Used Car Reviews

2018-2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Used Vehicle Review

Vehicle Type

Compact crossover


The second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan hit Canadian roads in 2017 for the following model year, riding a new platform and offering a unique new look both inside and out.

The big news for the latest Tiguan is its size. Built on the same platform as the larger Volkswagen Atlas, the latest Tiguan is longer than the first-gen model and features far more cargo capacity than before, addressing a common complaint amongst owners.

The second-generation Tiguan is widely noted by experts and owners alike to offer an upscale and high-tech interior that amounts to a serious value-add for shoppers after a driving environment that pushes close to premium territory. Volkswagen’s latest – and excellent – touchscreen infotainment interface is on board, as is a fully digital instrument cluster.

Most switchgear will feel familiar to existing owners of recent Volkswagen models, and the second-generation Tiguan is offered in both two- and three-row configurations to cater to a wide variety of needs.


A revised 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. Though not noted among the segment’s most refined, this engine’s solid output helps the latest Tiguan maintain the sporty and punchy feel familiar to owners of first-generation models.

The second-generation Tiguan also utilized the brand’s latest all-wheel drive system used in other Volkswagen models, including the sporty Golf R. When equipped with proper tires, drivers can expect sharp handling and plenty of confidence when driving in winter conditions.

What Owners Like

Owners and experts alike almost universally count the Tiguan’s ride quality, highway manners, interior, and overall easy-to-drive character among its most valuable assets. The central touchscreen infotainment system and all-digital instrument cluster are commonly listed as feature favourites, as they add a high-tech flair to the driving environment.

What Owners Dislike

Some owners wish for a more refined powertrain, and smoother operation from the engine in certain situations. Others wish for a more direct feel to the Tiguan’s acceleration and throttle response. Drivers may wish to select sport mode from the drive-mode selector to make the best possible use of the Tiguan’s turbocharged snap in day-to-day driving

First Things First

The second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan has been on Canadian roads for about four years now, meaning shoppers can expect plenty of selection of low-mileage units with lots of factory warranty remaining. Shopping successfully for a used VW Tiguan is largely a function of ensuring the vehicle’s maintenance requirements were strictly adhered to, and that the vehicle’s full history is available.

Some shoppers prefer to shop for used vehicles like the Tiguan through a certified pre-owned (CPO) program at a Volkswagen dealership. Before a used vehicle is sold through a CPO program, it’s required to meet high quality standards via a series of inspections. Buying a used Tiguan from a CPO program can add further confidence and peace of mind. Still, a few tips and checks can help ensure you get a first-class copy of a second-hand Tiguan.

Interior Durability

Some owners have reported disappointing durability from several areas of the Tiguan’s interior, including rubberized trim on the dead pedal and floor mats, and some easily scratched surfaces. Others have not. Here’s some more reading.

Carefully check the touchscreen and instrument displays for signs of scratching and gouging of the screen surfaces, which are often caused by improper cleaning. Pay close attention to the condition of the seats, particularly on the outward bolsters, which tend to take the most wear and tear as occupants get in and out. If excessive wear is detected, be sure to call it into your pricing negotiations.

Engine Modifications

Some owners have modified their Tiguan with aftermarket tuning software to increase its power output, or enhance driveability. Many have not. The use of performance-enhancing aftermarket software like this is enjoyed without issue by many users. However, the use of non-factory engine software can also void any remaining powertrain coverage in some situations. The average shopper is best to stick to a used Tiguan that hasn’t been modified to prevent possible headaches. Information on Volkswagen’s warranty coverage can be found here.

Rattle Problems

Some owners have reported irritating interior rattles, primarily from the B-pillar area, and sometimes from the sunroof. Many have not. Here’s some more reading. One commonly reported rattle seems to emanate from a part in the Tiguan’s structure near the upper corner of the front doors. This rattle has irritated numerous owners, who say that the fix can be invasive, take days, and may not totally solve the issue.

On your test-drive of a used VW Tiguan, listen carefully for unwanted rattles by driving on a rough road after quieting the vehicle’s cabin. Many vehicles develop squeaks and rattles as they age, but squeaks and rattles detected from the upper B-pillar area in a second-generation Tiguan may be very difficult to remedy.

Poor Throttle Response

Test-drive the used VW Tiguan you’re considering in all of its drive modes, noting the throttle response, and smoothness from the engine in each one. If the vehicle seems sluggish or tends to lurch or surge as it accelerates, see a dealer for help. Some owners complaining of poor performance have noted excellent improvements when dealers refer to this technical service bulletin (TSB) and replace a specific combination of parts.

Recall Work

The second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan’s recalls can be found here. Dealers perform recall work free of charge to correct safety defects with vehicles. Some Tiguan models are affected by certain recalls, and others are not. To see what recalls apply to the specific unit you’re considering, contact a dealer, or click here.

Safety Ratings

IIHS: Top Safety Pick+ (2019)
NHTSA: 4/5 Stars