Volkswagen Tiguan Review Specs, Engine And History

One of the most attractive and still relatively fresh proposals from the German brand is the compact Tiguan SUV. If you don’t like SUVs from Japan or the United States, then you really have no other choice but to look at what your Western neighbors have to offer. In the late 90’s we would not have thought that a conservative brand like Volkswagen would in a few years offer so many models with such diverse bodies.

VW Tiguan Engine Specs Reviews Problems Reliability

Tiguan History

The first Volkswagen SUV (Touareg) was presented in 2002. His competition was the BMW X5 or Mercedes ML, which then dominated this segment. The car was quite successful, so Germany decided to follow the blow and launched another, smaller model – the Tiguan.

His name was chosen by readers in a poll organized by the German magazine “AutoBild”. Proposals such as Samun, Rockton, Nanuk and Namib were rejected. The name chosen is a combination of the words “tiger” and “iguana”. A concept version of this compact SUV was launched in December 2006 at the Los Angeles Motor Show.

The car was presented a year later at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Volkswagen offered this model unchanged until 2011. That’s when Germany decided that the Tiguan would be modified to fit the new style, starting with the Passat B7.

What has changed? The entire front apron was renovated: the headlights, radiator grille and bumpers were replaced. On the back, only the lights that got the uniform red color were changed. The car is still on offer and so far there has been no indication that Volkswagen will reveal a replacement anytime soon. The car was produced in Germany, Russia, China and Vietnam.

Tiguan Specs

There are models on the market with two types of drive: in some cars the torque is transferred only to the front wheels, and in others to the four wheels. The latter is a system in which the drive is separated via a Haldex coupling. The Tiguan’s front suspension uses MacPherson struts, and the rear has independent wishbones.

Tiguan Engine


  • R4 1.4 TSI (122, 150–160 hp)
  • R4 2.0 TSI (170, 180, 200–211 hp)


  • R4 2.0 TDI CR (110, 140, 170–177 hp)

There are three gearboxes to choose from: 6-speed automatic and manual, and a 7-speed DSG automatic dual clutch transmission. In the Euro NCAP crash test the car was rated very well – 5 stars.

VW Tiguan Problems & Reliability

Manufacturers always offer a wide variety of engines for German cars. Tiguan is no exception. It’s true that there are only three power units, but in different versions. Which variety should you choose? If you don’t like visiting gas stations too often, you’ll want to buy diesel. Some of you might think that a 2 liter diesel engine is a machine that has many factory defects, but this is simply not true. The 2.0 TDI CR engine installed in the Tiguan has a more modern design with the Common Rail injection system, which fortunately does not cause as many problems as its predecessor with the unit injector.

Unfortunately, even in it, a double-mass flywheel can break or the turbocharger consumes – the higher the power, the greater the risk of such failure. You have to be careful with DPF particulate filters, which can become clogged. The sensors responsible for its operation are also unreliable. Diesels will pay you back with pretty good dynamics (especially the version with a power over 110 HP) and low fuel consumption, from about 7 to more than 9 l / 100 km in the city.

Apart from the diesel engine, the engine range includes a turbocharged petrol unit, which is no longer as reliable as the Volkswagen design a few years ago. 1.4 TSI is a variant with some serious factory flaws. Regardless of the power, the time chain tensioner breaks, which causes it to stretch. In some cars the injection system failure occurs.

The drawback of the higher version is a defect in the magnetic coupling of the water pump – fortunately in 2010 this defect was eliminated. The piston also breaks sometimes. The 1.4 TSI engine variant poses the least amount of problems, but often buying a Tiguan with this machine is a lottery.

However, that doesn’t mean this engine doesn’t have advantages! Its advantages are excellent dynamics (almost imperceptible turbo lag) and fuel consumption from 7 to more than 9 l / 100 km. And how is the operation of the 2.0 TSI engine? The only problem may be carbon deposits on the valve. Apart from that, you shouldn’t worry too much about this engine, but when choosing one, you should take into account the fuel consumption of 13 to 15 liters / 100 km in the city. It delivers sensational performance: in less than 8 seconds from 0 to 100 km / hr.

Many Volkswagen buyers expect long, trouble-free operations. Unfortunately, it’s not always sunny. On the Tiguan, the electric power steering breaks down the most. Another concern has had the opportunity to use this solution.

Another common problem with this model is the annoying sound from the front of the suspension. Determining the cause is not an easy task, not even the official services can solve it. Attention! Before buying a German SUV, make sure to look under the car and carefully inspect the chassis, especially at the joints, you can already see the first signs of corrosion.

It is also necessary to check the condition of the propeller shaft support, because the durability of these components varies on the Volkswagen Tiguan. If you decide on the version with a DSG gearbox, you will need to keep track of the transmission oil change date. If you ignore it, you can expect the mechatronics, grips, or bearings to fail. The cost of eliminating all of these problems can be several thousand dollars.


The Volkswagen Tiguan’s choice in the used car market is quite large. When searching on auction portals, you will find that these items are worth around $ 8,000 to $ 20,000. Used cars that are offered by sellers for less than $ 16,000 often run into serious trouble. So you have to be patient and keep looking. The advantages of this model are attractive machine pallets, rich equipment, good quality materials inside (apart from some plastic ones).

Driving comfort is also at a high level. The biggest drawback of this design is the 1.4 TSI engine, the high price of most used cars, a few flaws and a less sophisticated interior style. If you are afraid of the higher operating costs associated with four-wheel drive, choose a Tiguan with an FWD system – that’s enough. If the previous owner has used the car for off-road, it will definitely impact your pocket.


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