$14,349 - $18,011

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan was new.


Performance: 8.4

The 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan offers an energetic turbocharged engine that delivers eager acceleration, according to critics. They say the transmission shifts smoothly and that the Tiguan delivers a car-like ride and poised handling.

  • "One thing that definitely doesn't need updating is the way this VW drives. ‘Ho-hum’ doesn't translate to German, apparently, because the Tiguan's punchy turbocharged four-cylinder engine will keep you fully alert on the morning commute." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "With a 200-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and entertaining driving dynamics, there's some merit to VW's claim that the Tiguan is the GTI of the compact crossover-SUV class. However, it's still tallish and heavy, so don't expect actual GTI agility from behind the wheel." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "We can't think of a more pleasant compact crossover to drive at this price." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "The Tiguan offers a better driving experience than do most of its competitors but at the expense of a few miles per gallon." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The VW Tiguan comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 200 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The Tiguan gets an EPA-estimated 21/26 mpg city/highway, which is below average for the class.

Test drivers say the turbocharged engine provides ample power and quick acceleration. The transmission delivers timely and rapid shifts, they add, but some note that the continuously variable transmissions offered by class rivals such as the Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue enable those SUVs to get better fuel economy.

  • "The rest of the VW Tiguan lineup gets a 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic manual control, and while it works well, it's no match for the fuel economy one gets with the continuously variable automatic (CVT) in the 2015 Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue or Subaru Forester." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "We're impressed by the 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan's 200-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It's powerful in just about any situation, and its six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and quickly." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Editors loved the smooth, torquey engine and its quick- and smooth-shifting six-speed automatic." -- Motor Trend (2012)

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive is standard on the 2016 Tiguan and all-wheel drive is available. Test drivers say the Tiguan delivers a car-like ride that is generally smooth, though a few comment that the R-Line model rides a bit firmer. Critics say the Tiguan is composed when cornering but they note that it is not an especially sporty vehicle.

  • "The standard Tiguan isn't particularly sporty when you're driving around turns, as it's primarily about comfort, but there's still plenty of poise, which is remarkable given how smoothly and quietly this VW rides. The R-Line upsets that equilibrium a bit, thanks to firmer suspension tuning and larger wheels that transmit additional impact harshness into the cabin." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "VW's optional 4Motion AWD, on the other hand, is as good in bad weather as the Subbie's setup and better than most competitors' part-time systems." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "Behind the wheel, you often forget that you're driving a crossover, since the Tiguan feels planted and instills confidence." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)
  • "[T]here are crossovers that are finally and truly delivering on the promise of a car-like ride, the Tiguan R-Line being a prime example." -- Autoblog (2014)

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