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MSRP: $24,295 - 38,895

2019 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan claims a spot in the top half of our compact SUV rankings. The Tiguan owns a good predicted reliability rating, and it has plenty of cargo space and a comfortable ride, but its uninspiring engine keeps it from ranking higher.

Pros & Cons

  • Large cargo area
  • Good predicted reliability rating
  • Lengthy warranty
  • Serene ride
  • Lackluster engine power
  • Poor fuel economy estimates

Is the Volkswagen Tiguan a Good SUV?

Yes, the Tiguan is a good compact SUV. It delivers a smooth ride over most road surfaces, and few rivals have more passenger and cargo space. This Volkswagen also has plenty of standard and available features, and it's one of the few compact SUVs available with three rows of seats.

It does have some shortcomings though. The Tiguan's engine feels underpowered at times, and it doesn't get great fuel economy.

Should I Buy the Volkswagen Tiguan?

While the Tiguan has some positives, including a good predicted reliability rating, many class rivals offer the same benefits without the VW’s drawbacks. The Mazda CX-5 has good fuel estimates and a sporty ride, and the Honda CR-V has more cargo space and an upscale cabin. Neither offers third-row seating like the Tiguan, however. 

Compare the Tiguan, CX-5, and CR-V »

Should I Buy a New or Used Volkswagen Tiguan?

Volkswagen redesigned the Tiguan for the 2018 model year. The 2019 model received no major changes, so you could save money and get a virtually identical SUV by purchasing a 2018 Tiguan. You could save even more money with a Tiguan from the previous generation, but you’d miss out on substantial updates, including third-row seats, more passenger space, greater fuel efficiency, and standard smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Read our reviews of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan for more information. If you decide an older model is right for you, visit our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Tiguan »

We Did the Research for You: 27 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, as well as the opinions of the automotive press. This Volkswagen Tiguan review draws on 27 reviews and incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which includes the 2018 and 2019 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs 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?

With a starting MSRP of $24,295, the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan costs more than some class rivals. The highest trim is the SEL Premium with an R-Line package. It has an MSRP of $38,895, which is higher than the starting prices of some luxury compact SUVs.

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 one the best compact SUVs you can buy. It’s one of the only vehicles in the class to offer more cargo room than the Tiguan, both in total and behind the rear seats. The CR-V has a classy cabin, spacious seats, and a gentle, composed ride. Although both cars have similar base prices, the top-level CR-V costs around $4,450 less than the Tiguan SEL Premium. The CR-V is more fuel-efficient as well. Go with the Honda.   

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

The Mazda CX-5 ranks near the top of its class. For 2019, it gains a new turbocharged engine option and available connectivity features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Mazda has an upscale cabin and decent acceleration, and it stands out as one of most agile SUVs in the class. On the other hand, the Volkswagen Tiguan has more cargo room, a better predicted reliability rating, and a gentler ride. Even so, the CX-5 is a better SUV for most shoppers.

Which Is Better: Volkswagen Tiguan or Subaru Forester?

The Subaru Forester is another high-ranking compact SUV. It has more cargo room than the VW. It also has higher fuel economy estimates, which is especially impressive given its standard all-wheel drive. Both vehicles can feel underpowered on the highway, but the Subaru has sharper handling and greater composure on the road. It has more standard safety features too. Their respective base trims are priced similarly, so there's little competition here. The Volkswagen is a good pick, but the Subaru is a better one. 

Compare the Tiguan, CR-V, and CX-5 »

Tiguan Interior

How Many People Does the Tiguan Seat?

Front-wheel-drive Tiguans seat seven, while all-wheel-drive models come in either a five- or seven-seat configuration. Cloth upholstery is standard. Leatherette or leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a heated steering wheel are available.

Adults have plenty of space to sit in the first and second rows. The Tiguan is one of the only compact SUVs to offer third-row seating, but its best left for children.

Tiguan and Child Car Seats

This VW has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear outboard seats, as well as an additional tether anchor for the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the setup the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The IIHS says the lower anchors can be difficult to maneuver around. 

Tiguan Interior Quality

The Tiguan has a nice interior with mostly high-quality materials, though some class rivals are more upscale inside.

Tiguan Cargo Space

The three-row Tiguan has 12 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, 33 cubic feet behind the second row, and a maximum 65.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. The two-row VW has a little more room, with 37.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and a total of 73.5 cubic feet with them folded. The totals for both the two- and three-row Volkswagen models are above average for the class.

Tiguan Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard in this SUV are smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 6.5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a six-speaker sound system. Available features include Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, a navigation system, an 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, satellite radio, a nine-speaker premium Fender stereo, push-button start, remote start, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a sunroof.  

The infotainment system is user-friendly, and Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit provides a 12.3-inch screen instead of a traditional gauge cluster. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a plus.

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

Read more about interior »

Tiguan Performance

Tiguan Engine: Unimpressive

The sole engine offered in the Tiguan is a 2.0-liter turbo-four that makes 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard.

While this turbocharged engine is fine for cruising around town, it struggles to deliver enough power to pass other vehicles on the highway. Acceleration is sluggish, and the transmission sometimes hesitates to shift.

Tiguan Gas Mileage: Gas Pains

The 2019 VW Tiguan earns an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Many class rivals, such as the Nissan Rogue and Jeep Cherokee, get better fuel economy ratings.

Tiguan Ride and Handling: Comfortable, Not Sporty

This Volkswagen SUV has a comfortable ride. Bumps and ruts in the road do little to disrupt ride comfort. However, the Tiguan rolls around corners. Shoppers looking for agility might consider the Mazda CX-5. The Tiguan has 7.9 inches of ground clearance and standard front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is optional.

Read more about performance »

Tiguan Reliability

Is the Volkswagen Tiguan Reliable?

The 2019 Tiguan features an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Volkswagen Tiguan Warranty

The VW Tiguan is backed by Volkswagen’s six-year/72,000-mile limited warranty. That’s twice as long as many compact SUV warranties.

Read more about reliability »

Tiguan Safety

Tiguan Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Tiguan four out of five stars in its rollover test and five stars in side crash tests. However, the agency noted an issue with the left driver door, which could unlock and open in a side impact crash. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this vehicle the highest rating of Good in all categories except headlight testing. Here, the Tiguan got a Marginal rating for how well it illuminates the road ahead.

Tiguan Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard in this VW. 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.  

Read more about safety »

Which Volkswagen Tiguan Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan is available in five trim levels: S, SE, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium. All trims have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and third-row seating. All-wheel drive is offered with each trim for $1,300. You lose the third row when you add AWD, though you can add it back for $595.

The Volkswagen Tiguan SE is a good bet as it adds comfort and safety features not found in the base trim. The higher trims offer even more safety and technology features though, and Volkswagen offers few packages in the lower trims. You may want to spring for the SEL Premium if you’re looking for the latest safety or convenience features, including navigation, adaptive cruise control, and parking sensors.

Volkswagen Tiguan S

The base Volkswagen Tiguan S has an MSRP of $24,295. It comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 6.5-inch touch screen, a six-speaker stereo, a USB port, Bluetooth, automatic headlights, alloy wheels, cloth seats, and a rearview camera.

For $450, you can get the Driver Assistance package, which adds forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Volkswagen Tiguan SE

The Volkswagen Tiguan SE starts at $26,695. It gains the features of the Driver Assistance package, as well as a larger 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, satellite radio, two more USB ports, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and pedestrian detection.  

A panoramic sunroof is offered for $1,200.

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL

With an MSRP of $31,795, the Volkswagen Tiguan SEL comes with a sunroof, a navigation system, Digital Cockpit, a power liftgate, remote start, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and larger alloy wheels.

No notable packages are offered with this trim.

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL R-Line

The Tiguan SEL R-Line has an MSRP of $33,645. It is a new trim for the 2019 model year, though it had been a package in the 2018 Tiguan. It has the same features list as the SEL, but with larger alloy wheels, an engine stop-start system, and unique exterior styling details.

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium

The top-of-the-line Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium has a base price of $37,195. It comes with standard all-wheel drive, leather seats, a heated steering wheel, a Fender premium sound system, a hands-free liftgate, adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a surround-view parking camera, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning. As with the SEL, you can get this trim with an R-Line package.

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 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV has a lot going for it, including a lengthy features list, a large cargo hold, and a comfortable ride. It also has a leg up on many competitors by being one of the few small SUVs available with three rows of seats. Still, its unimpressive engine and lackluster fuel economy keep the Tiguan from challenging for a top spot in our compact SUV rankings. It's a good vehicle, but it doesn't really stand out in this competitive class.

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

  • The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan offers an affordable European take on the compact SUV, offering unique features like a 3rd-row seat, configurable digital cockpit instrument cluster and the best bumper-to-bumper warranty in the segment. … 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. However, the VW is more expensive than many of its competitors, and unlike the Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota RAV4 and others, doesn’t include a full set of driver-assist features on every trim." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "For others looking for a roomy compact crossover SUV, though, this full-figured Tiguan's price premium will be offset by the sheer amount of car you get for the money. 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)
  • Clearly, the new Tiguan is very functional, roomy, and easy to live with, qualities that give it a better chance of resonating with most compact-SUV shoppers than the old version. For VW loyalists, though, the new Tiguan may be a bit too straightlaced, having traded sportiness and cheerful looks for more mainstream virtues." -- Consumer Reports (2018)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: October 18, 2019

Rising Demand: The Tiguan is ranked in the lower third of the compact SUV class in terms of overall sales this year. However, dealerships have moved 6.9 percent more Tiguans this year compared to the same period in 2018 and it’s the best-selling model in the Volkswagen lineup. 

Research more buying advice »
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