2017 Volkswagen Tiguan Review
Pros & Cons
- Sporty handling doesn't come at the expense of a comfortable ride quality (except Sport trim)
- Engine offers punchy turbocharged performance
- Interior materials feel premium
- Cabin is quiet at highway speeds
- Limited cargo space and rear seat legroom
- Subpar fuel economy
- Lackluster crash test results
- No high-tech accident avoidance features available
Edmunds' Expert Review
We're impressed by the 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan's 200-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It's plenty powerful for commuting and passing on a highway, and its six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and quickly. Unfortunately, it's the only engine available. We're guessing many shoppers would happily trade some of its power for fuel economy figures closer to those of base four-cylinders offered by its rivals.
The standard Tiguan feels secure but not particularly athletic when you're driving around turns. Still, there's plenty of poise, which is remarkable given how smoothly and quietly this VW rides. The Sport upsets that equilibrium a bit, thanks to firmer suspension tuning and larger wheels that transmit additional impact harshness into the cabin. In general, though, the Tiguan provides an enjoyable driving experience.
One of the Tiguan's interior highlights is the now standard infotainment system. Its easy-to-master menu layout and controls are among the best in the class, and it even incorporates Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. You can even sync two phones via Bluetooth simultaneously, so a pair of passengers can play DJ. The rest of the Tiguan's cabin doesn't look as good as the segment's leaders, however. It definitely lacks the contemporary looks of competitors, but to be fair it's still attractive and restrained in that classic German way, with first-rate materials quality and construction. You also sit pleasingly high and upright in the firm, supportive front seats, which should satisfy those searching for that tall, commanding view of the road ahead.
There is an abundance of headroom all around, but rear occupants will find their legs a little more pinched (especially with taller folks up front) than they would in most rivals. The reclining rear seat is certainly welcome, as is its sliding functionality that allows you to bring kids a little closer to the front or free up more cargo space.
That last bit is key, though, because there isn't that much cargo space available for the segment. Even with the seats slid forward, there are only 23.8 cubic feet available — an average-sized competitor such as the Mazda CX-5 has 34 cubes. Putting the rear seats down yields only 56.1 cubic feet, making it one of the smallest compact crossovers. It's barely more capacious than subcompact SUVs like the Jeep Renegade.