- Five-seat compact SUV
- New R-Line performance trim debuts for 2014
- Good interior quality and materials
Back for 2014 with a few updates, the Volkswagen Tiguan is a stylish, well-appointed compact SUV that provides a nice alternative to the run of the mill choices in this crowded segment.
Although the TIguan does not yet carry the name recognition of some of its more well-known competitors like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, it brings plenty to the table. For 2014, the Tiguan gets a few updates including a brand new R-Line performance trim which gets a sport suspension and several additional exterior features like a unique roof spoiler, side skirts, and 19-inch alloy wheels. Also added for 2014 is an available Car-Net communication system which includes crash notification and roadside assistance. The SE trim also adds more features and the new SE with Appearance package includes push-button start and a backup camera.
Outside, the Tiguan is stylish in that minimalist, Volkswagen way which emphasizes symmetry and an absence of drama to form a cohesive, handsome package. Up front is Volkswagen’s signature front grille, a black back with two chrome bars that split the grille horizontally behind a large “VW” logo. 16-inch wheels are standard, as is a small lip spoiler and heated power side mirrors. A panoramic sunroof and LED daytime running lights are optional.
Under the hood, the 2014 Tiguan has one engine option: a 200-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder which is mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with 4Motion all-wheel drive optional. Premium gas is recommended, although the Tiguan can now run on E15 as well. Towing capacity maxes out at 2,200 pounds. Fuel economy ratings are best with the automatic transmission and front-wheel drive setup, 21/26 mpg city/highway.
One of our favorite parts of the Tiguan is its interior, which is well-appointed and makes use of high quality materials, both Volkswagen hallmarks. There are plenty of standard features, including air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, auxiliary audio input, power windows and locks, and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. For 2014, the mid-tier SE trim adds several new features including heated seats, simulated leather upholstery, and iPod connectivity.
The Tiguan performed well on crash tests, earning a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS and a four star (out of five) overall rating from the NHTSA. Standard safety features include the six airbags, electronic stability system, traction control, and all-disc antilock brakes.