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2012 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

The 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan has limited cargo space for the class, but reviewers said it outshines rivals with its premium interior, sharp handling and powerful engine. 

Pros & Cons

  • Responsive turbocharged engine
  • Poised handling
  • Upscale cabin with flexible rear seat
  • Impressive safety score
  • Mediocre cargo space

Rankings & Research

The 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan's #13 ranking is based on its score within the 2012 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Volkswagen Tiguan has a score of 7.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 45 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 8.6
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Volkswagen Tiguan Overview

The 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that test drivers said provides lively acceleration. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is available, which earned praise for its quick, smooth shifts. The Tiguan gets up to 22/27 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. Test drivers generally agreed that the Tiguan offers precise steering and strong brakes. Secure, confidence-inspiring handling and a smooth ride also impressed some reviewers, though others wrote that the Tiguan is not as comfortable or athletic as they would like.

Reviewers were impressed with nearly every aspect of the 2012 Tiguan’s premium interior, which they said includes lots of high-quality materials and an excellent fit and finish. Overall, automotive writers said the Volkswagen Tiguan's front and rear seats are supportive, comfortable and can accommodate most adults. The Tiguan has a sliding and reclining rear seat that can increase legroom or cargo space, which only a few other rivals offer. All 2012 Tiguans come with heated side mirrors, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker stereo and an auxiliary input. Optional features when it was new include touch-screen navigation, a power moonroof and a rearview camera. Test drivers said the available navigation system is easy to use, and that the Tiguan's gauges are conveniently located and clear. The 2012 Tiguan has 56.1 cubic feet of cargo space with the second row folded, which is significantly less than what SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 offer. Still, reviewers noted the Tiguan's abundance of storage bins for smaller items, and said its fold-flat front seat helps accommodate long cargo.

The 2012 Tiguan earns a better safety score than many compact SUVs.

Other SUVs to Consider

The base 2012 GMC Terrain has good fuel economy estimates for the class, and reviewers said its cabin is luxurious and quiet. The Terrain also comes with standard features that the VW Tiguan lacks, including a touch-screen audio system, a rearview camera, a USB port and satellite radio.

The Toyota RAV4 can seat up to seven with an available third row, which is uncommon for the class. It also offers plenty of cargo space.

Compare the Tiguan, Terrain and RAV4 »

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