2020 Volkswagen Tiguan new car reviews

If you look on Volkswagen's website, the Tiguan is available in nine different trims. That may sound like a lot, but really it's more like five trims, each available with front- or all-wheel drive (except for the top-trim SEL Premium R-Line with 4Motion).

What is the same across all trims, though, is the engine: a 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four capable of 184 horsepower and 221 lb.-ft. of torque. That powerplant then sends power to the wheels through an eight-speed automatic.

Volkswagen's press kit informs us that the Tiguan can tow up to 1500 pounds and has departure and approach angles of 23.3 degrees and 26.2 degrees, respectively. You know, just in case you feel the need to do SUV things.

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J.G. Pasterjak JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

VW has recently announced and revealed their 2021 Tiguan, but current year models are still in press fleets, and a 2020 version is what we sampled recently. While usually auto journalists want to drive the latest and greatest, we have no issues with sampling a vehicle that may be deeply discounted come fall when an all-new models comes out and dealers are anxious to clear out any remaining Tiguans taking up lot space.

We’ve had a lot of VWs in the press rotation lately, which just serves to remind us how much we like driving VWs. Any company that can transform the act of driving an SUV into anything remotely rewarding deserves a lot of credit. Part of that credit regarding the Tiguan, anyway, is that it shares VW's MQB platform, so much of the basic architecture is common with more performance-oriented models like the GTI, so driving the Tiguan provides a lot of the same driver-centric feeling of much of the rest of VW’s lineup.

The Tiguan occupies a really interesting spot in the general SUV landscape as well. Slightly larger than vehicles like the RAV-4 or CX-5—the Tiguan sports an optional compact but usable third row of seats for example—the Tiguan is also smaller than more cumbersome full-sized SUVs, meaning daily use in crowded environments isn’t as frustrating as with a larger vehicle. Overall it’s a very “right-sized” package that succeeds in being cargo-friendly inside while not being cumbersome outside.

Tiguans are also available across a fairly broad spectrum of price and outfitting levels, although only one engine and trans combo (2.0-liter TSI with an 8-speed auto) is available. As is typical for VW these days, options are few aside from some dealer-level accessories and the aforementioned jump seats, but rather VW approaches the option question with 10 different trim levels, each with a slightly different set of standard equipment. These range from the most basic S model starting under $25,000 to the sauced-up SEL Premium R Line with 4Motion AWD that starts at nearly $39,000. In the middle, however, are still a lot of very nicely equipped Tiguans in the $32-$35,000 range that leave you wanting for very little.

Our test car, in fact, was uncharacteristically a mid-range model. While manufacturers typically stock press fleets with the most option-heave models on the list, our mid-range Tiguan could have been duplicated for just over $30,000 and left very little on the table in terms of connectivity, function or comfort.

Best of all, every Tiguan sits on the MQB platform, so you know that even the most basic of models has that exceptional feel and response that modern VWs get so right.

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