Seat Time: 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan

April 3rd, 2014 at 12:32pm

Volkswagen Tiguan

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Manufacturer: Volkswagen AG
Make: Volkswagen
Model: Tiguan
Model Range: 4-door CUV
Competitors: Ford Escape, Chevy Equinox, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson
Trim Levels: S, SE, SE w/ Appearance, SEL, R-Line
Price Range: $23,305-$36,880
Made in: Wolfsburg, Germany
Drivetrain: 2.0L Turbocharged 4-cylinder, 200hp. Mated to 6-speed manual or automatic. Also available in front and all-wheel drive
EPA Ratings: Manual = 18 city/26 highway; Automatic = 21 city/26 highway

Read on for Sean McElroy‘s final impressions of this vehicle

Notable Features:

  • Volkswagen Tiguan InteriorR-Line interior and exterior package added for 2014
  • Fender audio system
  • Bi-Xenon Headlights w/ LED running lights
  • Good rear-seat leg room
  • Panoramic tilt/slide sunroof
  • Front- or All-wheel drive

Final Impression:

This was my first time ever driving a Tiguan, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. But you could say my initial impressions of the vehicle were not all that great.

When walking up to it for the first time I noticed its size. The back end of the Tiguan is a little bit shorter than say Ford’s Escape. But when it comes to exterior and interior styling, I think the Tiguan is one of the better looking vehicles in its segment. Next thing I noticed was that I didn’t fit into the drivers seat very well. The steering wheel did not come out far enough for me, so I could not adjust the seat as far back as I would have liked. If it offered a few more seat adjustment that would have helped as well. Now I should note that I’m a tall guy with long legs and I’ve had this issue with vehicles that have tall seating positions with low floors, like the Honda Fit and Mazda5.

After pulling out our parking lot and getting above 25 MPH there was this really annoying noise that did not go away until after getting below 25 MPH. It almost sounded like a wind noise coming through the vents in the dash, but I could never pin-point it. If you’re going to test drive a Tiguan for possible purchase I would shut off everything to see if you hear the same noise. But it’s possible that something had happened to our test vehicle. (I’ve sent an e-mail to the folks over at Volkswagen describing my issue. I’ll update this when I hear back.)

Getting past the wind noise, the more I drove the Tiguan the more it grew on me. It has a nice suspension set up that handles very well, even on our crappy Michigan roads. I was even surprised that it was not all that “darty” on the road for a vehicle with a short wheelbase and tall roof. The performance of the engine won’t blow you away, but it’s more than enough. I rode with my brother-in-law who noted that it has more pep than his 2013 Escape. Once comfortable with the Tiguan I started to notice some of its creature comforts. Like the large panoramic tilt/slide sunroof with an electronic shade and ample rear-seat leg room.

Overall the Tiguan is a nice vehicle. But it’s in a very competitive segment and with our tester coming in at nearly $36,000, I don’t think you’ll see it stealing too many sales away from its Big Time competitors.

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