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2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan places in the middle of our compact SUV rankings. The Tiguan has a comfortable and well-equipped cabin, but its underwhelming engine and below-average fuel economy hold it back.

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of cargo space
  • Plenty of standard features
  • Relaxed ride
  • Sluggish engine
  • Poor fuel economy

New for 2020

  • More standard safety features
  • Wi-Fi hot spot and wireless device charging now available

7.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 6.6
Interior: 7.8
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Volkswagen Tiguan?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Volkswagen Tiguan a Good SUV?

Yes, the Tiguan is a good SUV. It offers abundant cargo space, a pleasant ride, and tons of standard tech features. Because it has a solid combination of cargo and passenger space, safety and reliability ratings, positive reviews from automotive journalists, and available family-friendly features, the Tiguan was a finalist for our 2020 Best Compact SUV for Families award. It also has an available third row, which is rare for the compact SUV class. That said, the Tiguan can struggle with merging and passing on the highway because of its underpowered engine.

Should I Buy the Volkswagen Tiguan?

There are plenty of reasons to buy the Tiguan, especially if you need more passenger space. However, some competitors have nicer interiors and better handling than the Tiguan, and they achieve better fuel economy. The Mazda CX-5 touts good gas mileage and agile handling, and the Honda CR-V offers class-leading cargo space and a premium cabin. Neither is available with a third row, however.

Compare the Tiguan, CX-5, and CR-V »

Should I Buy a New or Used Volkswagen Tiguan?

The 2020 Tiguan is part of a generation that began with the 2018 model year, and there have been some noteworthy updates since. For 2020, Volkswagen adds several standard safety features, including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. The 2020 Tiguan also features an upgraded VW Car-Net telematics system, and wireless device charging is now available. There were no major changes to the Tiguan for 2019.

It's worth spending the extra money for a new Tiguan, but if these features aren't important to you, consider a 2018 Tiguan, which is similar to a 2020 model but likely costs less.

If you’re in the market for a sporty SUV, consider a used 2017 Tiguan. This SUV is part of the Tiguan's previous generation and features sportier driving dynamics. However, you’ll miss out on the updates from the 2018 redesign, which include third-row seating, more passenger space, better fuel economy, and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

If you’re considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 Tiguan, 2018 Tiguan, and 2019 Tiguan reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Tiguan »

We Did the Research for You: 31 Reviews Analyzed

To make our car rankings and reviews as consumer-oriented as possible, we do not rely on our personal opinions. Instead, we analyze hard data such as crash test results, predicted reliability ratings, as well as the opinions of the automotive press.

This 2020 Tiguan review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2018.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. We care about cars, but we care more about providing useful consumer advice. To ensure our impartiality, an independent party handles our advertising, and our editorial team doesn’t accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Volkswagen Tiguan Cost?

The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan has a starting MSRP of $24,945, which is high for a compact SUV. In fact, it’s closer to the starting price of some luxury compact SUVs. Tiguan prices reach $38,795 for the top-level trim with all-wheel drive.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volkswagen dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Volkswagen deals page.

Volkswagen Tiguan Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Volkswagen Tiguan or Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V is a compact SUV with more cargo room than nearly every competitor, including the Tiguan. The CR-V also has a richer cabin than the Tiguan. The Honda has spacious seating and a pleasant ride, but unlike the VW, it doesn't have an available third row. The CR-V’s optional turbo-four engine delivers zippy acceleration and better fuel economy than the VW’s setup. While the two SUVs have similarly high base prices for the class, the Tiguan’s additional standard features make it the better value for shoppers who want technology. However, the Honda is a more well-rounded crossover.

Which Is Better: Volkswagen Tiguan or Mazda CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 is a driver’s SUV, with tight handling and precise steering that few rivals can match. It’s available with two engine options, one of which pumps out 63 more horsepower than the Tiguan’s tame powertrain. The Mazda also has a nicer cabin. That said, the VW has more to offer than the CX-5, including a larger cargo capacity, a smoother ride, a better predicted reliability rating, and more standard features. If you’re looking for a fun-to-drive crossover, the CX-5 is it. However, the VW will likely have more appeal for daily commuters and families.

Compare the Tiguan, CR-V, and CX-5 »

Tiguan Interior

How Many People Does the Tiguan Seat?

The Tiguan comes in three configurations. Front-wheel-drive models have seven seats and three rows. All-wheel-drive models seat either five or seven people. Standard features include cloth upholstery, and some models may come with synthetic or genuine leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, or a heated steering wheel.

The seats are comfortable and provide a good amount of support. The first two rows are spacious, but the available third row doesn’t offer much room for adults.

Tiguan and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the Tiguan’s rear outboard seats, as well as an additional tether anchor for the rear middle seat. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the lower anchors can be difficult to maneuver around.

Tiguan Interior Quality

While the Tiguan’s cabin looks good and has quality materials, it doesn’t quite match those found in some competitors.

Tiguan Cargo Space

The three-row Tiguan has a good amount of cargo space for the compact SUV class: 12 cubic feet behind the rear seats, 33 cubic feet behind the second row, and 65.7 cubic feet with the rear rows folded. The two-row model has fewer seats but offers more cargo space, with 37.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats and a total of 73.5 cubic feet with them folded down.

Tiguan Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Tiguan's lengthy list of standard features includes Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a 6.5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker sound system, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Available features include the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, navigation, an 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, satellite radio, a nine-speaker Fender premium stereo, and two additional USB ports. Push-button start, remote start, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a sunroof are also available.

The infotainment system is very responsive and easy to operate. It features a vibrant touch screen and extra physical controls for climate and audio adjustments. The available Digital Cockpit replaces the traditional gauge cluster with a 12.3-inch display.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Tiguan Performance

Tiguan Engine: Doesn't Measure Up

The Tiguan comes with just one engine: a 184-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. Several rivals offer more potent engine options. The Tiguan’s engine generates enough pep for short commutes and cruising around town, but acceleration is sluggish on the highway, and throttle response is delayed when pulling away from a stop.

Tiguan Gas Mileage: Subpar and Unimpressive

The 2020 Tiguan with front-wheel drive earns an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Those numbers are below average for the compact SUV class. All-wheel-drive models return 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

Tiguan Ride and Handling: Comfort Is King

Comfort takes precedence over engagement when it comes to the 2020 Tiguan. While the previous generation's driving dynamics were akin to a taller Volkswagen Golf, the current model doesn’t provide the same steering feedback or corner control.

Volkswagen Tiguan Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Tiguan can tow up to 1,500 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Tiguan Reliability

Is the Volkswagen Tiguan Reliable?

The 2020 Tiguan has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Volkswagen Tiguan Warranty

Volkswagen covers the Tiguan with a four-year, 50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Volkswagen Tiguan?

The cost of insuring a Volkswagen Tiguan will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

Tiguan Safety

Tiguan Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Volkswagen Tiguan the highest rating of Good in all crash safety tests and a Top Safety Pick designation.

Depending on the trim, the Tiguan received the highest rating of Good or the lowest rating of Poor for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead.

The IIHS uses a different scale for grading collision avoidance features. The Tiguan earned the highest lowest rating of Superior for its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, while the standard vehicle-to-pedestrian system earned the second-highest rating of Advanced.

Tiguan Safety Features

Newly standard safety features for 2020 include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. A rearview camera is also standard.

Available safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, and a surround-view parking camera system.

Read more about safety »

Volkswagen Tiguan Dimensions and Weight

The Volkswagen Tiguan is 15.5 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,757 to 3,847 pounds, and its gross vehicle weight ranges from 5,093 to 5,203 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Built?

Volkswagen builds the 2020 Tiguan in Germany and Mexico.

Which Volkswagen Tiguan Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan comes in five trims: S, SE, SE R-Line Black, SEL, and SEL Premium R-Line. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and third-row seating are standard in all but the SEL Premium R-Line trim, which comes with all-wheel drive and is available with a third row for $595. All-wheel drive can be had in all other trims for $1,300.

The Tiguan is one of the more expensive models in the compact SUV class, but it comes loaded with features like smartphone integration, a user-friendly infotainment system, and a handful of driver assistance features.

If you’re looking for additional in-cabin comfort features and a bit more technology, consider the Tiguan SE. It adds climate and seating functions, as well as audio system upgrades. The SEL features the most notable technology upgrades, including an 8-inch touch screen with navigation, as well as safety features like blind spot monitoring, adaptive headlights, and adaptive cruise control.

Volkswagen Tiguan S

The base Volkswagen Tiguan S has a starting MSRP of $24,945. It comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 6.5-inch touch screen, a six-speaker stereo, a USB port, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, cloth upholstery, and alloy wheels. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection.

Volkswagen Tiguan SE

The Volkswagen Tiguan SE starts at $27,095. It gains an 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, satellite radio, two more USB ports, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. A panoramic sunroof is available for $1,200.

Volkswagen Tiguan SE R-Line Black

With a starting MSRP of $30,295, the Tiguan SEL adds front and rear parking sensors and larger alloy wheels.

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL

The Tiguan SEL has a starting price of $32,245. It features remote start, rain-sensing windshield wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power liftgate, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, a heated steering wheel, Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit, an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, and three USB ports.

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line

The top-of-the-line Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line has a base price of $38,795. It comes with standard all-wheel drive, genuine leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, a Fender premium sound system, a hands-free liftgate, adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, a surround-view parking camera system, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning. As with the SE R-Line Black trim, this model features larger alloy wheels.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volkswagen dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Volkswagen deals page.

See 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan specs and trims »

The Final Call

Unlike many of its rivals, the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan offers three rows of seating, and it has one of the largest cargo capacities in the compact SUV class. The Tiguan boasts a long list of easy-to-use standard features as well. Still, some rivals have a leg up on the Tiguan when it comes to fuel economy, cabin quality, and performance.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "… the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan is typically considered a compact crossover, but in reality it straddles the line between compact and midsize, offering three rows of seating and a generous cargo capacity. The reclining second-row seats are friendly for adults and children in bulky car seats. The third row is a little cramped, but it should come in handy when it's your turn to play shuttle driver for the basketball practice." -- Autotrader
  • "The Tiguan is considerably larger than a Mazda CX-5, offers more luxury features than a Honda CR-V and is more powerful than a Nissan Rogue." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "While we might lament the loss of a sense of driving pleasure, we understand why Volkswagen remade this small crossover into a spacious, comfortable cruiser. The Tiguan now meets the wants and needs of shoppers in the segment, most of whom will take space over pace any day." -- Car and Driver (2018)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: October 8, 2020

Slow Demand: The Tiguan currently ranks in the lower third of the compact SUV class in terms of overall sales. Volkswagen dealerships have moved 11.4 percent fewer Tiguans to date in 2020 compared to the same period last year. Overall, Volkswagen has sold 16.8 percent fewer vehicles across its lineup so far this year compared to 2019. 

Research more buying advice »
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2020 Volkswagen Tiguan

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