What it lacks in personality, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan crossover SUV makes up for with its clean approach.
Second chances don’t come easily, but not much about Volkswagen has been painless recently. The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is a big compact crossover SUV—or a small mid-sizer, perhaps—climbing the comeback trail for the automaker. Like the full-size Atlas, the Tiguan aims straight at buyers’ preferences for tall-riding vehicles that are full on tech and light on price.
Shoppers interested in compact crossover SUVs are embarrassed by choices right now; each automaker is putting its best foot forward to lure buyers into showrooms. Volkswagen’s effort is admirable, if somewhat anodyne, and is a solid step back into some buyers’ good graces.
We give the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan a 6.8 overall, which reflects our opinion of the available features and comfort. We expect that score may rise when official safety data is made available. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Volkswagen earns points for a crossover SUV that does everything asked of it. The new Tiguan is more spacious than its predecessor with a relatively quiet ride, compelling price, and modest improvements in fuel economy. It lacks the driving appeal of the new Mazda CX-5, fuel frugality of the Honda CR-V, or the mass appeal of the Toyota RAV4, but Volkswagen has an ace that its competitors don’t—or won’t.
The new Tiguan (like the Atlas) comes with a superlative 6-year/72,000-mile new car warranty that is transferrable to successive buyers. That should improve resale values for the Tiguan during that time, and give new owners peace of mind. Volkswagen’s guarantee is more than generous compared to other automakers.
Beyond its superlative warranty, the Volkswagen Tiguan struggles to carve a niche for itself. Its available third row is like the comparable Nissan Rogue’s wayback (which was dropped for 2018, curiously enough)—best for very occasional use only—and the Tiguan’s turbo-4 feels labored at times on the road.
The Tiguan S trim serves as the base and won’t impress many buyers beyond its low entry price of $25,345. Mid-level SE models start to wash away those feelings with better upholstery and a larger touchscreen. SEL or SEL Premium models pile on tech and conveniences.