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2019 Volkswagen Tiguan: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 1/31/2019 U.S. News & World Report
a car parked in front of a body of water: 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan© Volkswagen of America, Inc. 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan

The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan ranks in the middle of the compact SUV class. It has a big cargo hold, a smooth ride, and ample space in the first two rows. However, its lone engine choice feels underpowered, and some rivals have more agile handling.

The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan is ranked:

Is the Volkswagen Tiguan a Good SUV?

The VW Tiguan is a good compact SUV. It provides more cargo and passenger space than most of its classmates. It has a gentle ride and a long list of standard and available features. Unlike most compact SUVs, this Volkswagen offers a third row of seats, though it's too small for adults. Other downsides include leisurely acceleration and subpar fuel economy estimates.

Should I Buy the Volkswagen Tiguan?

While the Tiguan has some positives, many class rivals offer the same benefits without the VW’s drawbacks. The Mazda CX-5 has good fuel estimates and a sporty ride, and the Honda CR-V has more cargo space and an upscale cabin. Neither offers third-row seating, however. 

Should I Buy a New or Used Volkswagen Tiguan?

Volkswagen redesigned the Tiguan for the 2018 model year. The 2019 model received no major changes, so you could save money and get a virtually identical SUV by purchasing a 2018 Tiguan. You could save even more money with a Tiguan from the previous generation, but you’d miss out on substantial updates, including third-row seats, more passenger space, greater fuel efficiency, and standard smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Read our reviews of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan for more information. If you decide an older model is right for you, visit our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

We Did the Research for You: 26 Reviews Analyzed

To make our car rankings and reviews as consumer-oriented as possible, we do not rely on our personal opinions. Instead, we analyze hard data such as crash test results, as well as the opinions of the automotive press. This Volkswagen Tiguan review draws on 26 reviews and incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which includes the 2018 and 2019 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. We care about cars, but we care more about providing useful consumer advice. To ensure our impartiality, an independent party handles our advertising, and our editorial team doesn’t accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Volkswagen Tiguan Cost?

With a starting MSRP of $24,295, the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan costs more than some class rivals. The highest trim is the SEL Premium with an R-Line package. It has an MSRP of $38,895, which is higher than the starting prices of some luxury compact SUVs.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volkswagen dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Volkswagen deals page.

Volkswagen Tiguan Versus the Competition

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

The Honda CR-V is one the best compact SUVs you can buy. It’s one of the only vehicles in the class to offer more cargo room than the Tiguan, both in total and behind the rear seats. The CR-V has a classy cabin, spacious seats, and a gentle, composed ride. Although both cars have similar base prices, the top-level CR-V costs around $4,450 less than the Tiguan SEL Premium. The CR-V is more fuel-efficient as well. Go with the Honda.   

Which Is Better: Volkswagen Tiguan or Mazda CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 ranks near the top of its class. For 2019, it gains a new turbocharged engine option and available connectivity features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It has an upscale cabin and decent acceleration. The Mazda stands out as one of most agile SUVs in the class. On the other hand, the Volkswagen Tiguan has more cargo room and a gentler ride. Even so, the CX-5 is a better SUV for most shoppers.

Tiguan Interior

How Many People Does the Tiguan Seat?

Front-wheel-drive Tiguans seat seven, while all-wheel-drive models come in either a five- or seven-seat configuration. Cloth upholstery is standard. Leatherette or leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a heated steering wheel are available.

Adults have plenty of space to sit in the first and second rows. The Tiguan is one of the only compact SUVs to offer third-row seating, but its best left for children.

Tiguan and Car Seats

This VW has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an additional tether anchor for the rear middle seat.

Tiguan Interior Quality

The Tiguan has a nice interior with mostly high-quality materials, though some class rivals are more upscale inside.

Tiguan Cargo Space

The three-row Tiguan has 12 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, 33 cubic feet behind the second row, and a maximum 65.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. The two-row VW has a little more room, with 37.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and a total of 73.5 cubic feet with them folded. The totals for both the two- and three-row Volkswagen models are above average for the class.

Tiguan Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard in this SUV are smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 6.5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a six-speaker sound system. Available features include Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, a navigation system, an 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, satellite radio, a nine-speaker premium Fender stereo, push-button start, remote start, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a sunroof.  

The infotainment system is user-friendly, and Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit provides a 12.3-inch screen instead of a traditional gauge cluster. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a plus.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Tiguan Performance

Tiguan Engine: Unimpressive

The sole engine offered in the Tiguan is a 2.0-liter turbo-four that makes 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard.

While this turbocharged engine is fine for cruising around town, it struggles to deliver enough power to pass other vehicles on the highway. Acceleration is sluggish, and the transmission sometimes hesitates to shift.

Tiguan Gas Mileage: Gas Pains

The 2019 VW Tiguan earns an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Many class rivals, such as the Nissan Rogue and Jeep Cherokee, get better fuel economy ratings.

Tiguan Ride and Handling: Comfortable, Not Sporty

This Volkswagen SUV has a comfortable ride. Bumps and ruts in the road do little to disrupt ride comfort. However, the Tiguan rolls around corners. Shoppers looking for agility might consider the Mazda CX-5. The Tiguan has 7.9 inches of ground clearance and standard front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is optional.

Tiguan Reliability

Is the Volkswagen Tiguan Reliable?

The 2019 Tiguan does not have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power as of this writing, but the nearly identical 2018 Volkswagen model earned an above-average rating of four out of five.

Volkswagen Tiguan Warranty

The VW Tiguan is backed by Volkswagen’s six-year/72,000-mile limited warranty. That’s twice as long as many compact SUV warranties.

Tiguan Safety

Tiguan Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Tiguan four out of five stars in rollover crash tests and five stars in side crash tests. However, they noted an issue with the left driver door, which could unlock and open in a side impact crash. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this vehicle the highest rating of Good in every crash test conducted.

Tiguan Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard in this VW. Other available safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, adaptive headlights, and a surround-view parking camera.  

Which Volkswagen Tiguan Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan is available in five trim levels: S, SE, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium. All trims have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and third-row seating. All-wheel drive is offered with each trim for $1,300. You lose the third row when you add AWD, though you can add it back for $595.

The Volkswagen Tiguan SE is a good bet as it adds comfort and safety features not found in the base trim. The higher trims offer even more safety and technology features though, and Volkswagen offers few packages in the lower trims. You may want to spring for the SEL Premium if you’re looking for the latest safety or convenience features, including navigation, adaptive cruise control, and parking sensors.

Volkswagen Tiguan S

The base Volkswagen Tiguan S has an MSRP of $24,295. It comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 6.5-inch touch screen, a six-speaker stereo, a USB port, Bluetooth, automatic headlights, alloy wheels, cloth seats, and a rearview camera.

For $450, you can get the Driver Assistance package, which adds forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Volkswagen Tiguan SE

The Volkswagen Tiguan SE starts at $26,695. It gains the features of the Driver Assistance package, as well as a larger 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, satellite radio, two more USB ports, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and pedestrian detection.  

A panoramic sunroof is offered for $1,200.

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL

With an MSRP of $31,795, the Volkswagen Tiguan SEL comes with a sunroof, a navigation system, Digital Cockpit, a power liftgate, remote start, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and larger alloy wheels.

No notable packages are offered with this trim.

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL R-Line

The Tiguan SEL R-Line has an MSRP of $33,645. It is a new trim for the 2019 model year, though it had been a package in the 2018 Tiguan. It has the same features list as the SEL, but with larger alloy wheels, an engine stop-start system, and unique exterior styling details.

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium

The top-of-the-line Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium has a base price of $37,195. It comes with standard all-wheel drive, leather seats, a heated steering wheel, a Fender premium sound system, a hands-free liftgate, adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a surround-view parking camera, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning. As with the SEL, you can get this trim with an R-Line package.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volkswagen dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Volkswagen deals page.

The Final Call

The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV is a good vehicle. It has a generous amount of user-friendly technology, a serene ride, and lots of cargo space. It has a nice amount of space in its first two rows, and it is one of the only vehicles in the class to offer third-row seating. Additionally, its bumper-to-bumper warranty exceeds the lengths of many other warranties in the class. On the other hand, the Tiguan has sluggish acceleration and low fuel economy ratings. It also has a higher base price than some rival SUVs, many of which offer this VW’s advantages without its drawbacks.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.

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