2023 Volkswagen Tiguan

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Rear Angle View
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Dashboard

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Review: Well-Rounded And Good Value

by Martin Pretorius

Volkswagen's best-selling vehicle in the US is very popular for good reasons: It is surprisingly good to drive, has a spacious cabin, has plenty of modern comfort and convenience features in a near-premium cabin, and is even good value for money in its market segment. The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan is built on the VW Group's very capable MQB platform, and received a comprehensive facelift for the 2022 model year.

The only available engine for the Tiguan is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, tuned to deliver a conservative 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque in this application. All Tiguans feature an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard but all-wheel drive is available.

Competitors for the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan include the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-50, and Hyundai Tucson, but the Tiguan has the better of them all with its available third seating row on FWD variants. Sure, those extra seats have precious little space for adult passengers and they compromise cargo capacity as well, but the option is extremely rare in this segment and is one of the Tiguan's many attractive selling points.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 8 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Tiguan?

Seeing as the new Volkswagen Tiguan SUV was extensively revised for the 2022 model year in the USA, it carries over for 2023 with no major changes. The USB-C ports have been upgraded to provide 45W charging, and the SE R-Line Black trim gets a new alloy wheel design, but the rest of the Tiguan line remains identical to the facelifted 2022 model.

Pros and Cons

  • Sure-footed handling makes the Tiguan fun to drive
  • Spacious cabin and good cargo space in five-seater models
  • Lots of modern driver assistance features
  • Comfortable ride quality
  • Refined, quiet cabin ambiance
  • Conservative engine tuning gives tepid performance
  • Third seating row space is limited
  • Touch-sensitive control interfaces are frustrating to use
  • Ride quality can become too stiff on the available large wheels

What's the Price of the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan?

The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan starts at an MSRP of $26,950 for the S, increasing to $30,580 for the SE. The SE R-Line Black will cost $33,310 and the SEL R-Line - the only trim with standard AWD - has a price of $37,680. Adding AWD costs $1,500 on the other trims and removes the rearmost seats in the process. These Volkswagen Tiguan prices all exclude a destination charge of $1,295.

Best Deals on 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
SE R-Line Black
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
SEL R-Line
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Trims and Specs

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Handling And Driving Impressions

With the VW Group's MQB platform underpinning the Tiguan, it's a practical certainty that its handling will be sure-footed and progressive. What comes as a surprise is just how much fun the Tiguan could be to drive when a set of corners present themselves, because it handles with the same kind of driver-focused precision and control as you'd get in a car like the Mazda CX-50.

Grip levels are high and give way to progressive understeer on the limits, while the steering gives enough feedback for the driver to know when those limits are reached. It's keen to turn into corners and stable at all times, but the added drivetrain drag can be felt in the AWD models if the driver has sampled the lithe FWD variants first. A highlight is the ride quality, which is comfortable and composed, the Tiguan admirably dealing with large and small bumps. With the largest available wheels, the ride deteriorates slightly. Our overall review of the Volkswagen Tiguan's ride/handling balance remains positive, though.

Performance is predictably modest, given the 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque on offer from the engine room, but the eight-speed automatic does a good job of keeping the engine operating at its peak efficiency. Expect the 0-60 mph amble to take about 9.1 seconds to complete but take consolation in the wide torque spread's ability to deliver fairly effortless and confident overtaking acceleration.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan A Good SUV?

Some rivals might beat the Volkswagen Tiguan on specific performance metrics, but few can match its overall spread of abilities. Considering the amount of standard safety and driver assistance features on offer, along with its classy, practical and high-quality cabin with three seating rows (when equipped with FWD), the Volkswagen Tiguan is right up there with the best in its segment. That third seating row isn't as spacious as the one in the Kia Sorento, but it remains a rare feature for a compact crossover. We also don't like the touch-sensitive controls as they can be distracting on the move. But considering its comprehensive equipment levels, the Tiguan presents as good value for money while being an accomplished all-rounder, and that makes it one of the best SUVs in its market segment.

What Volkswagen Tiguan Model Should I Buy?

If you need all-wheel drive and three rows, then you're out of luck if you like the Tiguan. We suspect most will skip right over the not-so-basic S trim, which we think is a serious value proposition in the segment if you want something utilitarian. The SE trim is going to be Volkswagen's volume seller for the refresh, and rightfully so. It boasts a ton of utility and technology for the average family, whether the third row is going to be in regular use or kept down until the odd occasion it becomes useful. In that case, we really don't see much value in the R-Line Black trim level as larger wheels will negatively impact ride quality, and the sporty trim and accents aren't enough to help justify the cost to add the panoramic sunroof. We would tick that box separately and make sure we were careful when parking as the park distance control is a great feature.

Moving to the top SEL R-Line is something we would think about carefully and only seriously consider if we knew serious seat time was in the future. While it has genuine leather seats, the Fender sound system, and ventilated seats, we wish the 20-inch wheels were an option purely on the basis of ride quality.

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