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2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan has a spacious interior, user-friendly features, and above-average safety and predicted reliability ratings. However, a very small third row and snooze-worthy performance relegate the Tiguan to the bottom half of our compact SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Good crash-test ratings
  • Ton of cargo space
  • Roomy second row
  • Straightforward features
  • Weak engine
  • Tiny third-row seats
  • Uninspiring handling

Rankings & Awards

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan's #9 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Affordable Compact SUVs category. It was the winner of our 2018 Best New Cars for Teens award and a finalist for our 2018 Best Compact SUV for Families award. Currently the Volkswagen Tiguan has a score of 8.1 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 23 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 8.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Overview

Is the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan a Good Used SUV?

The 2018 Tiguan has a good amount of utility for a compact SUV, and its well-rounded appeal is boosted by strong crash test scores, a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating, and low ownership costs. This VW is worth a look as long as you don't prioritize performance.

The Tiguan has several strengths:

  • Ample cargo room
  • Spacious second-row seats
  • Above-average predicted reliability rating
  • Great crash test results
  • Low five-year ownership costs for the class
  • Available infotainment and tech features are intuitive

However, it has some crucial weaknesses:

  • Miniscule third row
  • Poor fuel economy for class
  • Anemic engine power and acceleration
  • Dull handling
Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 23 Volkswagen Tiguan reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars since 2007, and our team has decades of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan?

There are about 600 listings for the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan on our site, with an average list price of about $22,200. Prices range from about $18,000 to around $29,500 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Cost to Own?

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $21,950, or about $4,400 per year. Those are some of the lowest estimates for a compact SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Volkswagen Tiguan?

Volkswagen fully redesigned the Tiguan for the 2018 model year. Because the Tiguan saw no major changes for 2019, you may be better off saving some money and buying a nearly identical 2018 model instead of a new 2019 Tiguan. Starting prices for the 2019 model begin at around $24,300 and go up to almost $39,000. A used 2018 Tiguan will likely cost you between about $18,000 and $30,000.

Buying a new Tiguan will get you Volkswagen's lengthy six-year, 72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, but most 2018 models should still have some time and mileage left on those warranties.

Read about the new Volkswagen Tiguan »

Both the 2017 and 2018 Tiguan are good SUVs, but the redesigned 2018 model is a more utilitarian vehicle. The 2018 Tiguan is available in a three-row, seven-seat configuration, while all prior models only held five people. The 2017 Tiguan has tight second-row legroom and less cargo space than the 2018 model. Optional features introduced for the new generation include an 8-inch touch screen and a long list of active safety and driver assistance features. The 2018 Tiguan has a much better composite safety score than the 2017 model to boot.

In terms of performance, the 2017 Tiguan has the edge. Its 200-horsepower engine feels peppier than the 184-horsepower mill in the 2018 Tiguan, and the older SUV is more agile and composed around turns. The 2017 model also boasts a better predicted reliability rating.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Tiguan »

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How Reliable Is the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan?

The Volkswagen Tiguan has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Tiguan reliability »

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Recalls

At the time of writing, eight safety recalls have been issued for the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan:

  • In some models, there is no audible warning when the key is left in the ignition
  • LED lights for the panoramic sunroof can short circuit
  • The front passenger air bag may deploy improperly
  • Lower ball joints can separate
  • Poorly welded rear shocks may detach
  • Some engine support bolts are not properly tightened
  • Incorrect driver air bags may have been installed
  • Reverse lights may not be bright enough

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Volkswagen Tiguan safety recalls »

Which Used Volkswagen Tiguan Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan comes in four trims: S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium. All models come with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. Models with front-wheel drive have three rows of seats, and all-wheel-drive models have two or three rows.

The base model comes standard with attractive features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but you're better off with at least the Tiguan SE. This trim adds everyday conveniences like a power-adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, synthetic leather upholstery, and heated front seats. The SE also has a larger touch screen with satellite radio and two additional USB ports, and every model comes with a handful of driver assistance features.

  • Volkswagen Tiguan S: The base Volkswagen Tiguan S comes standard with cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, and a 6.5-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker stereo, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Some models may be equipped with the Driver Assistance package, which includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking.
  • Volkswagen Tiguan SE: In addition to the S trim’s standard features, the Tiguan SE comes with synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start. This trim also adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. It also comes with an upgraded Composition Media infotainment system, with an 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, HD Radio, and two additional USB ports. Some Tiguan SE models have a panoramic sunroof.
  • Volkswagen Tiguan SEL: The Tiguan SEL adds a standard panoramic sunroof, remote start, a power liftgate, adaptive cruise control, and the Discover Media infotainment system with navigation. Front and rear parking sensors are available in the SEL.
  • Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium: Additional features in the Tiguan SEL Premium include genuine leather seats, LED headlights, power-folding outside mirrors, the VW Digital Cockpit display, a heated steering wheel, a hands-free power liftgate, a nine-speaker Fender premium stereo, a surround-view parking camera, automatic high beams, and lane departure warning.

See 2018 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, and depending on your car’s model year, you get a limited comprehensive warranty that takes effect once the new-car warranty has expired. 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 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan five out of five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the rollover test. However, NHTSA issued a safety concern because the driver's door unlatched and opened during the side impact test. This can increase the risk of occupant ejection during a crash.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 Tiguan the highest rating of Good in all six crash tests. Properly equipped Tiguans earned the highest rating of Superior for the effectiveness of its front crash prevention features, but all except the top trim earned the lowest rating of Poor for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead. The top trim's headlights earned a slightly better Marginal rating.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • adaptive cruise control
  • forward collision warning
  • pedestrian detection
  • automatic emergency braking
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • lane departure warning
  • surround-view parking camera
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • automatic high beams
  • rain-sensing windshield wipers

See Tiguan safety scores »

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan or 2018 Toyota RAV4?

Both the 2018 Tiguan and the 2018 Toyota RAV4 receive low scores for their overall performance. Engine power is lacking, and you'll find more responsive handling with many other compact SUVs. Inside, the Tiguan offers a roomier second row and an available third row of seats, while the RAV4 is limited to two rows. Both SUVs have ample cargo space for the class. The Tiguan comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which the RAV4 doesn't offer, but the Toyota has a long list of standard driver assistance features. These models earn the same predicted reliability rating (3.5), but the Tiguan's safety scores are a little better. With a slightly nicer cabin overall, the VW is the marginally better pick here.

Which Is Better: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan or 2018 Subaru Forester?

The 2018 Subaru Forester shares a couple positives with the Tiguan: Both SUVs have ample second-row space and loads of cargo room. If features like a third row of seats or Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are must-haves, you'll want the Tiguan, as they aren't available in the Forester. The Subaru comes standard with all-wheel drive, and an available 250-horsepower turbocharged engine gives it more engaging performance than the Tiguan. The VW boasts better safety and predicted reliability scores by a hair. Choosing between these two depends on the prices you find and what you prioritize in a compact SUV.

Compare the Tiguan, RAV4, and Forester »

2018 Tiguan Performance

How Does the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Drive?

The 2018 Tiguan's turbocharged four-cylinder engine has decent power for scooting around town, but it feels weak in most other situations. Throttle response is timid when you hit the gas pedal, and it can struggle to get up to high speeds for freeway merging and passing.

The redesigned Tiguan provides a comfortable ride over most road surfaces, but you'll notice plenty of body roll when cornering. Most other compact SUVs are more engaging to drive or offer more athleticism through turns and twisty roads. The available all-wheel-drive system provides more control and reliable road grip, even during inclement weather.

  • Base engine: turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2018 Tiguan has lower fuel economy estimates than most other compact SUVs.

  • FWD: 22/27 mpg city/highway
  • AWD: 21/27 mpg
2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Towing Capacity

The Tiguan can tow up to 1,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Tiguan performance »

2018 Tiguan Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Tiguan Seat?

The front-wheel-drive Tiguan has standard seating for seven people across three rows. All-wheel-drive models have either five or seven seats. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the second row has ample space for adults to stretch out. The Tiguan's back seats are small even by three-row SUV standards, so don't expect to comfortably fit adults back there.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth upholstery

Available seating features:

  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • genuine leather upholstery
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • power-adjustable driver's seat
  • heated front seats
How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan?

The 2018 Tiguan has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the second-row outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for its ease of use. The lower anchors are easy to locate, but there's little space to move your hands around and attach the car-seat straps. All of the tether anchors are clearly labeled and distinct.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Features

The 2018 Tiguan comes standard with smartphone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and all models except the base trim have a user-friendly 8-inch touch screen that has clear, bright, graphics and quick processing and response times. You can also find models with the excellent Digital Cockpit, which replaces the traditional gauge cluster with a 12.3-inch digital screen. It can show speed and fuel data, audio and climate settings, and even navigation.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 6.5-inch touch screen, a USB port, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay
  • Available infotainment features: digital cockpit display, HD Radio, satellite radio, an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, a nine-speaker Fender premium stereo, and voice recognition
  • Other available features: a panoramic sunroof, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, and dual-zone automatic climate control

See 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan specs »

Read more about Tiguan interior »

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Dimensions

Volkswagen Tiguan Cargo Space

The 2018 VW Tiguan has 12 cubic feet of space behind its third row and 33 cubic feet with the third row folded down. It offers 65.7 cubic feet with both the second and third rows folded, which is above average for the class. The two-row Tiguan is even more cavernous. It has 37.6 cubic feet of space behind its second row and 73.5 cubic feet with the back seats folded down. That maximum capacity is among the largest volumes in the class. A power liftgate and a hands-free power liftgate are available.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Length and Weight
  • Length: 15 feet, 5 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,777 to 3,858 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 5,093 to 5,247 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Built?

Volkswagen built the Tiguan in Germany and Mexico.

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