Expert Reviews

2024 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

7.9
10
AutoTrader SCORE
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • STYLING
    9/10
  • Safety
    7/10
  • PRACTICALITY
    8/10
  • USER-FRIENDLINESS
    8/10
  • FEATURES
    8/10
  • POWER
    7/10
  • COMFORT
    8/10
  • DRIVING FEEL
    9/10
  • FUEL ECONOMY
    7/10
  • VALUE
    8/10

While a redesigned version is on its way next year, the 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan remains a contender in the compact SUV market.

It’s traditionally the automaker’s best-selling model in Canada and the United States, and justifiably so — but we’ll get to all that shortly. It comes in the choice of four trims in Canada, all with standard all-wheel drive (AWD). The cheapest of them is the Trendline at $36,995, including a non-negotiable delivery fee of $2,100. At the top of the lineup is the Highline R-Line tested here, at $47,595. This one was further optioned with a coat of Kings Red Metallic paint and a third row of seats, bringing it to $48,690 before taxes.

Styling: 9/10

Some people call Volkswagen’s designs boring in comparison to more cutting-edge models out there, but I think these smoother lines will age more gracefully. Each trim’s wheels move up an inch, starting with 17-inch alloys on the Trendline to the 20-inch ones on the Highline. All trims include LED lighting, while the Comfortline and up have tinted windows that add something to the look.

The handsome interior design has a few more angles, and in all trims, the centre stack incorporates an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen. The base Trendline has an eight-inch digital instrument display that’s upgraded to a 10.25-inch unit on all others. The R-Line name indicates extra styling cues inside and out, including the sport-style steering wheel.

Safety: 7/10

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash-tested the 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan but only gave it four out of five stars, and added a “safety concern” note that when the vehicle was struck in the side barrier test, the driver’s door unlatched and opened. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave it the top “Good” rating in its three tests, including the updated side test that better simulates being struck by a large SUV; and the updated front crash that assesses potential injury to a rear-seat passenger as well as those in front. However, it received a “Marginal” rating for the performance of its pedestrian-detection emergency front braking.

All trims include front emergency braking as standard equipment, along with blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and back-up camera that’s required on all new vehicles sold here. The Comfortline and up add adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. The Comfortline R-Line further adds front and rear parking sensors, while the Highline R-Line tops that up with turn-responsive headlights, surround-view cameras, and a self-parking system.

Features: 8/10

The base Trendline trim includes manual air conditioning, that eight-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats and steering wheel, push-button start, remote start, and a space-saver spare tire. The Comfortline adds a power tailgate, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, a wireless charger, power driver’s seat, auto-dimming mirror, and cargo privacy cover. 

The Comfortline R-Line adds the panoramic sunroof, but most of its extra items are in the trimmings, including the sportier steering wheel, black accents, stainless steel pedals, and ambient interior lighting. At the Highline R-Line level, there’s also three-zone climate control, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, power-folding mirrors, an upgraded stereo, and integrated navigation.

User-Friendliness: 8/10

Volkswagen hasn’t done the greatest job on user-friendliness in some recent models, including single window switches that you toggle for the front or rear glass in the likes of the all-electric ID.4, and tiny temperature touch-sliders that didn’t light up at night in that model and the latest Golf GTI and Golf R performance cars. That means the upcoming Tiguan might be as complicated as those entries, but for now this one remains relatively simple.

Getting in and out of the first and second rows is easy, thanks to wide-opening doors. But that optional third row is another story. The second row slides but doesn’t flip forward, so it isn’t easy to squeeze into the back. If you consistently carry more than a few extra folks, a dedicated midsize three-row is a much better idea.

Practicality: 8/10

There’s a low liftover for loading and unloading the cargo compartment, which measures 1,065 L when the second row is upright, and 2,078 L when those seats are folded. (Because it’s an option, Volkswagen doesn’t list cargo volume when the third row is upright.) There’s a storage bin under the cargo floor, where you can stash the cargo cover when it’s not being used, and open bins on either side can hold washer fluid jugs. Best of all, the Tiguan has grocery bag hooks. The Tiguan can also tow as much as 680 kg (1,500 lb), in keeping with many rivals in this segment.

Comfort: 8/10

The Tiguan’s seats aren’t soft and cushy, but don’t write them off if it’s your first time sitting in them. Instead, they’re very supportive, and that’s what keeps you comfortable during long-distance drives. The second-row seats aren’t as sculpted, but they’re still comfy, and legroom is at the upper end amongst its competitive set; there isn’t as much as there is in the Honda CR-V, but there’s a bit more than the Toyota RAV4 or Nissan Rogue offer. The optional third row is basically a plank, with almost no room for feet and knees. And if you’re getting it to stow young children, note that it’s difficult to reach back there to buckle their seatbelts. The ride is smooth and contributes to the Tiguan’s comfort as well.

Power: 7/10

All trims use a turbocharged 2.0L engine that makes 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s peppy off the line when getting up to city speeds, but it can run out of breath getting up to highway speeds — it’s not a Golf R, so plan your merging and passing manoeuvres. Once you reach that highway speed, though, it cruises along smoothly with no issues.

Driving Feel: 9/10

The Tiguan is fun to drive, more like a car than an SUV, with its nimble handling and precise steering that’s quick but never overeager or twitchy. It feels light and it’s tight around corners, and the brakes bring it to a quick and smooth stop. Its confidence is also equally at home during highway cruising.

Fuel Economy: 7/10

The Tiguan doesn’t have as much horsepower as some of its competitors, but still manages to use more fuel. The three lower trims are rated by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) at 10.6 L/100 km city, 8.0 highway, and 9.4 in combined driving. The Highline, with its larger wheels, uses a bit more with a rating of 9.7 L/100 km. In my week with it, much of it spent on the highway, I did a bit better at 9.0 L/100 km. It takes regular-grade gas.

By comparison, the Toyota RAV4 is rated at 8.5 L/100 km combined; the Honda CR-V AWD at 8.4; and the Nissan Rogue at 7.6 L/100 km.

Value: 8/10

At prices ranging from $36,995 to $47,595, the Tiguan isn’t the least expensive in the segment, but it’s a comfortable little performer with a number of features. Among some of its rivals, the Honda CR-V starts higher at $40,525 in AWD (it’s $37,725 in FWD), but the Toyota RAV4 is lower at $35,080, and the Nissan Rogue begins at $35,678, both with standard AWD (all prices including delivery). 

The Verdict

The 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan isn’t without a few shortcomings, but it’s a comfortable vehicle overall that’s fun to drive. It offers a third row that folds out of the way when not in use; and if you don’t need it, it can be left off the options list. This is a crowded segment with some very good competitors, but the Tiguan is definitely a contender.

 

 

 

Competitors
Specifications
Engine Displacement 2.0L
Engine Cylinders Turbo I4
Peak Horsepower 184 hp @ 4,400 rpm
Peak Torque 221 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm
Fuel Economy 10.9 / 8.1 / 9.7 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb
Cargo Space 1,065 L / 2,078 L seats up/down
Model Tested 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan Highline R-Line
Base Price $45,495
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee $2,100
Price as Tested $48,790
Optional Equipment
$1,095 — Third row package, $800; Kings Red Metallic paint, $295