Review: Volkswagen Tiguan (2008 – 2016)


Decent SUV with diesel automatic option. Comfortable seats. Escape version capable off-road. Optional Park Assist works well. Much better from September 2011 facelift.

Originally had hard ride. 2.0 TDI PD no longer the best. Fuel economy not brilliant.

Volkswagen Tiguan (2008 – 2016): At A Glance

Oh, no, not another 4x4. Are the roads really that bad? What next: an Audi Hiawatha? By my count, the VW Tiguan numbers the 63rd SUV on the UK market. Should you be even remotely interested?

Well, first there's the badge. VW reliability might not be as legendary as it was. But that Beastie Boy medallion still cuts some sway in snobby Surrey suburbs.

Then there's the back seats. Slightly higher than the fronts, Freelander style, giving kids in the back a view forwards, and making them less likely to chuck up down your neck. These seats are also supremely comfortable, centre rear is fine for adults as well as kids and legroom is generous.

VW Tiguan 2008 Road Test 

VW Tiguan 2.0 TDI SE 2011 Road Test

What does a Volkswagen Tiguan (2008 – 2016) cost?

List Price from £25,010
Buy new from £21,825
Contract hire from £223.01 per month

Volkswagen Tiguan (2008 – 2016): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4426–4433 mm
Width 1809–2041 mm
Height 1686–1703 mm
Wheelbase 2604 mm

Full specifications

When you step out after your mud-bath, your trousers don't get claggy, because the doors very cleverly seal the sills against it, leaving them completely clean.

There's a clever new optional hard disc satnav that can be programmed to take a circular route, or even to remember a route you have taken. The £2,080 price of that includes a 6 disc autochanger MP3 compatibility, AUX socket and rear view camera with a shape superimposition system making it easy to use.

As well as that, for £450, you can have ‘Park Assist' which not only provides front and rear parking sensors, but also actually parks the car for you. All you have to do is press the Park Assist button and drive slowly past a parking space. The system then tells you when to stop, put it into reverse, take your hands off the steering wheel and it automatically steers the car into the parking space. You still have to press the accelerator and brake, but it eliminates all error of judgement which most of us have frequently been guilty of.

The parking brake is electric, clicks on at a pull of the switch, and off again automatically as soon as you start pulling away. While the hill holder automatically holds the car on a hill without having to brake at all.

All the other bits and pieces are fairly well covered in the specs section. But I'd better warn you if buying an ‘S' to specify the £210 leather covered multifunction steering wheel because the standard wheel is a nasty, hard plastic affair, horrible to hold.

Child seats that fit a Volkswagen Tiguan (2008 – 2016)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Volkswagen Tiguan (2008 – 2016) like to drive?

Engines aren't too shabby. VW's standard 140PS 2.0 TDI, and its interesting 150PS 1.4 turbo-supercharged petrol.

There's a diesel automatic, which there isn't with the CR-V, RAV-4, C-Crosser, Outlander or 4007. This is a real torque converter 6-speed auto rather than a pseudo auto or a DSG.

It's not too bad in the mud, either. At least the ‘Escape' version with shovel front and sump shield isn't. Especially with the autobox, because pressing the ‘Off Road' button slows its throttle response, activates the hill descent control and increases the sensitivity of the cross axle braking system. It works very well, making the car a genuine off roader, closer in ability to an X-Trail than a RAV-4 or a CR-V.

Out on the road the Tiguan is much ‘firmer' than a CR-V. More of the ilk of an X-trail, C-Crosser, Outlander or 4007. The hard seats at first don't feel very comfortable, but once on the move feel fine. Handling is assured, though the steering doesn't offer much feedback. The engine suffers the usual VAG 2.0 TDI catapult effect at around 1,700rpm, but will trickle down to around 1,200rpm.

Out off the road it did very well in axle articulation demonstrations, dealt with some deep and glutinous mud, ascended and descended steep, muddy inclines and generally coped with everything the average owner is likely to throw at it.

Anyone with a pony, caravan or boat will be very pleased with the special anti-snake towing kit, which comprises a foldaway towball and electronics that detect a trailer is being towed, sense any problem and automatically brake alternate wheels of the car to straighten things out.

In conclusion, the Tiguan may be a late arrival to the niche, but it comes with plenty to commend it.

Most importantly apart from the badge, it will go off road, and there's a diesel automatic option.

From September 2011, much improved. We drove the 2.0TDI 140 Escape 4WD on 235/55 R17 tyres and found it rode and handled much better than previously. Not a lot of torque from the 2.0TDI 140, can't use 5th and 6th in a 30 limit, but will pull from 1,500rpm. We averaged 41.9mpg.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 TSI 38 mpg 9.3 s 171 g/km
1.4 TSI 4MOTION 35–37 mpg 9.2–9.6 s 178–185 g/km
1.4 TSI BlueMotion Technology 42 mpg 8.9–9.3 s 156–178 g/km
2.0 TDI 48 mpg 10.2 s 155 g/km
2.0 TDI 110 BlueMotion Technology 53–57 mpg 11.9 s 138–139 g/km
2.0 TDI 170 4MOTION 43–47 mpg 8.9 s 158–172 g/km
2.0 TDI 177 4MOTION 49 mpg 8.5 s 151 g/km
2.0 TDI 177 4MOTION DSG 47–50 mpg 8.5 s 150–159 g/km
2.0 TDI 177 BlueMotion Technology 49 mpg 8.5 s 151 g/km
2.0 TDI 177 BlueMotion Technology DSG 47 mpg 8.5 s 159 g/km
2.0 TDI 184 4MOTION DSG 50 mpg - 150 g/km
2.0 TDI 4MOTION 44–53 mpg 9.8–10.5 s 140–167 g/km
2.0 TDI 4MOTION BlueMotion Technology 49 mpg 10.2 s 150 g/km
2.0 TDI 4MOTION DSG 44–50 mpg 9.8–10.5 s 150–169 g/km
2.0 TDI 4MOTION DSG BlueMotion Technology 47 mpg 10.2 s 158 g/km
2.0 TDI BlueMotion Technology 49–57 mpg 9.8–10.2 s 130–150 g/km
2.0 TDI BlueMotion Technology 4MOTION 49–53 mpg 10.2 s 140–150 g/km
2.0 TDI BlueMotion Technology 4MOTION DSG 48–50 mpg 10.2 s 150–153 g/km
2.0 TDI BlueMotion Technology DSG 47–50 mpg 10.2 s 150–158 g/km
2.0 TSI 4MOTION 32–33 mpg 7.8–8.5 s 198–199 g/km
2.0 TSI 4MOTION DSG 33–34 mpg 7.3–8.1 s 195–199 g/km

Real MPG average for a Volkswagen Tiguan (2008 – 2016)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

24–58 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Volkswagen Tiguan (2008 – 2016)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

EGR valve has clogged up on my seven-year-old Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI Diesel

I need to replace the EGR valve on my seven-year-old Volkswagen Tiguan diesel, at a cost of £1200 because it is coked-up. My car was subject to the emissions scandal and was modified by Volkswagen to comply with the regulations. I wonder whether this modification could have resulted in fewer particulates being emitted which were then re-circulated in the engine leading to a premature coking-up of the valve? I have taken this up with VW Customer Services, but they said they could not help me.
Under it's 'Restoring Trust' warranty, VAG guaranteed to put right any 'consequential' issues that could have resulted from the NOx emissions fix for up to 2 years from the fix or up to a total of 160,000 miles whichever came first. Because simply reducing NOx creates more soot that would have clogged the EGR, the fix involved reprogramming the injectors to undertake an additional cycle which could create additional wear. Basically, if a Volkswagen dealer had to replace your EGR, then is should have been covered for up to 2 years from the fix. A few cases are now starting to emerge of EGR/injector failures outside the 2 year limit.
Answered by Honest John
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