The Volkswagen Tiguan was the German automaker’s first compact SUV (actually considered in most circles as a CUV or Crossover Utility Vehicle), which first appeared as a 2009 model. The initial impression of the Tiguan was that it represented a combination of VW’s GTI or Jetta GLI and their larger Touareg SUV. And it delivered; it came at a time when smaller was actually considered to be better in terms of fuel economy.
Yes, I know that there are more fuel conscious vehicles out there, but not necessarily with the same attributes and amenities served up by the Volkswagen Tiguan, which brings to the table elevated standards in design aesthetics, in driving dynamics, in technological safety features. Plus it comes with a healthy inventory of entry-level luxury and convenience content.
The design for 2017 remains European in flavor, and it continues to take influence from Volkswagen’s heritage. It’s instantly recognizable as a VW, with several visual cues from the GTI. At 174.5 inches front-to-rear, 71.2 inches wide and 67.1 inches tall, it fills a size bracket that is ideal for maneuvering about in either urban or suburban environments.
The 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan lineup consists of four models or trim levels, each with varying degrees of progressive feature content. there’s the base S; Wolfsburg; Sport; and SEL. The R-line and SE trims are no longer offered. Base pricing begins at $24,995 and rises to $36,475.
All Tiguan models are powered by the 2.0 TSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and all models fitted with the automatic transmission come with the option of 4Motion all-wheel drive. The six-speed manual gearbox is only available on FWD Tiguan S models.
The entry-level S also features KESSY® keyless access with push-button start, V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces, heatable front seats, power driver’s seat recline, heated washer nozzles and automatic headlights with rain-sensing wipers and auto-dimming mirrors.
Power for the Tiguan is a standard 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, TSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection that cranks out 200 hp at 5,100 rpm, while developing 207 lb-ft. of torque at 1,700 rpm. EPA fuel economy rates 20 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
The suspension features European-flavored tuning for a connected handling feel but with a smooth and compliant ride quality. And like all Volkswagens, Tiguan incorporates VW’s Prevent and Preserve Safety System, consisting of 45 safety features that includes six airbags and Electronic Stabilization Program. Rear side airbags are available options.
The Tiguan is sized right, drives well – borders on sporty, being fun to drive, and it rides comfortably. The handling is precise and readily responsive despite its CUV categorization. For those who have too much gear to carry inside, the Tiguan is capable of towing up to a maximum of 2,200 pounds, given that the trailer is equipped with braking and, up to 220 pounds of cargo may be carried on the roof.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
The 2017 Tiguan’s base S trim is now fitted with Volkswagen’s Composition Media infotainment system, which has a 6.3-inch screen and USB, Bluetooth® and VW Car-Net® App-Connect technologies for compatible devices, supporting integration with three available connected car systems: Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®. The Composition Media system also includes HD radio, two SD card slots, the ability to sync two phones simultaneously, and a three-month trial to Sirius XM Satellite Radio®.
A host of options are available to enhance both comfort and convenience, such as: a huge, panoramic sunroof opening up to nearly 13 square feet of sky; a state of the art navigation system, combining a sophisticated radio with a precise touch screen navigation system and easy to use map views through its 6.5 inch high resolution wide-screen display. The system also includes a 30GB hard drive for storing map data and audio files that can be transferred into the device via the optical drive or SD card slot. The optical drive reads CD, DVD and DVD Audio formats. In conjunction with the media device interface, the system can interface with either an iPod or USB stick, and offers offers available Sirius Satellite Radio audio services and Sirius® Traffic service, for streaming real-time traffic data into the navigation system.
It also delivers in the functionality department with its versatile seating configurations accommodating five. The rear seats both slide up to six inches of fore and aft travel. Plus they recline, and, of course, fold flat capability. The front passenger seat folds flat as well for extended loads.
TFLCAR’s TAKE: My test Volkswagen Tiguan proved to be pleasing in every respect. It is certainly not out of context to think of the Tiguan as the GTI of sport utes or CUVs. My test 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan was a FWD S model. The base price was set at $24,995 while the final tally registered $25,860 after adding the Destination charge.
And if you want a good deal on the 2017, now would be the time to find one. Volkswagen have just released the 2018 Tiguan with an optional 3rd row of seats, but alas, with a less powerful turbocharged 4-cyl. engine. If you’re curious what it’s like, check out our video review below:
SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T S
- Base Price: $24,995, price as Tested: $25,860
- Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve TSI® turbocharged and inter-cooled inline four-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection
- Horsepower (bhp): 200 @ 5,100 rpm
- Torque (ft./ lbs.): 207 @ 1,700 rpm
- Transmission: Six-speed Tiptronic automatic with paddle shifters
- Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive
- Suspension: Front – Strut type with lower control arms, coil springs, telescopic damper and 22mm anti-roll bar
- Rear – Multilink, coil springs, telescopic dampers and anti-roll bar
- Brakes: Power-assisted, dual circuit four-wheel discs (vented front) with standard four-wheel ABS, EBD and ESC
- Tires: Dunlop GrandTrek Touring A/S 215/65 R16 98H A/S mounted on 5-“V”-spoke alloy wheels
- Wheelbase: 102.5 inches
- Length Overall: 174.5 inches
- Width: 71.2 inches
- Height: 67.1 inches
- Curb Weight: 3,448 lbs.
- Turning Circle: 39.0 ft.
- Fuel Capacity: 16.9 gallons
- EPA Mileage Estimates: 21 mpg city / 26 mpg highway
- Drag Coefficient: 0.37