Many people have discovered that “sport” has nothing to do with the driving performance of most “sport utility vehicles.” Even when SUVs morphed into more sensible crossovers, “sport” seemed conspicuously absent. Enter the Volkswagen Tiguan. The same pure VW engineering that makes the GTI such a hoot to drive gives this practically sized crossover truly sporty reflexes and driving feel.
You might say, then, that the VW Tiguan, in S, SE and SEL trims, brings some truth back to advertising. Fans of the VW brand already know sportiness runs in the genes. So, before delving into that, here’s a look at the Tiguan’s practical side. It has room for five and, with the 40/20/40-split folding rear seatbacks lowered with the one-pull folding feature, 56 cubic feet of carrying space. Optional 4MOTION® all-wheel drive adds to the driving experience, and a slew of safety technology earns the 2011 Tiguan a “Top Safety Pick” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Tiguan definitely passes the family car checklist.
Before you step into the Tiguan, you’ll want to know where the fun is. It starts under the hood with the same 200-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled engine as the GTI. You get a healthy 207 lb/ft of torque at your command from a low 1,700 rpm right through 5,000 rpm. That’s where the engine will spend most of its time in every day driving. In the Tiguan SE model, a six-speed Tiptronic® automatic transmission with Sport mode and Dynamic Shift Program (DSP) lets you shift manually when it’s time to drive for fun. The Tiguan also shares suspension technology with its athletic cousin including a rear double-wishbone setup that would not be out of place in a sports car.
The Tiguan SE, with an MSRP of $28,215, comes packed with comfort and premium content including the Touchscreen Premium VIII eight-speaker sound system, Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod® cable, eight-way partial power driver’s seat (including adjustable lumbar support), heated front seats and 17-inch alloy wheels. Bluetooth® phone connectivity is also standard on all Tiguan models, and four 12-volt power outlets make it easy to connect your devices.
A multi-function trip computer adds convenience while the feel of leather on the steering wheel and shiftknob adds a touch of luxury. The three-spoke wheel tilts and telescopes, helping anyone find a comfortable driving position. The Tiguan SE is also equipped as standard with an anti-theft alarm system and the Immobilizer III theft deterrent system.
Volkswagen engineers really drive their products, so they know the value of such visibility-enhancing features as halogen foglamps and heated windshield washer nozzles. The standard Auto Hold system, which prevents rolling or creeping at stoplights or other situations, is a further reminder that VW engineers sweat the details for real-world driving.
Now that you’ve grown accustomed to more comfort, why not dive into a bit more luxury with the optional Sunroof & Navigation Package, which adds the new RNS 315 touchscreen navigation system, a panoramic power sunroof and 18-inch alloy wheels.
In addition to Volkswagen’s comprehensive warranty coverage, every Tiguan comes with Volkswagen Carefree Maintenance®, which provides no-cost factory-scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Test-driving a 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan SE will remind you that, with a Volkswagen in the driveway, you can drive sporty for life.