2011 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

Updated June 30, 2011
2011 Volkswagen Tiguan

All VW Tiguans are equipped with a turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder engine. Front-wheel-drive models with the standard six-speed manual gearbox are rated an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway/21 mpg combined. Upgrade to the available six-speed automatic and the numbers improve to 20 city/25 highway/22 combined.  Choosing all-wheel-drive (which requires the automatic) doesn't make you sacrifice much in the way of fuel economy, as the AWD Tiguan is rated at 19 city/25 highway/21 combined.

ProsGreat safety ratings, Upscale interior, Roomy and comfortable, Sporty performance and handling, Excellent build qualityConsPricey, Needs premium gas, Cargo capacity is lacking

Safety performance inspires confidence

In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's independent safety tests, the Volkswagen Tiguan comes up strong, earning the best score of "Good" in front, side, and rear-impact tests, as well as a roof-crush evaluation. As a result, the Tiguan is named a 2011 Top Safety Pick. The U.S. government has revised its safety-test methodology and ratings, but has not yet crash-tested the 2011 Tiguan using the new standards. It does rate the small Volkswagen SUV with a 4-star (out of 5) rollover-resistance rating, however. Standard safety features include antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability control and front, front-side and curtain airbags. Rear-side airbags are optional.

Base MSRP for the 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan ranges from $23,200 for the Tiguan S trim with front-wheel drive to $33,500 for the Tiguan SEL with AWD.

Our Sources

1. Edmunds.com

2011Volkswagen Tiguan, Editors of Edmunds.com

The Volkswagen Tiguan is essentially unchanged for 2011, not that that's bad news. Edmunds editors point out that the punchy engine, classy interior and fun handling all carry over.

2. SaferCar.gov

2011 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Since upgrading its testing and scoring methodologies to tougher standards, the NHTSA has yet to crash-test the VW Tiguan. It is rated 4 stars out of 5 for rollover resistance, however.

3. IIHS.org

Volkswagen Tiguan, Editors of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Volkswagen Tiguan delivers excellent performance in all IIHS crash and roof-strength tests, earning a 2011 Top Safety Pick designation along the way.

4. FuelEconomy.gov

2011 Sport Utility Vehicles, U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency

It drinks pricey premium unleaded gasoline, but otherwise drivers can expect to see an estimated 21 to 22 mpg in all-around driving from the 2011 VW Tiguan SUV, whether it's manual or automatic, front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

5. ConsumerSearch.com

2009 Volkswagen Tiguan, Editors of ConsumerSearch, April 2009

The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan hasn't changed much since 2009; critics still love the sporty little SUV. Our full report on that model links to several expert reviews and covers the vehicle in much greater detail.