$5,160 - $6,510

2009 Volkswagen Tiguan Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan was new.


Performance: 8.8

The Tiguan's turbocharged engine takes it from 0 to 60 in 7.8 seconds -- not too shabby for an SUV. Test drivers also love its sporty driving dynamics and appreciate its optional manual transmission.

  • "Built on a platform that is part Rabbit/GTI and part Passat, the newest Volkswagen is, like most of its compact-SUV competitors, decidedly on-road biased, although as we saw on an earlier South African drive, it can bushwhack like a true masochist." -- Car and Driver
  • "While the other vehicles in the segment feel like SUVs, the VW is different; it is downright fun. It handles well, responds quickly and does not suffer from body roll." -- Road and Track
  • "There's no question that the Tiguan is competent in its class, with plenty of power, good handling and even a sporting orientation with the easy-shifting six-speed manual transmission." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • "The Tiguan leans in turns more than your average sedan, but the steering is communicative, though not overly quick, and the vehicle tracks nicely. We didn't get bored after a few miles in the twisties like we might in a RAV4 or CR-V. The brakes felt competent at all times." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "It's a familiar ride to anyone who has driven a car in this segment. Not overly soft or abrasive. Not exciting but not disappointing." -- Jalopnik

Acceleration and Power

The Tiguan comes with 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that's shared with the GTI. Test drivers find its 200 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque more than adequate. According to the EPA, the FWD Tiguan should net 19/26 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission and 18/24 with the automatic. The AWD model should net 18/24 mpg.

  • "Power delivery is pleasingly linear, with a total absence of turbo lag, and though the performance won't win any Friday night brackets, it will take the Tiguan far beyond legal limits with exquisite composure." -- Motor Trend
  • "Once we got to some dry, open roads we let the Tiguan show off a bit-pushing triple-digit speeds on some stretches. No doubt, there's a potent motor under that hood." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The 2.0-liter's wide torque band provides ample grunt under moderate acceleration, but when the stakes go up so does engine strain. The turbocharged mill lets the Tiguan easily keep pace, but there is no ascertainable onset of boost - no sudden, deep breath followed by an onslaught of power like in the GTI." -- MSN
  • "What we don't like is the fact that VW strongly recommends PREMIUM fuel in the Tiguan. It will run with other grades, but to achieve optimal performance, the good stuff is what's required." -- Left Lane News
  • "With either transmission, the Tiguan has ready power for everyday needs and worry-free passing." -- New Car Test Drive

Handling and Braking

The new Tiguan's electromechanical power steering, McPherson strut front suspension, four-link independent rear suspension, and disc brakes make for a fun, sporty driving experience. What's more, its flexible all-wheel drive system can provide up to 100 percent of power to the rear wheels.

  • "True to its Rabbit roots, the Tiguan puts a sporty spin on the compact-SUV mantra, although the spirit of tossability is predictably diluted by the SUV's mass, which ranges from 300 to 400 additional pounds over the diminutive hatchback." -- Car and Driver
  • "We wouldn't categorize it as a performance SUV, but its car roots are obvious. The feeling behind the wheel is that of a raised car, and a fairly sporty one at that." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Tiguan handled the twisty two-lane with accurate steering and little lean in the tight corners." -- Consumer Guide
  • "With the infamous, ever changing weather of Colorado's front range, we got a chance to test out the 4Motion system in snow, sleet and rain. The vehicle provided confidence and steady control on the road. And as much as we like real 4X4s, we enjoyed the convenience of never having to shift a lever or push a four-wheel-drive button." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "Most compact SUVs tend to skate over rough surfaces, but the Tiguan remains firmly planted while tracking steadily. To add an extra measure of durability for rough road use, there's high-strength steel in the frame plus heavy-duty dampers." -- Edmunds

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