On more than one occasion, I heard the term chick car applied to Volkswagen’s baby suv, usually by some smart alec know it all guy. I wonder how many of these he-men have actually driven one. I would assume none, as there is so many things to love about this little ute, not the least of which is the way it loves a windy road.
Perhaps the chick car handle came about because most small suv/cuv’s are woefully underpowered. Not so with the Tiguan. Powered by a 2.0 liter, turbocharged, direct injected 4 cylinder, our tester had 200 horsepower reaching the ground through a 6 speed automatic and 4motion all wheel drive. Tiptronic shifting has been around so long that it has become like Kleenex is to tissues: every just calls manual shift autoboxes a Tiptronic. It is no wonder then that VW’s original system works flawlessly. I have to admit though that the automatic’s brain is so well programmed that I left it in D for most of my time and let it shift itself. Even on windy roads it always selects the right gear to keep the turbo spooled up so that smooth power is ready when you need it.
One may not think about a small suv as the weapon of choice for a twisty rural road, but the euro tuned independent suspension under the Tiguan is more than up to the task. It actually handles more like a sport sedan on the tight, smooth stuff. Where the Tiguan may actually be better than many sedans though is when Mother Nature adds a few frost heaves and pressure cracks to Ontario’s roads. Then, the Tiguan just soaks up the extra bumps and keeps on trucking without losing it’s composure, even when the bumps are mid corner. While we didn’t get to play with the 4Motion system in the snow, we did travel down a wet gravel road and across a highway in a blinding rainstorm. In both situations the Tiguan was calm, composed and comfortable.