Volkswagen Tiguan (2016 – 2023) Review

Volkswagen Tiguan (2016 – 2023) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan is an upmarket alternative to SUVs like the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga. It boasts a classy and spacious interior, and is comfortable and easy to drive.

+High-quality interior offers plenty of practicality, plus a strong array of standard equipment. Refined driving experience fits with Volkswagen’s upmarket image.

-Looks expensive alongside the very similar SEAT Ateca or Skoda Karoq. Not the most exciting SUV to look at. Other than the R version, not particularly thrilling to drive.

New prices start from £26,915, brokers can source from £29,690
Insurance Groups are between 11–27
On average it achieves 82% of the official MPG figure

The family SUV market is vast, but the Volkswagen Tiguan has cemented itself as a classier alternative to the Kia Sportage or big selling Nissan Qashqai. It fills a gap between mainstream SUVs and true premium models, such as the Audi Q3 or even the BMW X3.

The Volkswagen Tiguan has become one of the German company’s best-selling vehicles across the globe, with buyers drawn to its blend of practicality and refinement. Even in the ultra-competitive SUV market, it stakes its claim as a top choice – and our Volkswagen Tiguan review will explain why.

Volkswagen was a little slow to the SUV sector, not launching the original, first-generation Tiguan until 2007. This was followed by the current, second-generation car in 2016, with the Tiguan rapidly becoming a key part of the company’s range. 

Following a facelift in 2020, Volkswagen has condensed the engine range offered for the Tiguan. Buyers in 2023 have the option of a 2.0-litre diesel with 150PS or a 1.5-litre petrol with either 130PS or 150PS. Volkswagen did previously offer a plug-in hybrid version of the Tiguan, while there is also the high-performance Tiguan R with 320PS. 

In line with the classy image of its Volkswagen badge, the Tiguan driving experience majors on refinement and ease of use. It steers and handles neatly, but without bringing too much excitement to the party. Although the ride is a little tauter than some SUVs, it never manages to feel uncomfortable.

Despite the reduced engine range, the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan still boasts an extensive array of trim options. Life, Elegance and R-Line are the core versions, alongside the Black Edition and R-Line Edition. 

Even the entry-level Tiguan Life comes well-equipped, featuring satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors and a set of 18-inch alloy wheels. This helps offset the Tiguan’s relatively high starting price of more than £30,000, which looks expensive against alternatives like the SEAT Ateca and Skoda Karoq.

A high-quality interior includes plenty of soft-touch materials and neat detailing. All versions other than the Tiguan Life come with an impressive 10.25-inch digital dashboard display. An 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen is used across the model range. 

As you’d hope for a family SUV, the Tiguan also delivers on practicality. It boasts a roomy 615-litre luggage capacity, while both front and rear passengers should have no complaints about space. And there is always the seven-seat Tiguan Allspace (reviewed separately) for those who need even more carrying capacity. 

Although the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan is nearing the end of its lifespan, it still has plenty to offer those in search of a family SUV. From a high-quality interior with plenty of space, to the no-nonsense driving experience, it does very little wrong. 

It might not be the newest or most exciting SUV around, but the Volkswagen Tiguan offers a complete package with an upmarket image. Little wonder it has become so popular with buyers throughout the world, and it remains worth your attention now. 

Ask Honest John

Should we use a diesel additive?

"I bought VW Tiguan 2.0 TDI 2015 but we do not do a lot of miles as we used to. We hardly do 2000 miles a year and mainly short journeys. We are aware of the carbon deposit which damage the engine but we have been advised to use additive material to the diesel instead? We have used Archoil, AR6900-D Max. We have noticed the engine is quieter. What is your advice please and what is the best additive if it is allowed?"
The use of additives tends to be down to personal choice. We would suggest that most modern cars do not gain anything from putting an additive in the fuel system as the electronics and the fuel system will be optimised to deliver the best mix of performance and efficiency in the first place. As has been asked many times - if the additive is so good why don't the car manufactures recommend them? Your car should run okay without such expensive additives. However, one thing to be wary of is that if you are doing such low mileage (and town driving) then you may get to a point where the DPF (diesel particulate filter) will start to get blocked. To avoid that we would suggest that one every 3 months you take the car onto a motorway or dual carriageway and drive with the engine revs at 2000rpm for at least 25 mins.
Answered by Alan Ross

What tyres can I fit for better ride quality?

"I have a 2015 VW Tiguan 2.0 TDI 4 motion Sport. I find the ride quite hard and as I am about to replace all tyres what could you recommend as a reasonable priced tyre that would give me a softer quieter ride with good wet grip and longevity? I am currently riding on Bridgestone Dueller 235/50R18. My mileage is around 6000 per annum, lots of it is is motorway driving."
If you wish to keep your current tyre size, you could consider switching to Bridgestone Weather Control A005 EVO or Turanza 6, both of which are A-rated for wet grip, and as the former is an all-season tyre it should offer an improvement in ride quality. Another option is to change the aspect ratio of tyre for one with a taller sidewall - 235/55R18 - which will also help the ride quality. We would suggest looking at the Michelin Primacy 4, Continental Eco Contact 6 or Avon ZX7.
Answered by David Ross

Do VWs have electric water pumps?

"Do some VW cars have electronic water pumps? And do they get changed when the timing belt is renewed?"
Volkswagen engines use a mix of electric and mechanical water pumps depending on the engine, and on the 1.5 TSI engine it is driven by a separate belt on the other side of the engine to the cambelt, so it is not necessary to replace it at the same time. However, there is no specific guidance on water pump replacement intervals, but you may wish to consider having the pump and auxiliary belt replaced at the same time for peace of mind.
Answered by David Ross

Can I drive my Tiguan in two-wheel-drive for better fuel economy?

"Can a VW Tiguan 4 Motion be switched to driving in 2WD mode? If yes, will the fuel economy improve?"
Depending on which generation of Volkswagen Tiguan you own, if you use the On-Road driving mode the 4Motion system operates in front-wheel-drive and only sends power to the real wheels if it detects a certain degree of wheelspin. This means that for the vast majority of driving it will be operating in two-wheel-drive and will deliver the best possible fuel economy.
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a Volkswagen Tiguan (2016 – 2023) cost?

Buy new from £29,690(list price from £34,070)