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?
From a styling point of view, the Tiguan adheres to the conventional boxy silhouette of your old school crossover, but in this case, with a distinct German accent. In a sea of Honda CR-Vs and Toyota RAV4s, the Tiguan stands alone as the sole entry level crossover from Europe available to us North Americans, and for those wishing to stand apart from the herd, this feature alone holds appeal to buyers who choose to march to the beat of their own drum.
VW has earned a well deserved reputation for delivering class leading interiors, and the Tiguan is no exception. The quality of materials are impressive, as is fit and finish. Our test car was the base Tiguan S-a no frills car with virtually no options. Even so, you never had the sense that even in the fairly austere interior, you were in a cheap car. Seating is comfortable, and even with my 6’1″ frame, I was impressed with the amount of of room available in the rear seat.
Where the Tiguan really stands out is on the open road. Where the competition gets all weak-kneed when the roads get twisty, the Tiguan is in a league of its own. It’s no GTI by any means, but the Tiguan has no competition for driving enjoyment in this class. A bonus is that the Tiguan shares the same 2.0L turbocharged inline four with the GTI, pumping out 200hp, a healthy power advantage over comparable four cylinder powered competitors. Depending on trim level, the Tiguan is available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Buyers also have a choice of front or all-wheel drive.
Dynamically, the Tiguan is near perfect. Yet in light of the competition, in this hotly contested market, it falls short in terms of cargo capacity and fuel economy. But perhaps the greatest flaw of the Tiguan is the price. Our base Tiguan S that was front wheel drive had an MSRP of $26,320USD. For about the same money, you can buy a much better equipped Honda CR-V EX with all the bells and whistles, and with all-wheel drive to boot.
That said, for the buyer looking for a small crossover that stands apart from the pack, and offers some driving excitement the Tiguan is the only game in town at this price point. For sure, you are paying a premium, and as such, the Tiguan will remain a niche crossover in Ã‚Â a sea of sameness. For those willing to march to their own beat, the Tiguan should prove a rewarding ride.