4.4 out of 5 4.4
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Sets the standard for mid-sized SUVs – but at a price

Volkswagen Tiguan Review Video
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At a glance

New price £24,915 - £39,445
Lease from new From £270 p/m View lease deals
Used price £10,635 - £35,370
Used monthly cost From £265 per month
Fuel Economy 29.7 - 53.3 mpg
Road tax cost £125 - £475
Insurance group 11 - 28 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Excellent interior space
  • Easy to drive and manoeuvre
  • High quality interior
  • Lots of engine options      
  • Very comfortable

CONS

  • Expensive compared with rivals
  • Not a true all-terrain car
  • Touch-sensitive buttons a pain
  • Many rivals better value
  • Not much fun to drive

Volkswagen Tiguan rivals

Written by Keith WR Jones on

The market for mid-sized family SUVs is a huge one, but it’s one in which the Volkswagen Tiguan manages to stand out. Volkswagen’s been constantly refining its formula since the first Tiguan launched in 2008, and those refinements mean that the 2021 Tiguan is one of the most practical, comfortable and high-quality cars of its kind.

Your choice of Tiguan variations is expansive, and covers everything from low-powered entry-level models to high-end luxurious versions. All are ideal for families, though, with lots of room in the back seats and boot, and a five-star Euro NCAP score. Essentially, the Tiguan takes the brilliant, classy package that buyers love about the Golf and Passat, and translates it into the incredibly popular SUV body style.

Countless rivals to compete against

Of course, any compact SUV on sale today has a big job ahead of it, quite simply because there are so many other models to compete against. Not only do the SEAT Ateca and Skoda Karoq offer the same engines and technology at a cheaper price, but hugely popular and accomplished cars such as the Nissan Qashqai, Mazda CX-5, Peugeot 3008 and Citroen C5 Aircross all compete for a slice of the same pie.

Volkswagen’s made the Tiguan’s job even more difficult too, by positioning it quite close to the top of the market in the same sort of ‘almost-premium’ area as the rest of its cars. This means that top-end Tiguans compete with truly desirable offerings like the Volvo XC40 or Audi Q3. You can read more about our top SUV picks here.

A classy, refined package

The Tiguan is very much like its lower-set siblings, the VW Golf and Passat. It shares those car’s engines and interior fittings, but it also shares their relaxed driving manners, excellent build quality and generally refined ambiance.

The interior’s really spacious thanks to the car’s long wheelbase (the distance between the wheels) and relatively bulky body. There’s lots of space for a family in here, though if five seats aren’t quite enough VW does sell the larger Tiguan Allspace, which has seven seats as standard. Better yet is how the Tiguan feels inside. There’s a pervading sense of quality, with satisfyingly well-damped switchgear and generally excellent material quality all round.

Refinement at speed is another highlight, and the Tiguan’s a seriously comfortable place to spend time in.

Significant facelift

The Tiguan was given a real boost in 2020 when Volkswagen gave it a mid-life nip/tuck. Far from being just some re-jigging of trim levels and some new paint, the Tiguan’s facelift was pretty significant, giving it a new look inspired by the larger Touareg and introducing both a plug-in hybrid model and a hot R performance variant.

These two models give the Tiguan the chops to compete with almost any model in this category – from fuel-sipping economy specials right up to some of our favourite performance SUVs.

The facelifted model also brings plenty of new tech to the Tiguan, with Volkswagen’s very latest infotainment system, as well as digital dials and new touch-sensitive controls for the interior. That’s not forgetting IQ Lights, high-tech adaptive LED headlights to make night driving much easier.

Lots of choice

The Tiguan’s facelift comes with a slightly reduced engine lineup initially, but as time goes on an increasing number of options will be available – and it’s wider-ranging than ever before.

Petrol options span 130hp right up to 320hp in the range-topping R, while diesels go from 116hp to 200hp. As ever, it’s the mid-range engines that will command the most sales – Volkswagen expects the 150hp 1.5-litre TSI petrol and 150hp 2.0-litre TDI diesel to be the bestsellers.

Depending on your engine choice, the Tiguan will come with either a six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, while some models can have four-wheel drive, too. Don’t be fooled – the Tiguan is no off-roader.

Trim levels and equipment

As you’d expect with a contemporary SUV, the Volkswagen Tiguan is bristling with standard and optional technology. There’s a raft of electronic safety equipment including adaptive cruise control, emergency city braking and LED lights front and rear.

Base models are simply called Tiguan, with higher trims including Life, Elegance and R-Line available. You can upscale their equipment rosters with several options including a panoramic glass roof, an adaptive digital instrument display and a high-quality Dynaudio stereo system.

Volkswagen’s also further honed its Active Control system allowing you to tailor your on-road driving for suppleness (Comfort) or firmness (Sport) depending on your personal tastes, as well as Snow and Off-Road modes when conditions are more challenging. Finally, depending on variant you can specify Travel Assist – a combination of adaptive cruise control and active lane-keeping aids which can drive the Tiguan semi-autonomously on motorways.

Dealwatch special

Our leasing partner, ZenAuto is offering the Volkswagen Tiguan for £270 per month. The usual terms and conditions apply.*

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Is this the SUV to go for? Read on to find out in the full Parkers Volkswagen Tiguan review, or click here to jump straight to our thoughts on its practicality, interior, running costs or driving dynamics.

Volkswagen Tiguan rivals

Other Volkswagen Tiguan models: