2020 Volkswagen Tiguan

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2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Review: Sufficiently Average

by Deiondre van der Merwe

The Volkswagen Tiguan is driving proof of the automaker's "why fix it if it isn't broken" attitude, VW sticks to its guns with subtle refinements and minor new additions to the seven-seat Tiguan. The whole range in the US is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that goes hand in hand with a traditional eight-speed automatic transmission and delivers a total of 184 horsepower. The compact crossover is certainly one of the most popular SUVs on the block worldwide with the five-millionth Tiguan leaving the assembly line at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg plant in 2019. Yes, there are more Tiguans on the road than there are people in New Zealand. Classy design and great standard tech are some notable merits of the Tiguan, but are they enough for the Tiguan to maintain its strong position amongst other rapidly developing SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V?

Read in this review:

7.4
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2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Tiguan?

The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan delivers minor changes, none of them mechanical. Social media influencers rejoice; a Wi-Fi hotspot comes standard and wireless charging is available from the SE trim and above. We see the addition of the SE R-Line Black trim, featuring black 20-inch alloy wheels, black-accented R-Line bumpers, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, and a black headliner, and the SEL also gets bumped up a notch with the inclusion of a heated steering wheel and auto-dimming rearview mirror. Add in some extra safety features in the form of standard collision-avoidance technology with a blind-spot warning system and automatic braking, and you have a relatively well-rounded, albeit unvarying, recipe for a modern SUV.

Pros and Cons

  • Third-row seating available
  • Spacious interior
  • Minimalist and sophisticated design
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Award
  • Good predicted reliability rating
  • Underwhelming engine performance
  • Additional options are expensive
  • Subpar fuel economy
  • Warranty shortened from 72,000 miles coverage to 50,000 miles

Best Deals on 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$24,945
SE
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$27,095
SE R-Line Black
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$30,295
SEL
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$32,245
SEL Premium R-Line
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$38,795
See All 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Trims and Specs

2020 Tiguan Exterior

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Front View Volkswagen
2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Rear View Volkswagen
2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Side View Volkswagen
See All 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 185.1 in
  • Wheelbase 109.8 in
  • Height 66.3 in
  • Max Width 72.4 in
  • Front Width 62.2 in
  • Rear Width 61.8 in
  • Curb Weight 3,777.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Deep Black Pearl
  • Pure White
  • Pyrite Silver Metallic
  • Platinum Gray Metallic
  • Silk Blue Metallic
  • Stone Blue Metallic
  • Cardinal Red Metallic

2020 Tiguan Performance

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Front View Driving Volkswagen
2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Rear View Driving Volkswagen
2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Wheel Volkswagen

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

One could easily lament the negative aspects of the engine's performance, but it's not all bad for the Tiguan; it's lazy, but not clumsy. It is quite obvious that the ultimate objective of this SUV is sophisticated practicality, which it certainly delivers. The Tiguan brings a satisfying and enjoyable drive - it's noticeably more relaxed and it navigates potholes with casual indifference. Although the FWD model will show slightly less confidence, and the choice of optional 20-inch wheels will result in a firmer ride, adaptive dampers soak up bumps with no sharp edges in sight. The brakes take some getting used to with a soft pedal feel that may require a little more stomping when you need to stop, but they definitely get the job done. Overall, the ride and handling is very pleasant and doesn't disappoint.

For those who live in regions where the tarmac isn't all that great or snow is a regular problem to deal with, multiple driving modes are available on 4Motion-equipped models, including on-road, off-road, and snow mode functionality. However, with slightly less than eight inches of ground clearance, you shouldn't expect an all-terrain dominator, and the greatest test of its drive is in the urban jungle.

2020 Tiguan Interior

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Steering Wheel Volkswagen
2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Dashboard Volkswagen
2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Rear Passenger Seats Volkswagen
See All 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    7-seater
  • Front Leg Room 40.2 in
  • Front Head Room 39.6 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.1 in

2020 Tiguan Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Trunk Space Volkswagen
2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Trunk Space with Seat Folded Volkswagen
2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Trunk Space with Seat Folded 1 Volkswagen

2020 Tiguan Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    7 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Maintenance:
    2 Years \ 20,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan A Good car?

If you're in the market for a comfortable, safe, reliable and elegant SUV, the Tiguan is a winner. If you're looking for a fun drive or nippy acceleration from your daily commute, this is not the car for you. The interior is great, the ride is comfortable and the standard technology is generous. This SUV is also very easy on the eyes: it's conservative, graceful and the exterior design is impressive. Add to that that it's also exceptionally safe, boasting an award from the one of the USA's authorities, which is the highest honor given in terms of safety, and it seems like a winner.

But with cramped seating, less than stellar performance, and gas mileage that falls below the class best, it's a good crossover, but not exactly one of the elites. The new CR-V, for instance, is a better jack of all trades, and master of some too, while the RAV4 is spacious, safe, and vastly more capable. This time around, it's a miss from us, but if you don't feel like going with the masses, it's not the worst buy in the segment.

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Comparisons

Honda CR-V CarBuzz
Volkswagen Atlas Volkswagen
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Volkswagen Tiguan184 hp23/30 mpg$26,490
Honda CR-V 190 hp28/34 mpg$31,610
Volkswagen Atlas 235 hp21/25 mpg$35,150

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan vs Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V has long been the benchmark in the compact crossover segment, and for good reason. Although it may lack the seven-seat capacity of the Tiguan, the five it can accommodate are housed in spacious accommodation, surrounded by high-quality materials. There's also a few cubes more cargo volume to be found in the Honda, and the turbo 1.5-liter engine delivers better real-world performance and better gas mileage to boot. The CR-V is enjoyable to drive and equally as loaded with safety features as the Tiguan, however, it can't match the Volkwagen's intuitive infotainment system, even if the capabilities are almost identical. While the Volkswagen has style, the CR-V has far more substance, making it the better compact crossover.

See Honda CR-V Review

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan vs Volkswagen Atlas

The Atlas is essentially Volkswagen's bigger, more expensive take on the Tiguan with a substantial number of similarities between the two models, including a third row of seats and MQB underpinnings. However, with the Atlas classified as midsize, there's a lot more space in the rearmost seats, and all seats for that matter. The big selling point with the Atlas is that it dominates its competitors with outright interior space. The Tiguan has the upper hand in terms of safety, boasting a Top Safety Pick+ award from IIHS, where the Atlas missed out. The Atlas has a selection of two engines, though, with a 2.0-liter turbo-four making up the basic setup, while an available V6 provides more power, greater towing capacity, and more refinement - at the expense of gas mileage, of course - where the Tiguan beats it by some margin. Price is the biggest differentiator between the two, however, with $6,600 separating the two at a base level. But for the extra money, the Atlas is a lot more Volkwagen and is our pick overall.

See Volkswagen Atlas Review

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan:

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