Turn Two: VW Tiguan

What is Turn Two, you ask? A feature here at The Garage, where another editor gives his take on a car previously reviewed here. It is our hope that you, the reader, enjoys and benefits from more than one point of view.

It’s an all too common problem-you’re a driving enthusiast, married a few years, and the inevitable question of raising a family comes up. You stare, longingly at whatever sporty ride resides in your garage, fearing you are destined to vanilla crossovers or minivans. Make no mistake, there are a wealth of competent CUV’s out there, but not everyone has the budget to run out and buy a BMX X3 when the time comes to buy a small crossover with sporty intentions. Enter VW’s answer to this equation, the Tiguan. The question is, can the Tiguan be a serviceable crossover while maintaining it’s own distinct persona?

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This week in The Garage: 2009 VW Tiguan


I’ve been driving different vehicles every day for so many years that I rarely notice the size difference when I jump from one car to another. After swapping the VW Routan for a Tiguan today I somehow felt like I was driving a tiny car. The hood is short and sloping, offering a great view of the road. The size and shape of the rear view mirror make the view out back seem like there is no aft cabin. Perhaps I’m experiencing a bit of size shock, but the Tiguan feels like the absolute perfect sized vehicle on the road.

The Volkswagen folks say the Tiguan has the body of an suv, but with the heart and soul of a GTI. They aren’t that far off, as even though the Tiguan feels diminutive behind the wheel, the front seats feel spacious and the rear seats look more than capable of holding a couple of adults. We’ll investigate the people carrying space over the next week. While not giant, the cargo area looks more than capable of passing our 3 hockey bag test. They boys have hockey camp next week, so we’ll let you know about that too.

Our tester is a 4Motion equipped model with the 6 speed Tiptronic automatic. The 200 horsepower 4 cylinder felt pretty zippy on the short drive home and the 6 speed shifts nice and crisply. It looks like that “soul of a GTI” comment may not be too far off. I’m looking forward to hitting the highway tomorrow and let it stretch it’s legs.