard that the 7 speed version was having some issues. I will take one less gear with a long standing tried and true tranny. Nearing the 10,000 mile mark and not even a hiccup with anything!

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By bill95gl
on 02/14/13 18:22 PM (PST)

Ummm...I'm pretty sure that no US Tiguan has a DSG transmission. Our 2012 Tiguan SE certainly doesn't. I have a GTI with DSG and the character of the shifting is totally different from that of the Tiguan. In addition, the Tiguan transmission has exactly the same "growl" at low speeds that our 2007 Passat 2.0T with 6 speed (Aisen) Tiptronic had. For what it's worth, the DSG in my GTI seems to be completely silent.

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By 1ptbijou
on 02/27/14 10:39 AM (PST)

VW has a transmission software module update for the A/transmission. Once the update is installed free of charge, the transmission will work better at slow speed. It is difficult to understand why VW made such a bad transmission just to increase the MPG by 1.

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