Categorized | Autos/Lifestyle

2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion – Impressions

By Duane Pemberton

Watch the video below for details you won’t get in the written copy:

Out of all the SUV’s in this price range that I’ve driven so far, the VW Tiguan has got to be my favorite. Why? Well for starters it’s got that sassy “German feel” to everything about it. From the way it steers, corners and handles – it’s a vehicle that begs to be driven hard.

It has great body lines – clean, elegant and stylish all at the same time – I find it very stated actually. In fact, given the competition out there, it really is – to me – the best looking SUV in its class. While I realize this is totally subjective, I’m okay with that.


  • 2.0L 4-cyl. engine
  • Automatic transmission
  • Up to 21 cty/27 hwy mpg
  • All-wheel drive
  • Navigation System
  • Bluetooth
  • MP3 Player
  • Satellite radio
  • Side/Curtain Airbags
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control

It does a really great job of helping the driver to feel much more “at one” with the vehicle than most others I’ve driven in its class. There’s a sublime sense of “road feel” and handling predictability that goes to really help it feel very solid.

The interior is exceptionally well-rounded. A very good combination of materials, looks and functionality make the Tiguan an easy ride to fall in love with. Easy access controls, everything within reach and easy to read for the most part – except the climate control.

The audio system is good but not near the greatness that is the Fender-based audio system that VW offers. It’s good but not great – will be “good enough” for most, however, the more discerning ear will opt for the Fender.

Seats are firm yet soft and very supportive – would I prefer to see full power seats at this price? You bet and to that point, I think VW really messed up.

Rear leg room is pretty good, all things considered with the available cargo space and overall size of the Tiguan – seats back there are equally supportive as the front, sans all the available adjustments.

Seats are firm yet soft and very supportive – would I prefer to see full power seats at this price? You bet and to that point, I think VW really messed up.

The ultra-responsive turbo-charged motor is a really good fit here, it revs quickly and never feels under-powered. Even the torque comes alive rather quickly – VW has done a kick-ass job with the design of this motor.

The main issue I didn’t really care for – which also plagued the Turbo Beetle – is that this same automatic transmission sort of feels like a goat meandering around the pasture eating whatever it stumbles upon – in that, often, I’d finding it “trying too hard” to find the right gear. This issue seemed to go away while in sport-mode, however.

Rare cargo room is here in spades with enough space to haul at least 18 cases of wine (assuming the back seats are folded down).

Another pretty cool feature is the massive glass roof you get by scrolling back the built-in sun-shade. My only issue with this is that the “sun-shade” is perforated and not a solid piece of material – I’m sorry, but when I want to block out the sun, I want to do so completely.


The Tiguan is easily one of my favorite SUV’s in its class – a blast to drive, great handling, good looks and just an overall feeling of “yeah” will entice you to give it a serious look if you’re in the market for a crossover SUV in the lower to mid 30’s.