• Car Review

2019 VW Tiguan Review

By Autolist Editorial | June 18, 2019


The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan made its debut in 2008. The current model is part of the compact SUV’s second generation which became available in 2017. A compact crossover SUV, the Tiguan has five doors and seats up to five or seven passengers.

The name of this car comes from a portmanteau of the German words “Tiger” (Tiger) and “Leguan” (Iguana).

The 2019 Tiguan does not have any significant changes when compared to last year’s model. That said, many reviewers feel the combination of cargo space, exterior styling, comfortable ride, high predicted reliability, and generous space place it in the middle of an extremely competitive category.

Whether they are called compact SUVs, midsize SUVs, crossover SUVs, or five-door SUVs, the cars in this category are some of the most popular vehicles in the United States. As a result, the Tiguan finds itself competing against SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Mazda CX 5, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, and Kia Sportage.

Some reviewers felt that less than optimal fuel economy and an uninspiring engine are potential negative points to think about if considering a Tiguan. Because there were not any notable improvements to this year’s model, those seeking to maximize value may enjoy shopping for a used Tiguan which will have the same features at a predictably lower price.

One key difference that separates the VW Tiguan from its crowded category is the addition of the third row of seats in the back. The only issue with this benefit which bumps the number of passengers this car can hold up to 7 is that many adults will not be comfortable sitting in this row.

Those comparing compact SUVs will want to note that the Mazda CX-5 offers a more sport-tuned driving experience matched with superior fuel economy estimates. Many reviewers cite the Honda CR-V as having larger cargo capacity and a more luxurious feeling interior. Neither of these vehicles, however, offer third-row seating or the kind of warranty the Tiguan provides.

The Tiguan was completely redesigned just last year for the 2018 model. Purchasing a Tiguan from before 2018 will save you money at the expense of missing out on the substantial updates that were added. The main features that came out last year include the third row of additional seating, added cargo space, improved fuel economy, and the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Volkswagen Tiguan has an MSRP of $24,295. This is higher than some of its competitors in the compact SUV category. The upper trim Tiguan SEL Premium with an R-Line Package is priced at $38,895. This range starts to put it against premium rivals such as the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40. But the Tiguan has better interior quality than most mainstream-brand competitors, and top level versions offer equipment that is more advanced than the norm.

When compared to a Honda CR-V, the VW Tiguan struggles to keep up according to many reviewers. The Honda and VW have similar base prices. The CR-V excels thanks to its more generous cargo space, higher-end interior materials, and lower price than the Tiguan. The CR-V also has a more efficient fuel economy rating as well.

The Mazda CX-5 is another SUV that is worth considering. When compared to the Tiguan, the CX-5 has a more powerful turbocharged engine, which offers a more sporty driving experience. The Mazda also has a near-luxury level interior cabin. The Tiguan does have more cargo space, a higher predicted reliability rating and a gentler rider according to most reviewers.

The Subaru Forester is another extremely popular and well-reviewed crossover SUV. It has standard all-wheel drive and a better fuel economy measure than the VW Tiguan. Reviewers cite the Subaru Forester’s superior handling and safety features as key reasons to consider it over the Tiguan. Each of these cars has a similar base price.


Many reviewers feel the exterior styling of the VW Tiguan to be one of its stronger qualities. Completely redesigned in 2018, this year’s Tiguan stands out as an SUV that matches utility with style.


Reviewers praise the Tiguan’s rear LED headlights for having a particularly innovative design that helps this car to stand out.

Interior Quality and Comfort

The Tiguan can seat different amounts of passengers depending on how it is configured. Front-wheel-drive variations can seat seven passengers in three rows of seats. All-wheel-drive models can seat either five or seven passengers depending on which options are selected.


Cloth seating is standard with additional upgrades possible to have leatherette or leather seats instead. A power adjusted driver’s seat and heated steering wheel are other possible upgrades.

Most reviewers felt the front and second rows of the Tiguan to be comfortable, even for larger adults. The third-row seats, however, are considered only suitable for smaller adults or children.

The VW has two full sets of LATCH car seat connectors on the rear seats with an additional tether anchor near the second-row middle seat. Reviewers found these to be simple enough to locate and operate. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated these LATCH connectors a second-best rating of Acceptable for ease of access and use.


Though most reviewers cited the Tiguan as having a nice interior with mostly higher end materials, they frequently cited competitors for having a more luxurious look and feel.

Utility & Practicality

The Tiguan with three rows of seats offers 12 cubic feet of space in the trunk, 33 cubic feet behind the middle row, or a total of 65.7 cubic feet of space with all seats folded down. The five-passenger, two-row Tiguan bumps these numbers up to 37.6 feet of cubic space in the cargo area and a total of 73.5 cubic feet with all seats folded down.


The cargo space for the Tiguan is among the best in the class. Few of its rivals can compete though some competing SUVs do have more space.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tiguan a second-best four out of five stars for predicted reliability.

The Volkswagen Tiguan is protected with a six-year/72,000 mile limited warranty. That is considerably longer and more substantial than more competing compact SUVs’ warranties. It is also possible to transfer a Tiguan warranty to a new owner should the car be resold.


Technology & Infotainment

The Tiguan is packed with standard technological features such as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, USB port, and a size speaker stereo system. It can be upgraded to include Volkswagen Digital Cockpit (a fully digital screen that replaces physical dials for the instrument panel), navigation, an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, push-button start, remote start, satellite radio, HD radio, dual-zone climate control, sunroof, and a nine-speaker, high-end Fender stereo.


Volkswagen Digital Cockpit includes a 12.3-inch screen in place of traditional gauges the speedometer, tachometer, as well as provisions to display functions for things like audio and navigation on the full screen in front of the driver.

Safety & Driving Assistance

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rated the 2019 Tiguan four out of a possible five stars in its rollover testing. It earned five stars for side crash tests. This organization identified an issue with the left driver door which can unlock and open during a side impact crash.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Tiguan the highest rating of Good for all its tests besides headlights. For this test, the VW Tiguan was given a Marginal score for illuminating the road with the standard headlamps – its second-lowest rating.

This year’s Tiguan has a rearview camera as a standard feature. It can be upgraded to include a variety of safety and driving assistance features such as automatic high beam headlights, adaptive headlights, 360 degree parking cameras, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, pedestrian warnings, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control.

Other available safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, adaptive headlights, and a surround-view parking camera.

Driving Experience

The VW Tiguan is available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 184 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is a standard feature. Many reviewers found this engine to be particularly underwhelming when tested on the highway. The Tiguan does not accelerate quickly and is considered sluggish when attempting to pass other cars. Reviewers also felt the automatic transmission did not smoothly change gears, sometimes showing hesitation.

This year’s Tiguan completes a 0-60 acceleration in 9.5 seconds. This is slower than most competitors and even two seconds slower than the previous generation Tiguan.

In brake testing, the Tiguan was able to stop from 60 mph at a distance of 131 feet. That is considered an average length for a crossover SUV.

All trims of the Tiguan are available with the 4Motion all-wheel-drive package. It also adds a hill descent control, hill start assist, and a terrain shifter with snow, on-road, off-road, and custom off-road settings available.

The Tiguan offers a relatively smooth and comfortable ride. Though well suited for most driving conditions, many reviewers did not feel this would be the best choice for the most rugged off-road conditions.

Fuel efficiency

The 2019 Tiguan manages 22 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway. These average fuel economy numbers are not able to compete against competitors such as the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester, and put the Tiguan at the back of the competitive class with the likes of the Jeep Cherokee, which offers a V6 engine and considerably more power. Buyers will want to take this into account, as vehicles such as the Toyota RAV4 are also available with a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain.

Price and Value

This year’s Tiguan comes in five different trims: S, SE, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium. All trims come with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, front wheel drive, and third-row seating allowing for up to seven passengers. The 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is an available option for $1,300. But opting for all-wheel-drive makes the third-row seat a $595 option.

The Tiguan SE represents great value if you are interested in more safety and technology features than the base model. The Tiguan SEL Premium trim is the best choice for those looking for the most safety and technology features such as adaptive cruise control, parking sensors and leather upholstery.

The VW Tiguan is considered a decent value though many reviewers felt there were better compact SUVs available for similar or even lower prices.

Volkswagen Tiguan S

Priced at an MSRP of $24,295, the Tiguan S comes with a rearview camera, cloth seats, alloy wheels, a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, a USB port, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

For an additional $450, the Driver Assistance Package includes rear cross traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and forward collision warning.

Volkswagen Tiguan SE

Starting at $26,695, the VW Tiguan SE includes the Driver Assistance Package as a standard feature. It also consists of an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, push-button start, two additional USB ports, satellite radio, HD radio, keyless entry, a leather steering wheel, leatherette seats, heated front seats, a 10-way power adjusted driver’s seat and pedestrian detection.

A panoramic glass sunroof is a $1,200 option on the SE.

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL

The Volkswagen Tiguan SEL has an MSRP of $31,795. This trim has a sunroof, navigation system, Digital Cockpit, a power liftgate, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and larger alloy wheels.

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL R-Line

New for 2019, the Tiguan SEL R-Line trim is priced at $33,645. It includes the same package as the SEL trim but includes the R-Line styling kit with different alloy wheels.

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium

The Tiguan SEL Premium trim has an MSRP of $37,195. It includes all-wheel drive, a hands-free liftgate, heated steering wheel, leather seats, a premium Fender stereo system, adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, rain sensing windshield wipers, a 360-degree parking camera system, lane keep assist, lane departure warning. This trim is also available with the R-Line upgrade package.

More Photos

See more 2019 VW Tiguan Photos.