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2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

The 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan offers poised performance, a plush interior, and above-average reliability ratings, but its lower-than-average safety scores prevent it from ranking higher in the compact SUV class.

Pros & Cons

  • Potent engine
  • Well-balanced handling
  • Premium interior materials
  • Low fuel economy
  • Lacks modern active safety features
  • Small cargo capacity

New for 2016

  • Standard leatherette upholstery and heated front seats
  • Infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink

Rankings & Research

The 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan's #6 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Volkswagen Tiguan has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 62 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.9
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 8.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Overview

Is the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan a Good Used SUV?

The 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan is a fine used compact SUV. It puts an emphasis on performance and refinement; it’s engaging to drive, comfortable, and well-trimmed. The catch is that the Tiguan’s fuel economy estimates, cargo space, safety scores, and number of advanced safety features trail rivals’ offerings. Shop around before settling on a used Tiguan.

Why You Can Trust Us

We analyzed 62 VW Tiguan reviews to give you an idea of this SUV's pros and cons. We’ve also included information on fuel economy, safety, and reliability to help you decide if the 2016 Tiguan is the right SUV for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry, and we've been ranking the best vehicles since 2007. To keep our reviews free from outside influence, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and the ads on our site are placed and sold by a third party.

How Much Is the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan?

The average price for a used 2016 VW Tiguan among the more than 350 listings on our site is $18,300, with prices ranging from $14,000 to $23,500.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Cost to Own?

You can expect to spend around $25,900 over five years on fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2016 Tiguan. That's about $5,200 per year. You can save several thousand dollars over five years if you instead buy a rival like the 2016 Honda CR-V, 2016 Jeep Cherokee, or 2016 Hyundai Tucson.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Tiguan?

The fully redesigned 2018 Tiguan is bigger than the 2016 model, with more passenger and cargo space inside, and it has a bigger price tag to match. A new 2018 Tiguan starts at around $24,600 – about $6,000 more than the average price of a used 2016 Tiguan. The new and larger Tiguan offers many safety features you can't get in the older model, but its scores in our rankings aren't that much better than the used model's scores. In the end, you're probably better off saving your money and buying the used Tiguan.

Read about the new Volkswagen Tiguan »

While a new 2018 Tiguan likely stretches your budget too much, there are ways to get into a new SUV for around the same price as the average 2016 Tiguan. But you'll have to step down to the subcompact SUV class. The base model 2018 Jeep Renegade ($18,445) and 2018 Honda HR-V ($19,670) both cost around the same as many used 2016 Tiguans. These new crossovers have similar standard tech features as the Tiguan, though they offer significantly more available advanced safety systems. The HR-V actually offers more cargo space than the Tiguan, despite being in a smaller class, and the Renegade's cargo capacity isn't much smaller than the Tiguan's.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan?

The 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan has a good reliability score of four out of five from J.D. Power. Class leaders for reliability include the Chevrolet Equinox and Hyundai Tucson.

Read more about Tiguan reliability »

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Recalls

At the time of writing, there is one recall on the 2016 Tiguan. The rear door child locks may disengage, making it possible for children to open the door while the vehicle is moving. Make sure your VW dealer takes care of this issue before purchasing a used Tiguan.

See more information on Volkswagen Tiguan safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Volkswagen Tiguan Is Best?

The 2016 model is part of the Tiguan generation that ran from the 2009 through 2017 model years. Major updates for 2016 included standard heated seats and an available 6.3-inch touch screen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These upgrades may be appealing, but you can likely save money by purchasing a 2013, 2014, or 2015 Tiguan, all of which offer most of the same features and earn similar scores to the 2016 model.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Tiguan »

Which Used Volkswagen Tiguan Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Tiguan comes in four trim levels: S, R-Line, SE, and SEL. The Tiguan S has a 5-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, cruise control, heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, and remote keyless entry. The Tiguan R-Line adds a 6.3-inch touch screen, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The Tiguan SE adds navigation, adaptive headlights, and a sunroof. The Tiguan SEL adds leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, a Fender sound system, and rear parking sensors.

Tiguan SE models make a good option for many shoppers. The SE trim offers a great mix of standard features for the price, and its suspension provides a smoother ride than the sport-tuned R-Line and SEL models.

See 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan trims and specs »

What Does Volkswagen's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Volkswagen offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles seven years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. You receive the balance of the new-car warranty when you purchase a CPO model. Depending on your car’s model year, you get a limited comprehensive warranty that takes effect once the new-car warranty has expired or on the sale date of the CPO VW vehicle. For 2018 and newer VWs, the limited comprehensive warranty is good for one year or 12,000 miles. The length of the warranty increases to two years or 24,000 miles for 2017-and-older gas, hybrid, and electric vehicles. Finally, 2016 and older TDI vehicles get a two-year/unlimited miles warranty.

VW CPO vehicles must pass a 100-plus-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing, a Carfax vehicle history report, a three-month SiriusXM All-Access satellite radio trial subscription, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Volkswagen warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Volkswagen’s CPO program is the least robust of all auto manufacturers.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Tiguan?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan a Good rating, the highest score possible, in four out of five crash test categories. The Tiguan earned a Marginal rating in the small overlap front crash test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Volkswagen four out of five stars overall and in rollover crash safety, five stars in side impact testing, and only three stars in front crash testing.

The 2016 Tiguan offers very few active safety features. Adaptive headlights that pivot to help you see around corners are standard in Tiguan SE models (and up), and rear parking sensors come in only the top Tiguan SEL trim. All models have a rearview camera. Many class rivals offer more features, like forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control.

See Tiguan safety scores »

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan or 2016 Honda CR-V?

The peppy VW Tiguan has a fun-to-drive quality that the 2016 Honda CR-V just can’t match. When it comes to practicality, however, the Honda is miles ahead. The CR-V offers superior cargo space, a roomier rear seat, higher fuel economy estimates, and advanced safety features like forward collision warning with brake assist. We named the Honda CR-V our 2016 Best Compact SUV for Families.

Which Is Better: 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan or 2016 Toyota RAV4?

Much like the CR-V, the 2016 Toyota RAV4 is a more practical vehicle for families than the VW Tiguan. The Toyota has a larger cargo area, more rear-seat space, better fuel economy estimates, and available high-tech safety features like blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. Even though the Tiguan comes out on top in our rankings (largely thanks to its more athletic performance and slightly better reliability score), the RAV4 will prove to be a more versatile daily driver.

Which Is Better: 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan or 2016 Jeep Cherokee?

The VW Tiguan and 2016 Jeep Cherokee have a few things in common. Both offer classy interiors, user-friendly infotainment systems, and less cargo space than class leaders. You’ll want the Cherokee if you’re planning to venture off road or haul heavy loads (it can tow up to 4,500 pounds). The Volkswagen, however, is the better buy overall, thanks in part to its much higher reliability rating.

Compare the Tiguan, CR-V, and RAV4 »

2016 Tiguan Performance

How Does the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Drive?

The Tiguan balances nimble handling with a supple ride, making it a comfortable, fun-to-drive SUV. A sport-tuned suspension, found in R-Line and SEL models, reduces ride quality somewhat. The Tiguan has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, while all-wheel drive (called 4Motion) is available. The four-cylinder provides ample passing power on the highway and brisk acceleration at lower speeds. Its transmission exhibits smooth, prompt shifts.

Does the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Get Good Gas Mileage?

Most rival compact crossovers get better fuel economy estimates than the Tiguan. With front-wheel drive, the Tiguan gets 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, while all-wheel drive drops gas mileage by 1 mpg in city driving.

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Towing Capacity

The Tiguan can tow up to 2,200 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Tiguan performance »

2016 Tiguan Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Tiguan Seat?

The Volkswagen Tiguan seats five and features an upscale cabin with quality materials throughout. Its front seats are supportive and have ample head- and legroom. The rear seats, however, are much shorter on legroom. Leatherette upholstery and heated front seats are standard; leather upholstery is available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan?

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Tiguan's LATCH system an Acceptable rating for ease of use.

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Features

The Tiguan keeps things simple with an uncluttered dashboard and logically placed controls. Base Tiguan S models are well-equipped with a 5-inch touch screen and Bluetooth, as well as USB, SD card, and auxiliary audio inputs. All higher trim levels feature a 6.3-inch touch screen that responds quickly and has a user-friendly menu structure. This system, which VW calls Car-Net, also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which blend your smartphone’s apps and functions with the car’s infotainment system. Available features include satellite radio, navigation, and a crisp Fender sound system.

See 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan specs »

Read more about Tiguan interior »

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Dimensions

Volkswagen Tiguan Cargo Space

The Tiguan offers less cargo space than many class rivals. The rear seats fold, raising cargo capacity from 23.8 cubic feet to 56.1 cubic feet.

2016 Tiguan Length and Weight

The Tiguan is nearly 15 feet long. Models with front-wheel drive have a curb weight of 3,404 pounds, while all-wheel-drive models have a curb weight of 3,591 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Built?

The 2016 VW Tiguan was assembled in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Is the Volkswagen Tiguan Affected by the VW Diesel Scandal?

The VW diesel scandal did not affect the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan, according to the EPA.

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Honda CR-V 2016 2016 Honda CR-V

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