Car Reviews

2023 VW Tiguan Review: A large, but just OK crossover

Professionals: Out there third row; stronger engine than most rivals; large for a compact crossover

Cons: Under-average gas economic system and no hybrid choice; uninspiring design, contact local weather and steering wheel controls have a studying curve

The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan is VW’s hottest mannequin, and it is easy to see why. Individuals like large vehicles, and the Tiguan hits a sweep spot of being each large and agreeably priced on the identical time. It is inoffensive, however hardly daring, relating to styling. The entire needed tech is both normal or optionally accessible, and there is even an accessible third row (once more, large). The Tiguan presses the precise buttons for crossover buyers right here, and whereas we might slightly be cruising round in a GTI — utility be damned — there is no denying the Tiguan is the precise match for lots of life. 

That stated, the Tiguan nonetheless is not amongst our top-recommended small SUVs. The perfect within the phase are extra spacious, extra environment friendly and have higher-quality interiors – some are additionally extra thrilling to take a look at or drive. A Honda CR-V Hybrid, Mazda CX-50, Hyundai Tucson Hybrid and Kia Sportage Hybrid all beat the Tiguan in quite a few methods. Sadly for the Tiguan, there are even different Volkswagen SUVs we might purchase earlier than plunking down the cash for this one. The Taos is a nice shock of an SUV, and regardless of it being nearer to a “mid-compact” crossover, it is nonetheless shockingly enormous and family-friendly in dimension (assuming you do not want a 3rd row). To look additional exterior the field, there’s the electrical ID.4 that drives much better than a Tiguan and clearly drinks zero gasoline. After all, you’d must be OK making the leap to an EV and settle for the additional preliminary buy value over a Tiguan.

Inside & Know-how   |   Passenger & Cargo Area   |   Efficiency & Gasoline Economic system

What it is prefer to drive   |   Pricing & Options   |   Crash Scores & Security Options

What’s new for 2023?

Volkswagen gave the Tiguan a notable mid-cycle refresh for 2022, so adjustments for 2023 are minimal. New 19-inch wheels are fitted to the SE R-Line Black fashions, and the USB-C ports have been upgraded for quicker charging speeds, however that is all.

What are the Tiguan’s inside and in-car know-how like?

The inside is styled conservatively, however the addition of the brand new digital instrument panel final yr livens issues up for the driving force. Every thing is straightforward to make use of and discover. Supplies high quality goes to rely a bit on the way you spec a Tiguan, however be ready to fulfill some laborious plastics within the cabin. As anticipated for a traditionally-shaped crossover, the driving place is excessive, and visibility is phenomenal because of a tall roof, and low windowsills and dashboard.

All Tiguans get a Digital Cockpit digital instrument panel, however the dimension differs by trim degree: 8 inches normal with a 10-inch improve. The “Climatronic Contact” local weather interface with slider controls is obtainable, and looks like an enormous improve to the handbook HVAC dials within the S trim. You may as well discover contact controls on the highest trim’s steering wheel. We acclimated to them rapidly, and so they’re not a burden to make use of in comparison with the standard buttons discovered within the S, thanks partly to the haptic suggestions they supply. The decrease trims have a 6.5-inch shade touchscreen (beneath left), however the SEL Premium R-Line will get an 8-inch infotainment system with proximity sensor and voice management (beneath proper). Though these programs aren’t significantly flashy in look, they’re straightforward to make use of, particularly to the infuriating controls present in VW’s ID.4.

How large is the Tiguan?

The VW Tiguan is fairly large for a “compact” crossover, however then so is a lot of the competitors lately. It is extremely household pleasant, although the again seat and cargo room of the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson greatest it, whereas the Toyota RAV4 matches it. One Tiguan benefit, although, is the again seat’s sliding functionality that permits you to convey children nearer to you up entrance (good for wiping noses) or increasing cargo quantity.

The Tiguan has one other ace up its sleeve, too: a third-row seat that comes normal on all front-wheel-drive fashions. It is not an choice for all-wheel-drive variations. Though primarily supposed for youngsters, and for rare use, solely the Mitsubishi Outlander and the marginally bigger Kia Sorento supply three rows on this normal dimension class. Observe that cargo house is diminished with the third-row seat, pictured beneath proper.

What are the Tiguan’s gas economic system and efficiency specs?

The only engine choice is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four producing 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed computerized transmission directs that energy to both the entrance wheels or the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system accessible on all trims. There aren’t any shift paddles on the steering wheel, however you possibly can choose your individual gears utilizing the handbook mode on the gear lever.

Gasoline economic system numbers enhance by roughly 1 mpg from the earlier mannequin yr. The front-wheel-drive S will get 24 miles per gallon metropolis, 31 mpg freeway and 27 mpg mixed, whereas the opposite trims are barely decrease at 23/30/26 mpg. The S 4Motion and SE 4Motion fashions get 22/29/25 mpg. The R-Line 4Motion trim is available in decrease at 21/28/24 mpg. These are beneath what you’d get with the bottom engines of many rivals, a few of which provide much more environment friendly hybrids. 

What is the Tiguan prefer to drive?

The 4Motion fashions really feel hesitant to leap of the road. After a second of ready, you’re feeling the preliminary burst of torque because the Tiguan involves life. It’s not significantly fast, nevertheless it’s not sluggish both, and we don’t actually see a necessity for extra energy in most locales. In actual fact, the usual turbo engine is extra highly effective and peppy than most traditional powertrains on this class, most of that are naturally aspirated (no turbo) and/or saddled with a repeatedly variable transmission. The boosted four-cylinder is extra desperate to encourage the wheels of the front-drive variations, although the S trim we examined (above) lacked the grip of the all-wheel-drive Tiguan SEL R-Line and its stickier Pirelli rubber. This leads to wheel spin — and the following intervention of traction management — that appears to delay the automotive’s launch as a lot as with the 4Motion-equipped SEL R-Line.

As soon as below approach, the Tiguan isn’t as boring to drive as its phase suggests. It’s surprisingly light-footed on extra dynamic roads. Regardless of the sunshine steering really feel with on-center numbness in step with most Volkswagens, it is not totally devoid of enjoyment on a pleasant stretch of pavement. There’s a little bit of softness within the journey, which helps to filter out a few of the tougher bumps alongside the best way, nevertheless it doesn’t get in the best way of the Tiguan’s means for some gentle frolicking.

What different Volkswagen Tiguan evaluations can I learn?

2022 VW Tiguan First Drive Evaluation | Sibling rivalry

Our first drive of the Tiguan after its midcycle refresh for the 2022 mannequin yr.

How a lot is the 2023 Tiguan?

There are 4 trims of Tiguan for 2023. The bottom S trim begins at $28,145 together with the $1,295 vacation spot price. That is a complete improve of $955 past the earlier mannequin yr. Entrance-wheel drive is normal, and in all however the high trim (which will get AWD as normal), including 4Motion all-wheel drive prices $1,500.

The S contains 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and daytime operating lights, LED taillights, heated facet mirrors, proximity entry and push-button begin, quite a lot of driver help tech (see Security part), six-way manually adjustable entrance seats, heated entrance seats, a 3rd row of seating for a complete of seven seats, material seating surfaces, handbook air con, 8-inch Digital Cockpit, and 6.5-inch shade infotainment touchscreen.

Additionally accessible as choices or in greater trims are 4Motion all-wheel drive, alloy wheels as much as 20 inches, distant begin, adaptive entrance lighting, a hands-free liftgate, illuminated grille, energy panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing windshield wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, 15-color ambient lighting, eight-way energy driver’s seat with reminiscence, energy passenger seat, leatherette or leather-based seating, heated steering wheel, ventilated entrance seats, adaptive cruise management, street signal recognition, 10-inch Digital Cockpit, 8-inch shade infotainment touchscreen with proximity sensor, a Fender audio system, SiriusXM and a wi-fi cellphone charger.

The whole 2023 Tiguan vary and costs are beneath. You may get the full breakdown of 2023 Tiguan trims, specs and pricing right here on Autoblog.

  • Tiguan S: $28,145
  • Tiguan SE: $31,875
  • Tiguan SE R-Line Black: $34,605
  • Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line: $38,975

What are the Tiguan’s security scores and driver help options?

Whereas entrance collision warning and computerized emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and rear site visitors alert are all normal, IQ.Drive — a $895 choice for the S and normal in different trims — provides adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go-capability, lane protecting help and emergency help (which makes an attempt to wake an unresponsive driver earlier than partaking hazard lights and bringing the automotive to a cease). There’s a 3rd degree of driver help applied sciences that may be added together with auto excessive beams, an computerized parking assistant and street signal recognition software program.

The 2022 VW Tiguan obtained a Prime Security Decide+ award from the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security. It scored the highest-possible “Good” ranking in each crash take a look at, and the headlights had been rated “Acceptable.” The Tiguan had not been absolutely examined by the NHTSA on the time of this writing.

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