Volkswagen has designed the 2015 Tiguan to give those who enjoy driving a viable option in the compact crossover-SUV market. With a 200-horsepower turbocharged engine and aggressive driving dynamics, it's certainly more fun than its competitors, but its high price and so-so fuel economy limit its appeal.
You'll Like The 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan If...
If you've outgrown your Volkswagen GTI, or just want to do some camping with a little Volkswagen flair, then the 2015 VW Tiguan, with its handsome European styling is the compact crossover SUV you've been looking for.
You May Not Like The 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan If...
While the 2015 Tiguan is long on driving fun, it's short on value. If you're looking for more bang for your buck, the Subaru Forester offers standard all-wheel drive, plus a fun turbocharged model that leaves the Tiguan in the dust. The Nissan Rogue offers a 3rd -row seat option.
Not much is new on the 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan. The compact crossover SUV gets a standard rearview camera, VW Car-Net connected services, a proprietary Media Device Interface with an iPod cable, a premium audio system, and a restyled rear bumper for R-Line models.
The VW Tiguan's interior offers straightforward controls, with the kind of tight fit and finish we expect from Volkswagen. Beyond just looking good, everything feels good to the touch. The steering wheel's built-in buttons for audio and phone functions have a satisfying tactile nature. On models so equipped, the navigation screen is within easy reach. While the Tiguan's cargo area isn't as big as some of its competitors, it makes the most of it with a rear seat that folds in a 3-way 40/20/40 fashion, allowing long items like skis to fit between two passengers.
The 2015 Tiguan offers up tidy exterior dimensions, small even in a compact-SUV class. The overall length is just under 175 inches, meaning only tiny entries like the Hyundai Tucson and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport are smaller. Nearly eight inches longer, a Nissan Rogue is a relative giant. The smooth, uncluttered lines and horizontal grille combine to give the little Tiguan a squat appearance. Although it bears a familial resemblance to its bigger brother, the Volkswagen Touareg, the Tiguan's small size and lower ground clearance make it appear more cute than tough.
With a 200-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and entertaining driving dynamics, there's some merit to VW's claim that the Tiguan is the GTI of the compact crossover-SUV class. However, it's still tallish and heavy, so don't expect actual GTI agility from behind the wheel. The rest of the VW Tiguan lineup gets a 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic manual control, and while it works well, it's no match for the fuel economy one gets with the continuously variable automatic (CVT) in the 2015 Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue or Subaru Forester. Like the Forester, though, the Tiguan's available 4Motion offers performance in foul weather and light-duty off-road situations that's superior to the competition's part-time systems. The smooth ride gets offset by a somewhat noisy cabin, and some found the intrusive head restraints an uncomfortable coda to the otherwise supportive seats.
Base prices for the 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan compact crossover SUV hold pretty steady. A Tiguan S with front-wheel drive has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting about $26,800, while SE models begin a little below $29,000. The more luxurious SEL models begin at about $34,000, while the sporty R-Line runs nearly $38,000. If you want 4Motion AWD, add roughly $2,000 to the price. That's definitely on the high side of the compact crossover-SUV market, and competitors such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage and Nissan Rogue all come in notably lower. However, there are bargains to be had, so check the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com to see what others in your area are paying for the VW Tiguan. Down the road, we expect the Tiguan to have a fair-to-good resale price, depending on trim, with valuations that trail those of the CR-V, Sportage and Forester.
A base 2015 Tiguan S comes with Bluetooth wireless connectivity, 8-speaker AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary input, black cloth seats, single-zone climate control, 16-inch steel wheels and four 12-volt power outlets. Newly standard this year is a rearview camera, iPod cable for Volkswagen's Media Device Interface, and a touch-screen audio system. If you opt for the mid-level SE models you'll get additional features like heated front seats with Leatherette upholstery plus 18-inch wheels. Top-dog R-Line models have leather seating, dual-zone climate control, keyless start, 12-way power seats, Fender audio, rain-sensing wipers, LED running lights, plus unique R-Line trim and 19-inch wheels.
The most important option on the 2015 Tiguan is its all-wheel drive (AWD) system, which Volkswagen calls 4Motion. While mostly oriented toward enhancing foul-weather traction, it does give the Tiguan a little extra off-road ability than some of its competitors. Other major features include panoramic sunroof, navigation system, Fender audio, trailer hitch, splash guards, side steps and roof spoiler.
The 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan is a fresh face, even after being on the road for the better part of a decade now. The minimalist design is obviously Volkswagen even without the "VW" logo on the nose, and the same is true for the comfortable and upscale-feeling interior.
Speaking of that interior, Volkswagen makes do with its relatively limited space with clever packaging. The rear seats fold in a 3-way 40/20/40 split, and the Tiguan's rear seat slides six inches to accommodate cargo or people.
Under the Hood
The only engine available for the VW Tiguan is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. This year, the only transmission choice is a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard and AWD is available. The 6-speed automatic has manual shift and sport modes. The Tiguan's towing capacity is rated at 2,200 pounds. There are two downsides to the Tiguan's drivetrain, though. First, fuel economy lags many of its competitors, and adding insult to injury, premium gasoline is recommended (but not required).
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
200 horsepower @ 5,100-6,000 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/26 mpg (FWD), 20/26 mpg (4Motion AWD)
The 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan is an appealing compact crossover SUV, one aimed squarely at driving enthusiasts. Smaller than competitors like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue, it zips through traffic thanks to a standard 200-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine; sadly, the manual transmission has been dropped. With Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system it's even capable of light-duty off-road work, meaning you can enjoy the drive to the mountains, as well as your campsite. However, the Tiguan's fun doesn't come cheap, with the base model clocking in higher than its competition, and topping out at close to $40,000 when fully loaded. The Tiguan's small size works against it when it comes to cargo hauling, and its fuel economy also trails much of its competition.