VW Tiguan test drive
The “new” Tiguan is not an ugly car. But I struggle how to describe it. “boring”, “generic”, “lazy” come to mind.
I guess it is all that…
It basically looks like these generic cars you see on architectural renderings. Where they make sure vehicles look like nothing specific.
The Tiguan designers did their best to remove any trace of personality. And they succeeded.
Same thing inside. Where, aside from the screen, you could be in a VW from around 10 or 15 years ago.
Again, nothing could be described as “ugly”. It’s just not as interesting or nice as the previous Tiguan. (Or any of the competition)
It just looks like it was designed by a teenager with a ruler, or a robot.
Not actual humans.
The interior gives out a very boring/old vibe. (I am sure my black vinyl interior test car color didn’t help and things could be a little better in a different color combo )
The vinyl seats are pretty flat. Although they feel OK.
Many of the hard plastic bits have cheap feel and look to them (Although there are plenty of nicer soft plastics around too)
The center armrest is also not adjustable…
This is really not in the same league as the Mazda CX-5 interior. (Although it is about the same price)
Or even the Honda CR-V and many others. In my opinion, pretty much any of the competition has a nicer interior.
The CarPlay screen also gave up. Not the whole screen, only when using CarPlay. The songs were playing, but the screen went black one evening. I restarted the radio, even the car. Nothing worked…
Things were fine the next day. Just weird.
Otherwise I have to stay the standard stereo on the SE model I had sounded great (Except for an annoying small buzz from the front left speaker at times)
Inside the glove compartment. A wild old-timey CD player/flash card reader. (???)
The back seat is roomy enough.
But smaller than in the Jetta.
And the seat itself is pretty flat.
The 3rd row is not that easy to get into, and really uncomfortable for any over the age of 6.
Behind that 3rd row, there isn’t much trunk space left.
And there is this weird raised cover. Which makes you think there might be an additional hidden storage underneath .
Things get better with the 3rd row flat.
But the floor is still pretty high. Making it pretty hard to load heavy items.
Also, that hatch is the heaviest I have ever used. The power feature should really be standard…
(Especially for almost $30 000)
The very first thing I noticed was how crude the engine sounded.
The new version of VW’s 2.0 Liter Turbo is one of the worst. (VW seems to keep coming up with new versions of their 2.0 Liter turbo every couple of years or so) And is less powerful than the previous one.
Things really gets rough and noisy as soon as you reach 2000RPM. (like some older 90’s car)
Which the 8 speed auto transmission is trying to avoid at all cost.
By mostly refusing to downshift unless you really floor it. And, by then, it gets pretty confused and shifts pretty abruptly.
So as long as you drive slow, keep things under 2000RPM, you’ll be OK. Otherwise that drone from the noisy engine will be quite tiresome.
Again, this is much less refined than the competition.
I know people have criticized the new Tiguan for lack of power. I though it was just fine.
(Sure, I had only now or 2 people on board, and it might be a different story when loaded.)
The steering is very light. Too light to have any feel to it. Again, light years behind the Mazda CX-5.
And not what you would expect of a “German” car.
The suspension is not really comfortable. It’s not terrible, but not a smooth ride.
And a noisy one. (while most bumps on the road are felt, all of them are heard)
The Tiguan is rated at 22/27 MPG.
I got mostly 18/20 around town. (While being very careful) But had no problem getting 33 on the highway.
I am not really sure who the new Tiguan is for. The previous model was much more engaging in every way.
If you use all the seats, the trunk is just too small for almost anything.
I guess this is mostly for carpooling moms.
The pricing is also a bit strange to me. While the base model starts at $24 500, my SE version was $28 930. (Before optional wheels) That’s about $4000 for only a few more things. (And the base cloth looks nicer than the SE’s vinyl)
Even though most of the competition starts at around the same price.
They offer a lot more by the time you reach around $29 000.
The CX-5 Grand Touring is $29 645 and comes with a sunroof, leather seats, power hatch, Bose audio etc…
The CR-V EX-L also comes with pretty much the same stuff.
Next to these, that Tiguan SE is pretty bare bone.
It is also noisier, not as nice to drive, and not as comfortable.
If you must get a VW Tiguan, VW still offers the “old” one (but not for long) called the Tiguan Limited.
It only comes with a couple of options. But starts at about $2000 less. Is a nicer car to drive and still has the better and more powerful “old” version of the 2.0 Liter engine.
I have to say, the current Tiguan was a bit of a disappointment.
It seems like a step back from the previous version in almost every way.
If you have never driven any of its competition, and if your quick test drive at the dealership doesn’t allow you to push it past 2000RPM, you might like it.
Otherwise, like Hemingway used to say: “life is too short to drive blah…”