Review: Volkswagen Tiguan (2016)

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Comfortable, spacious and supremely practical. Refined diesel engines. Plenty of modern technology.

Expensive to buy. Other SUVs offer better value. Ride quality could be better.

Volkswagen Tiguan (2016): At A Glance

The Volkswagen Tiguan may be pricier than some of its rivals, including the closely-related, yet smaller SEAT Ateca. But it’s easy to drive, family-friendly and affordable to run. It's also available with some of the latest safety and convenience technologies and a wide range of engines. If you’re looking for a high quality crossover, it’s a great choice.

The engine range includes three petrol engines with outputs of 125PS, 150PS or 180PS, plus four diesel choices with outputs of 115PS to 240PS. The 150PS 2.0-litre diesel will take the lion’s share of sales and it comes with front-wheel drive or 4Motion all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG transmission.

On the road the Tiguan boasts impressive refinement. The cabin is quiet and calm even at motorway speeds while the controls are nicely weighted. That said the suspension is slightly on the firm side. It’s always comfortable, but more severe potholes and bumps could be ironed out more smoothly.

In the cabin the Tiguan feels as well-made as other Volkswagen models, with impressive fit and finish and plush materials. The centre stack and dashboard are simple and clearly laid out, plus there is a fully digital instrument cluster, similar to Audi's Virtual Cockpit, available as standard on higher trim levels or as an option lower down the range.

The back seats are spacious enough to seat adults in comfort, thanks to ample leg and headroom. The rear seats recline and can move forward and back too, so they provide real comfort. The boot is wide and has no load lip, while a capacity of 615 litres makes it easily big enough for pushchairs and shopping. It can be expanded to 1655 litres by folding the rear seats flat.

Even basic S models come with an eight-inch touchscreen, DAB radio and Bluetooth, plus there’s lane assist, autonomous emergency braking, auto lights and auto wipers. SE models gain Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, which enables smartphone screens to be mirrored in the in-car display, so apps like Spotify can be used safely on the move.

It’s difficult to find fault with the Volkswagen Tiguan, but its starting price is higher than rivals like the Nissan Qashqai. It’s also pricier than the SEAT Ateca, which has identical underpinnings. However, spending the extra for the Tiguan does bring a good level of technology and equipment, so it’s still very easy to recommend.

Looking for a Volkswagen Tiguan (2016 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

What does a Volkswagen Tiguan (2016) cost?

List Price from £26,380
Buy new from £22,303
Contract hire from £234.89 per month

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

Length 4486 mm
Width 1839–2099 mm
Height 1646–1673 mm
Wheelbase 2680 mm

Full specifications

The Tiguan has a very typically Volkswagen cabin. Build quality is excellent, with no creaks or rattles, plus materials are plush and sturdy throughout. The layout up front is user-friendly and neat, with an uncluttered centre console and easy-to-read instruments, along with logical controls for ventilation and audio.

As standard the Tiguan comes with a large, responsive and clear eight-inch touchscreen system which incorporates Bluetooth connectivity and, in SE trim and higher, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. These make it possible to mirror a smartphone screen in the car infotainment system, so apps like Spotify can be used safely.

The back row of seats is impressively spacious, with enough leg and headroom for adults, plus the seats can be reclined and slid back and forth to maximise comfort. The back doors open wide enough to enable easy fitting of child car seats, and there are two Isofix mounting points as standard.

The boot opening is wide, with a fairly low sill height and no load lip. The boot itself is flat and has a capacity of 615 litres with the rear seats in place, which is plenty for pushchairs, shopping and almost anything else – but if more room is needed the rear seats fold flat via simple levers just inside the tailgate, freeing a total of 1655 litres of capacity. On SE models the front passenger seat folds down and there is a ski hatch, for loading longer items.

Go for SEL trim or higher and you’ll get a fully-digital instrument display, which can be configured to show a broad range of information including navigation in full colour. Also impressive is the range of safety equipment, which includes adaptive cruise control that, in automatic models, will bring the car to a full stop in traffic jams.

Even basic S models come with a good level of standard gear, including alloy wheels, air conditioning, all-around electric windows, Bluetooth, DAB radio, USB connection, auto lights, auto wipers, electronic parking brake, autonomous emergency braking an lane assistances.

Standard Equipment:

S models come with 17-inch alloy wheels, a space-saver spare, cloth upholstery, black roof rails, cloth upholstery, sliding rear seats with 40:20:40 split, 8.0-inch touchscreen system with USB input, Bluetooth, DAB radio, SMS function, cover art display for music, auto lights, auto wipers, autonomous emergency braking, lane assistance and an electric parking brake.

SE trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, silver roof rails, chrome exterior details, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear lever, foldable front passenger seat backrest, ski hatch, Car Net with App Connect for Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink, three-zone climate control, electrically heated and folding door mirrors, auto dipping headlights, front and rear parking sensors and navigation.

SEL adds 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, gloss black interior details, sports front seats with massage function and electric lumbar adjustment, heated front seats, heated windscreen washer jets, panoramic sunroof, Active Info Display digital instrument binnacle and adaptive cruise control with distance monitoring.

R-Line adds 20-inch alloy wheels, sport suspensions and R Line styling.

Options include leather upholstery, an electric tailgate, keyless entry and start and a three-pin plug in the boot.

Child seats that fit a Volkswagen Tiguan (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 (2016) like to drive?

The Volkswagen Tiguan comes with 1.4-litre or 2.0-litre petrol engine, with outputs of 125PS, 150PS or 180PS. Diesel models are all 2.0 TDI, with 115PS, 150PS, 190PS or 240PS. The most frugal model is the 115PS front-wheel drive diesel, with economy of 60.1mpg.

The 150PS diesel engine will be the most popular choice and, in front-wheel drive manual form, it’s only marginally less economical than the 115PS version, with an official figure of 58.9mpg and emissions of 125g/km. This engine is also offered with a 4Motion all-wheel drive, while a seven-speed DSG can be paired to front- and all-wheel drive variants.

The 190PS and 240PS diesel engines are only available in conjunction with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed DSG. All of the diesel variants require AdBlue to meet emissions requirements. The AdBlue tank can be filled up by the owner alongside the diesel filler, although it can be cheaper in some cases to have a refill at the dealer. Refills are required at roughly 4000 mile intervals.

Whether with a manual or automatic transmission, the 150PS diesel really suits the Tiguan well. It’s extremely quiet unless pushed particularly hard, plus it develops a healthy 340Nm of torque from 1750rpm. It has excellent motorway cruising capability and plenty of easily-accessible overtaking shove, without much need to change down a gear.

Not that working the manual gearbox is hard – it’s very light and smooth, as is the clutch. The steering is nicely weighted and the brakes are powerful, inspiring confidence on a country road. Handling is neat and predictable, with plenty of grip – especially in 4Motion variants – but the suspension is on the firm side.

Potholes and undulations could be more smoothly ironed out, but the Tiguan never gets to the stage where it could be called uncomfortable. While the Tiguan will likely spend most of its time on road, all 4Motion variants come with a dial for choosing between off-road modes, along with a snow setting.

For drivers who are planning to go off the beaten track on a regular basis there is an Outdoor pack, which adds plastic cladding to the wheel arches and bumpers, along with underbody protection. For towing caravans onto fields this option might be handy, as would the trailer assistance system, which will automatically reverse a trailer at a selectable angle.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 TSI 125 2WD 46 mpg 10.5 s 139 g/km
1.4 TSI 150 2WD 49 mpg 9.2 s 132 g/km
1.4 TSI 150 4Motion 41 mpg 9.2 s 155 g/km
1.4 TSI 150 DSG 2WD 46 mpg 9.2 s 140 g/km
1.4 TSI 150 DSG 4Motion 40 mpg 9.2 s 163 g/km
1.5 TSI 130 48 mpg 10.5 s 128–130 g/km
1.5 TSI 150 45–49 mpg 9.2 s 141–143 g/km
1.5 TSI 150 DSG 47–49 mpg 9.2 s 138 g/km
2.0 TDI 115 60 mpg 10.9 s 123 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 61 mpg 9.3 s 126 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 2WD 59 mpg 9.3 s 125 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 4Motion 50–54 mpg 9.3 s 141–147 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 DSG 57 mpg 9.3 s 131 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 DSG 2WD 57 mpg 9.3 s 129 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 DSG 4Motion 52–53 mpg 9.3 s 143–149 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 DSG 4Motion 50–50 mpg 7.9 s 147–149 g/km
2.0 TDI 240 DSG 4Motion 44–46 mpg 6.5 s 167 g/km
2.0 TSI 180 4Motion 40 mpg 7.7 s 165 g/km
2.0 TSI 180 DSG 4Motion 38 mpg 7.7 s 170 g/km
2.0 TSI 190 DSG 4Motion 40 mpg 7.5 s 204 g/km
2.0 TSI 230 DSG 4Motion 37–40 mpg 6.3–7.5 s 175–204 g/km

Real MPG average for a Volkswagen Tiguan (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

25–60 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 (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

Should I replace by 2.0-litre SUV with a smaller engined model?

I have a Tiguan 2013, which I would like to update. I went to a Volkswagen garage yesterday and said I wanted a used 2.0-litre 4x4. They told me I would have to have an automatic but I don't feel confident driving an auto. I have a 2.0-litre now but they tried to tell me to have a 1.5. What do you think?
How many miles do you drive each year? There's no point getting a diesel unless you cover lots of miles (more than 12k a year), mainly on the motorway - or, perhaps, if you need to tow something. There is a 2.0-litre petrol but it's thirsty. The 1.5-litre will suit most drivers very well. Like most manufacturers, Volkswagen is offering smaller, turbocharged petrol engines. These are usually a lot more powerful than you'd expect considering their small capacity.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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What do owners think?

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  • 5 star 67%
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