Volkswagen’s Tiguan is an oldie, but a goodie. Although it remains based on the Golf’s platform from two generations prior, it offers up solid German build quality, and zippy performance that’s more akin to the GTI than your average compact crossover. It’s worth noting that this will likely be the final year of production for the current-generation Tiguan as VW is putting the finishing touches on an all-new model that will offer more interior and cargo space, plus a more refined ride. Nevertheless, there are a handful of changes to help keep buyers interested in the present model.
All Tiguans now receive the latest version of Volkswagen’s infotainment system. The base Trendline and mid-grade Special Edition get a new 5.0-inch touchscreen display with SD card; all models now receive a reverse camera as standard, plus Bluetooth. Optional on the Trendline and standard on all others is a USB port, which replaces the old proprietary cable for smartphone connectivity. Higher-end trims such as the Comfortline and Highline get a 6.3-inch display with proximity sensor – it also includes VW’s App-Connect smartphone integration for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This setup includes an eight-speaker premium audio system as standard on the Comfortline and is an option on the Trendline. The Highline trim adds a premium Fender audio system and navigation to the package; it’s optional on the Special Edition and the Comfortline.
Other changes include an upgrade from 17-inch wheels to 18-inchers, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror for the Comfortline trim. The latter three items are available as a part of a package on the Trendline. A new colour, Krypton Grey, also joins the range.
All Tiguans come powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. Though it is of an older generation and requires the use of premium fuel, it offers plenty of poke. Fuel consumption is OK but now lags behind more efficient rivals, consuming 11.6 L/100 km city, and 9.3 L/100 km highway in 4Motion guise. VW has seen fit to consolidate powertrain options; the base Trendline is now the only configuration available with front-wheel drive. It can be had with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic; 4Motion mandates the use of the automatic.
Lively handling, intuitive controls, and a nicely finished interior continue to be the Tiguan’s main draw – as does its attractive entry level price tag. A small cargo area and a sometimes-choppy ride quality are worth noting. Buyers looking for active safety features may find the Tiguan lacking; features such as autonomous braking, blind-spot warning, or radar cruise control are unavailable.
The 2016 Tiguan Trendline starts at $24,990. The top-of-the-line Highline 4Motion sells for $36,998.