2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Expert Review

4.3 Overall Score
Performance 4.3 Comfort 4.0 Styling 4.1 Value 3.9

Editor's Overview

Totally redesigned for 2018, the 2nd-generation Volkswagen Tiguan is among the roomiest entries in the compact-SUV segment. It’s also loaded with cutting-edge tech, offers seating for seven (the Nissan Rogue is the only other compact SUV with that option), and boasts an exceptional new 6-year/72,000-mile limited warranty that’s fully transferable to subsequent owners.

You'll Like The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan If...

Now that it’s more comparable to and competitive with segment stalwarts like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, the Tiguan’s European design and driving sensibilities are much more attractive.

You May Not Like The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan If...

The solidly built Tiguan is neither the quickest nor the most fuel-efficient compact SUV you can buy. And while the new warranty goes a long way in reducing the potential financial impact related to VW’s documented quality shortcomings, we wouldn’t bet on the new Tiguan being as trouble-free as a Honda CR-V, for instance.

What's New

The Volkswagen Tiguan has been completely redesigned for 2018.

Interior Features

Interior design and materials are typical VW highlights, and the new Tiguan follows suit. We’re big fans of open bins with power and USB ports placed ahead of the transmission selector, a feature we were happy to find in the Tiguan. The start/stop button, electronic parking brake, and transmission selector are all placed within inches of each other in the center console, which makes for quicker and easier departures and arrivals. The center armrest is nicely padded but doesn’t offer the cool, ratcheting height adjustability we regularly put to use in other Volkswagens.


In addition to accommodating backseat passengers with ample headroom and legroom, the 2018 VW Tiguan features sliding and reclining rear seatbacks that adjust to maximize both passenger comfort and cargo capacity. The seatback also features a 40/20/40 split, which makes it easier to carry long items and two rear passengers at the same time. The rear seat also features dedicated air vents, power and USB ports, plus a good armrest. Even though the Tiguan’s third row is the smallest on the market -- with 3.5 fewer inches of legroom than even the Nissan Rogue’s available third row -- it nevertheless can save you from driving two cars or making two trips or abandoning the idea altogether.


Two-row Tiguan models offer 37.6 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row, a figure that places it in the top half of the segment. When your hands are full, you can open the Tiguan’s liftgate by gently kicking your foot under the rear bumper. And in a new twist, when you have a large load to remove from the Tiguan, first press a button on the open tailgate and it will automatically close when it senses you (the key) walking away from the vehicle.

Exterior Features

The Tiguan’s distinctive and well-tailored look is sure to be among its bigger draws. Already the longest compact SUV in the segment, the Tiguan’s sharp creases add a taut, freshly pressed authority. Complex LED taillights give the rear view a similarly serious, semi-premium feel. The range-topping Tiguan SEL Premium adds LED headlights and LED daytime running lights, while the available R-Line package gives the Tiguan a sportier look that includes unique, larger wheels.

Driving Impressions

The Tiguan’s excellent steering and pedal response -- expected attributes of any VW -- contribute to an overall driving feel that’s among the best in the segment. Highway ride is firmer than that of some other small SUVs, but excellent seats, a quiet cabin and superior steering feel qualify the new Tiguan as an excellent long-haul companion. While the Tiguan’s turbocharged engine generates impressive horsepower and torque, a base Tiguan is a whopping 450 pounds heavier than a base Honda CR-V. City scooting and highway cruising are barely impacted, but the added mass is evident in highway merging and passing situations.


Although the Tiguan is a bit longer than most compact SUVs, good outward visibility and a decent turning diameter combine to make it a breeze in parking lots. The Tiguan also offers a host of available technologies that make parking maneuvers even easier. Rear Traffic Alert with Braking will warn you of cars coming down the aisle you’re backing into, and can automatically stop the car if necessary. The Overhead View Camera provides a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle and its surroundings, an increasingly common feature that remains among our favorites. Park Distance Control with Maneuver Braking incorporates front and rear parking sensors that warn you of close objects and can even stop the car if you’re about to back into something.

Pricing Notes

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan starts at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $26,245 and tops out at $39,945 with all the bells and whistles. While the big new warranty will decrease ownership costs for some and likely increase resale values, it’s unlikely the new Tiguan’s overall cost of ownership will match those of the segment’s proven value leaders. So, generally speaking, it’s likely you’ll pay more to drive a Tiguan than you would a comparably equipped Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, for instance. But spending a little more for the vehicle you prefer is sometimes the smart choice.

Notable Equipment

While Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are finally starting to become more common in the category, in the new Tiguan they’re included as standard equipment as part of the Car-Net App-Connect package. Also included in the Tiguan’s base price are the third-row seat, a 6.5-inch touch screen infotainment system, Bluetooth and USB smartphone connectivity, a rearview camera, and a 40/20/40 split, sliding, reclining, fold-flat 2nd-row seat.

Notable Options

In addition to a range of active safety technologies and traditional upgrades like leather seats and premium audio, Tiguan option highlights include a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, a bird’s-eye parking camera, keyless entry/start, a hands-free liftgate with walk-away close, and a 12.3-inch customizable digital instrument panel. As for VW’s Car-Net infotainment system, stepping up to the subscription-based Security & Service group adds capabilities like remote vehicle lock/unlock, automatic crash notification, and the parent-friendly Family Guardian with features including remote speed and boundary alerts. The range-topping Guide & Inform group includes built-in navigation plus the subscription-based SiriusXM Travel Link that includes traffic and weather info, plus local fuel prices, sports scores and movie information.

Favorite Features

6-YEAR/72,000-MILE WARRANTY

The best bumper-to-bumper warranty in the business, the Tiguan’s fully transferable coverage benefits owners who keep their cars a long time, as well as those who typically sell after a few years.


APPLE CARPLAY AND ANDROID AUTO

Choose a song, dictate a text message or navigate to a destination with the ease and familiarity of your smartphone.

Under the Hood

The Tiguan’s base curb weight of 3,777 pounds qualifies it as the heavyweight champion of the category. As such, its EPA fuel economy ratings are on the low side of the category average, but for most drivers it works out to just an extra gallon or two per month. The added mass also takes a toll on acceleration, even with 221 lb-ft of torque on tap from 1,600 rpm.


The Tiguan’s available 4Motion all-wheel-drive system features a mechanical center differential and electronic differential locks, allowing it to transfer power front to back and side to side. The system also includes a variety of driver-selectable modes, including On-Road, Snow, Off-Road and Custom Off-Road. Within On-Road mode are four additional settings: Normal, Sport, Eco and Custom. Combined with 7.9 inches of ground clearance, a 4Motion-equipped Tiguan should deliver as much foul-weather and off-road capability and confidence as most anything in the segment.


2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder

8-speed automatic transmission

184 horsepower @ 4,400-6,000 rpm

221 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,300 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/27 mpg (front-wheel drive), 21/27 mpg (all-wheel drive)

Towing capacity: 1,500 pounds

Editors' Notes

The compact SUV segment has changed quite a bit in the nine years since Volkswagen introduced the Tiguan. And now, finally, the VW has caught up. Totally redesigned for 2018, the 2nd-generation Volkswagen Tiguan is among the roomiest SUVs in the segment and loaded with cutting-edge tech, including dual 12- and 8-inch digital displays, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a long list of driver-assist and safety technologies. It’s also the only compact SUV other than the Nissan Rogue to offer seating for seven, and boasts the very best bumper-to-bumper warranty in the segment: a 6-year/72,000-mile limited warranty that’s fully transferable to subsequent owners. The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan isn’t just a better SUV, it’s a smarter buy right out of the gate.

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Owner Reviews

4.66

131 Reviews

71% 25% 3% 1% 1 star 0%

Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

The Volkswagen Tiguan is the perfect first adult car.

My Volkswagen Tiguan is the perfect car for someone who likes to drive an SUV but does not want to spend the money like owning an SUV. My car comes in a few different models based on special features and what you are willing to pay. The se comes with safety features such as the blind spot indicators on the side view mirrors, vehicle breaking for a quick stop like when something jumps in front of your car. The se also comes with a sunroof, seat warmers and an eco engine which shuts off every time you come to a stop to help save gas.

- Katie P

Very functional, safe, family vehicle that is the size of a mid-size SUV but drives like a car.

I originally owned a 2014 Tiguan but when I found out I was having a baby it was just too small. I now own a 2018 Tiguan which is almost a foot longer and a few inches wider than the old model. I love the huge display screen and the backup camera is crystal clear. One of my favorite features of the car is CarPlay so I can make phone calls and text hands free. Overall, I love this car - my only complaints are the lack of a power seat on the passenger side and the lack of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

- Shay V

Love it, one small annoying feature.

I love my truck there is enough room for all the kids, if you have smaller kids you can get 3 in the third row. We have done this once for a small 10 min trip. I could even still get a stroller and two bags stuffed into the trunk area behind them. The only thing i do not like is the curve of the trunk, which makes it hard to stack anything not squishable into the trunk area when you close the hatch.

- Cierra M