2014 Volkswagen Tiguan

A Big 'n Tall GTI. A sporty, turbocharged crossover.

  • Likes
  • Handling
  • comfort
  • features
  • Dislikes
  • Price
  • ride quality

The 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan is one of GAYOT's Top 10 Dog-Friendly Cars

Featuring a firmed-up suspension and larger wheels, the Tiguan R-Line is the sporty version of Volkswagen's crossover. Our Night Blue Metallic test car came fully loaded for $39,700, which may seem steep for a car based on the previous generation VW Jetta/ Golf platform and carrying the same 2.0-liter turbo 4 as the $25,000 Golf GTI, but the Tiguan's feature content somewhat makes up for its lofty asking price.

We found the Volkswagen Tiguan to be a capable handling, fun-to-drive crossover, though we wished the R-Line 4Motion trim could be ordered with a manual transmission. Our car's 6-speed automatic did come with a sport mode and paddle-shifters, however, which is probably adequate for this crossover's mission in life. On the roads around Los Angeles, we found turn-in to be sharp and body-roll minimal, despite the Tiguan's high-ish center of gravity. Torque from the direct-injected, turbocharged 4-banger was plentiful and available at very low rpms, making the car feel even faster than it was.

Transitional response and outright grip are improved over the standard Tiguan, as well, thanks to the R-Line's firmer springs and wider, stickier Pirelli Scorpion tires. The car still understeers, but the Haldex-sourced all-wheel drive system is able to transmit almost all available torque to the rear wheels, helping on corner exit and making this Tiguan more neutral and more involving to drive than previous versions we've tested.

That system does come with a small fuel-economy penalty, knocking the EPA rating down to 20 mpg city/ 26 highway, versus 21/26. Not a huge difference, and we averaged 22 mpg in mixed driving, which is pretty good considering how most of our cars fare among the hills and traffic jams of Los Angeles.

Like other recent Volkswagens we've tested, the Tiguan R-Line came with a Fender audio system that gives a distinct clear "crunchy" sound. Our Tiguan was also equipped with power, heated leather seats, a navigation system with touch-screen, the Volkswagen media device interface, and a back-up camera. The standard power panoramic sunroof can make the Tiguan feel almost like a convertible. With all these standard features, the Tiguan's price tag begins to seem a little more understandable, though the choice to buy one will probably come down to aesthetics and the driving experience, as you can generally option comparable features on any of the cars in this class.

Warranty/Service: 3 years/36,000 mile basic warranty, 5 years/60,000 miles powertrain warranty, 12 years/ unlimited mileage corrosion perforation warranty, 3 years/36,000 miles roadside assitance, 2 years/24,000 miles free scheduled maintenance

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Specs

Base Price: $38,835

As Tested: $38,835

  • 20 / 26 mpg
  • EPA
  • 200 hp
  • Horsepower
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with direct injection
  • Horsepower: 200 hp
  • Torque: 207
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • Curb Weight: 3,591 lbs
  • Wheelbase: 102.5 in
  • Length: 174.5 in
  • Width: 71.2 in
  • Height: 65.6 in
  • Turning circle: 39 ft
  • Brakes: F/R: disc/ disc w/ ABS
  • Suspension: F/R: Ind. MacPherson strut, anti-roll bar/ Ind. multilink, anti-roll bar
  • Traction: traction and stability control standard
  • EPA City: 20 mpg
  • EPA Highway: 26 mpg
  • Combined MPG: 23 mpg
  • Seating Capacity: 5
  • Safety: driver and front passenger front airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags,

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