The compact crossover utility segment is crowded, almost to the point where so many competitors get overlooked due to shopper fatigue. When Volkswagen of America launched its entry into the cute ute segment a few years ago they sought to bring a little fun – some of that Fahrvergnügen if you will – in the form of the Tiguan.
Staying true to Volkswagen’s autobahn heritage, our recent 2014 Tiguan SE tester showed it is worthy of being called “the GTI of compact sport utility vehicles,” as it lived up to the automaker’s standards of design aesthetics, driving dynamics, safety features and a host of luxury and convenience attributes.
A mid-cycle refresh came along a couple of years ago where VW gave the Tiguan a new front and rear fascia along with some impressive 19-inch running gear, rare for the compact segment.
Tiguan features the “fun to drive” handling and performance expected from a Volkswagen. A standard 2.0L TSI engine delivers turbocharged acceleration while still delivering respectable fuel efficiency. Its award-winning turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant delivers 200 horsepower and 207 lb. ft of torque to the tune of 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. The combination of four valves per cylinder, direct fuel injection and turbocharging delivers an optimum balance of power and economy.
European-tuned suspension enables connected handling, while also providing a smooth and compliant ride. Both front- and 4Motion all-wheel-drive is available to suit any weather or road condition. Tiguan also is unique in the category by offering a choice of either six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission options.
The 2014 Tiguan arrives with a host of safety equipment and in the past has received a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS. Front and side impact airbags are standard all around as are side curtain airbags covering front and rear passengers and standard safety technologies include electronic stability control, anti-slip regulation, ABS, and tire pressure monitor system along with the Volkswagen Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off fuel, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard warning lights in the event of certain type collisions.
Tiguan was designed with driver and passenger convenience in mind. Flexible seating, with reclining rear seats with six inches of fore and aft travel, allow for additional legroom or cargo space depending on individual needs. The front passenger seat also folds flat for carrying longer objects. The interior also includes various clips and storage bins ensuring safe space for all types of items that travel in the vehicle.
Our test model did not come equipped with the optional navigation system or rocking Fender audio system we have loved in other products from this manufacturer but this Tiguan and other 2014 VW models did include the new VW Car-Net connected services that includes automatic crash notification, roadside assistance and stolen vehicle location assistance.
The 2014 Tiguan is available in four trim levels, S, SE, SEL and R-Line with pricing starting at $23,305. Our recent tester was the SE model and came rolling in at $28,130. Fahrvergnügen never felt so good in the compact utility segment.