Author: Steve Allen |

Combining a 200-horsepower turbocharged engine with precision German engineering, the Tiguan ups the bar for driving enjoyment in the compact SUV segment. Its solid construction, premium craftsmanship and upscale features add an element of refinement to the versatile package.

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

The Tiguan takes a major step forward in value for 2016, with a nearly $1,400 reduction in the starting price and content added across the lineup. New standard features include V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces, heated seats and Keyless access with push-button start.

The addition of a new infotainment system for 2016 provides a comprehensive suite of connectivity features. Volkswagen Group of America is one of the first in the industry to support all three available connected car systems: Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®. The new MIB II system offers USB and VW-Car Net® App-Connect, allowing owners with these systems to access select apps from their smartphones directly through the vehicle’s head unit. VW Car-Net’s connected vehicle services umbrella also includes connected car services, advanced telematics, and enhanced navigation available by subscription.

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

For 2016, the Tiguan R-Line is repositioned to a lower price point between the S and SE trims to make the sporty and aggressive styling even more accessible. The trim order is now S, R-Line, SE, and SEL and more standard content has been added across the line-up. The entry-level S trim line adds MIB II infotainment systems with 5-inch touchscreen and USB, Keyless access with push-button start, V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces, heated front seats, power driver’s seat recline, heated washer nozzles and automatic headlights with rain-sensing wipers and auto-dimming mirror.

R-Line and higher trim lines receive MIB II infotainment with a 6.3-inch touchscreen, USB and VW Car-Net App-Connect. A panoramic sunroof is now standard on the SE (SE w/ Appearance trim is discontinued), along with 18-inch New York aluminum-alloy wheels; Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights and the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS); LED rear license plate lights; foglights with cornering function; full power driver’s seat, power passenger seat recline; and chrome interior switches, exterior door trim, window surround, and roof rails.

The SEL model now receives 19-inch Savannah aluminum-alloy wheels with wheel arch extensions; sport suspension; leather seating surfaces with dual full power; memory driver’s seat; power folding door mirrors; Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights and the Adaptive Front-lighting System; LED rear license plate lights and automatic headlights with rain-sensing wipers and auto-dimming mirror.


2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

The 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan combines the style and sophistication of a sporty, urban compact SUV that caters to an active lifestyle. At 174.3 inches nose-to-tail, 71.2 inches wide and 66.3 inches tall, it’s the perfect size for city dwelling or country living.

In profile, the 2016 Tiguan is distinguished by its raked-back windscreen, rising waistline, large side windows, and an unmistakable, trademark C-pillar at the rear. On R-Line and higher trims, a distinctive ring of chrome around the side windows, works to visually enhance the car. The R-Line model features R-Line specific features such as a roof spoiler, body-color side skirts, and R-Line badging, as well as a distinctive R-Line rear bumper.

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

Engineered to accommodate available 4Motion® all-wheel drive, the Tiguan’s design reflects its ability to conquer a variety of terrain and weather conditions. The squared-off wheel arches feature plastic surrounds to help protect the paintwork, while the short overhang at the front allows a 28-degree approach angle.

Always ready for an active lifestyle, the 2016 Tiguan is designed to be a carry-all for fun gear. The robust roof rails, standard on all trims, can accommodate an array of accessories such as bike racks, or kayak and surfboard carriers. The available towing hitch accepts an attachment to carry up to four bikes, or can be used to pull up to 2,200 braked pounds of jet skis, dirt bikes or ATVs when properly equipped.


2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

Cabin designs don’t come much more flexible than the 2016 Tiguan. There is spacious seating for five adults, easy step-in through the wide-opening doors, and generous legroom and headroom.

But the versatility of the Tiguan seating sets it apart and makes it the perfect lifestyle vehicle. The rear seat has a 40/20/40 split to fit an owner’s load-carrying needs. Fold down the wide center section and it can accommodate skis, fishing gear, or rugs, while still having space for passengers on either side. With the rear seats in place, there is still an impressive 23.8 cubic feet of space in the load area. Fold the second row seats forward and it increases to 56.1 cubic feet. And for the ultimate in cargo space, the available folding front passenger seatback can fold forward and flat to accommodate loads up to 98 inches long. The rear seats can also slide forward six inches to help increase luggage space in the back, and for a little extra comfort on road trips, each of the rear seatbacks can be adjusted.

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

The high-lifting rear door can be opened wide to accommodate large objects. In the cargo area, there are tie-down hooks to help keep stuff in place and a 12-volt outlet to power coolers or air pumps. In models equipped with the available Fender® Premium Audio System, the subwoofer is hidden in the spare tire area, not sacrificing cargo space.

To let the outside into the Tiguan cabin, there’s an available huge panoramic glass tilt/slide sunroof. This aerodynamically and acoustically optimized panoramic roof comprises one glass segment for opening, and one fixed glass panel at the rear. It features pinch protection and an electrically-operated one-touch sunshade that covers the inside of the entire glass area. For 2016, the expansive sunroof comes standard on the SE and SEL models.

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

The interior features rich, soft-touch plastics on the fascia, and crisp, brushed-metal-style trim surrounding the eight dash-mounted air vents and shift lever. The Tiguan S, R-Line and SE models offer Volkswagen’s perforated V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces along with front heating function; the Tiguan SEL trim features Vienna leather seating surfaces available in black or beige.

Between the large speedometer and tachometer is a multi-function trip computer that helps monitor everything from fuel consumption, to trip distance, Bluetooth® connection status and navigation directions (when equipped).

One of the most significant advances in the 2016 Tiguan comes in the form of its new MIB II touchscreen infotainment system. The display utilizes a capacitive touch sensor (as in smartphone and tablet technology) rather than the more common resistive touchscreens that require pressure, enabling gesture controls like swiping and even pinch-zooming.

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

Entry-level S models will feature a Composition Color touchscreen radio with a 5.0-inch resistive 400×240 color display and a host of standard features including AUX-in, SD card slots, and a USB multimedia interface with Apple iPhone® and iPod® compatibility, reverse camera display, and Bluetooth technology.

The all-new infotainment system not only creates the foundation for the next generation of Volkswagen’s Car-Net® connected vehicle services platform, but also offers one of the most comprehensive suites of connected vehicle services and features available in the automotive industry today. Features available through the new Car-Net are divided into three key areas, “Security & Service,” “Guide & Inform,” and “App-Connect.”

App-Connect. The Composition Media unit is standard on R-Line models. Incorporating the features from the Composition Color unit, the Composition Media unit adds an 800×480 capacitive color touch display with proximity sensor, with a 6.3-inch screen. Other standard features include App-Connect smartphone integration, Bluetooth with the ability to send and receive SMS text messages with compatible phones, sync two phones simultaneously, two SD card slots, and a JPEG viewer, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, HD Radio and support for lossless audio file format (Free Lossless Audio Codec FLAC).

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

SE and SEL models feature the Discover Media unit, which captures the features available in the previous two units and adds 2.5D Navigation, one-shot voice destination entry, predicts possible destinations based on often used routes, and Destination Entry with Quick Search and Auto-complete, and Car-Net Guide & Inform.

Security & Service. Consumers have the ability to access the Car-Net Security & Service suite through the innovative online Customer Web Portal as well as an advanced app for smartphones, providing access to all the features available from virtually anywhere your mobile device is connected to wireless internet.

Available security related features include Automatic Crash Notification, which automatically notifies an operator who can quickly contact first responders in the event of an collision; Manual Emergency Call, a feature that allows for quick access to customer specialists at the touch of a button; Roadside Assistance, for added peace-of-mind in the event of trouble on the road; and Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, which uses Car-Net Security & Service to assist law enforcement with locating your vehicle in the event that it is stolen.

In addition, VW Car-Net Security & Service offers other new features for 2016 model year including new layers of convenience such as remote vehicle access, remote door lock and unlock, remote honk and flash (of lights), last parked location information, and remote status check (doors and windows). Consumers will also be able to send a location from their connected smart device to the factory-installed compatible navigation system on select models. For consumers that prefer a more personal touch, agent destination assist is also available.

The Car-Net Security & Service also offers Family Guardian, a suite of features that help families. Features including speed alert, which notifies the owner of the vehicle when the pre-determined maximum speed limit is exceeded; and boundary alert, which lets you know when the vehicle has traveled outside of a pre-set virtual boundary.

Diagnostics and maintenance information is also available through Car-Net. A Vehicle Health Report allows Volkswagen customers to quickly check to see if their vehicle is in proper running order. When it’s time for scheduled service, Car-Net Security & Service not only notifies the customer, but provides a simple way to schedule a dealer visit. It can even identify the closest dealer in case you need a recommendation.

Available later this year, the VW Car-Net app for Apple Watch will allow VW customers to control a host of features and functions available through the iPhone app and Customer Web Portal, directly from their wrist. Apple Watch wearers can keep an eye on their vehicle from afar, remotely locking and unlocking doors and viewing the status of doors, windows and sunroof (open or closed). Consumers will also be able to find a parked vehicle quickly, with a map of the current vehicle location, walking or driving directions to the vehicle, and the ability to honk the horn and flash the lights remotely. Drivers of gas-equipped Volkswagen vehicles will be able to check their fuel level as well. As with the Car-Net app for iPhone, Apple Watch wearers will also be able to receive alerts directly to their Apple Watch from the app.

Guide & Inform. Car-Net Guide & Inform offers an enhanced navigation and infotainment experience for VW consumers. Volkswagen has incorporated technologies that enhance existing navigation offerings while adding an additional level of information that empowers consumers.

Satellite navigation is refined with Car-Net Guide & Inform, incorporating several layers of information right onto the screen. MIB II-equipped Volkswagen models with in-vehicle navigation systems will now feature real-time fuel prices, sports scores, movie information and weather data as part of the three month SiriusXM Travel Link trial. VW customers will also enjoy real-time traffic information and a complimentary four-year SiriusXM Traffic trial.

Customers purchasing new Volkswagen models equipped with VW Car-Net connected vehicle services (not including App-Connect) will receive a no-charge trial for six months after purchase. To extend the benefits of this connectivity system, customers can choose from a number of VW Car-Net payment options: 1 year, for $199; 2 years for $378; 3 years for $540; or, month-to-month, for $17.99. App-Connect can be used free-of-charge and is not included as part of the subscription-based services.


2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

The 2016 Tiguan comes with Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter TSI® turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This technically-sophisticated powerplant features double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, direct fuel injection, and variable intake timing. Turbocharged and intercooled, the compact four-cylinder engine produces an impressive 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque from just 1700 rpm.

The Tiguan’s 2.0T comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic® manual shifting, Sport mode, and Dynamic Shift Program (DSP). The R-Line includes steering wheel mounted-paddle shifters for a sport focused driving experience. The six-speed automatic transmission includes a second overdrive gear to reduce engine revs at cruising speeds. The transmission in non-Sport mode shifts at slightly lower revs, making greater use of the turbo engine’s considerable torque. The Tiguan has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.

To help provide added traction for 2016 Tiguan models, the Volkswagen 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is offered on all trims. The electro-hydraulic system helps deliver drive to all four wheels without any buttons to press or levers to pull. A Haldex® center differential can continuously vary the driveforce between the front and rear axles, depending on the traction available.

In most driving conditions, 90 percent of the power goes to the front wheels, which can help save fuel. But when accelerating from standstill, for example, front-wheel slip is controlled by the Haldex coupling’s ability to progressively direct nearly 100 percent of the drive torque to the rear wheels. The 4Motion all-wheel-drive equipped Tiguan has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.


2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan © Volkswagen AG

Mounted in a lightweight, one-piece aluminum subframe, the Tiguan strut-type front suspension has lower control arms and long-travel coil springs. At the rear, the robust four-link system was designed to cope with the rigors of off-roading and to accommodate the Tiguan available 4Motion all-wheel drive. For the driver looking for even sportier handling, the Tiguan R-Line model features a sport-tuned suspension with firmer settings together with 19-inch “Mallory” wheels shod with lower-profile 255/40 R19 all-season tires.

Electro-mechanical power steering with variable assistance contributes to the Tiguan’s fun-to-drive character. At highway speeds, the steering becomes firm and direct, increasing its assistance at parking speeds. Between curbs, the Tiguan has a turning radius of 39 feet with 2.7 turns lock to lock.

To match the Tiguan’s athletic performance is an impressive braking system. At the front there are 12.3-inch vented discs, with 11.3-inch solid discs at the rear. The system features a brake disc drying feature to help remove water from the rotors to optimize wet-weather braking, as well as Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD), and Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA). All Tiguan models also feature an electronic parking brake.


Safety in the 2016 Tiguan starts with a strong, rigid laser-seam-welded bodyshell, crash-optimized, energy-absorbing front end, and heat-formed steel center B-pillars.

Front and side-thorax airbags help protect the driver and front-seat passenger, while Side Curtain Protection® head airbags help protect those in the front and rear seats, in addition to safety belt pretensioners.

Electronic assistance includes Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

All Tiguan models feature the advanced Volkswagen Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS) that automatically shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and even switches on the hazard warning lights if the airbags deploy.

Limited Warranty

The 2016 Tiguan models are offered with Volkswagen’s standard five-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and three-year/36,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty.

Model Line-up

There are four models in the 2016 Tiguan model line-up, powered by the 2.0 TSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine. All models have the option of 4Motion all-wheel drive.

2.0T S

With a starting MSRP of $24,890 (plus $865 for destination and delivery) for the front-wheel-drive model, the Tiguan 2.0T S provides entry to the Tiguan range. Key standard features include a six-speed automatic transmission; 16-inch “Portland” aluminum-alloy wheels with 215/65 R16 98H all-season tires; electronic parking brake; power-adjustable, heated side mirrors; trailer hitch preparation; black roof rails; automatic headlights with coming home/leaving home feature; Daytime Running Lights; Keyless access with push-button start; V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; heated front seats and washer nozzles; front manual lumbar support and height adjustment; power driver’s seat recline; 40/20/40-split-folding rear seats with recline and center armrest with dual cupholders; auto-dimming rearview mirror; cruise control; Bluetooth technology; rearview camera; a MIB II Composition Color touchscreen infotainment system with USB and a 5-inch display; eight-speaker sound system; leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel and shift knob; speed-sensitive power steering; multi-function display; Climatic® air conditioning; intermittent front windshield wipers with rain sensor. The 4Motion all-wheel-drive system adds $1,975.

2.0T R-Line

The most dynamic and sport-focused model in the Tiguan line-up has a starting MSRP of $28,700. Its comprehensive list of standard features includes, in addition to the 2.0T S: stylized R-Line rear bumper; roof spoiler; body-color side skirts and R-Line badging; flat bottomed leather-wrapped multifunction “sport” steering wheel with paddle shifters; stainless-steel pedal cluster; unique R-Line decorative inserts on door trim panels; Titanium black headliner; 19-inch “Mallory” aluminum-alloy wheels with 255/40 R19 96H all-season tires; black wheel arch extensions; sport suspension; silver roof rails; front foglights and cornering lamps; full power driver’s seat with power lumbar support; power reclining passenger seat with lumbar support; V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; aluminum sill kickplates; interior light in footwell; front and rear carpeted floor mats; a MIB II Composition Media touchscreen infotainment system with USB, VW Car-Net App-Connect and a 6.3-inch display; Sirius XM Satellite Radio; and VW Car-Net connected car services. The R-Line with 4Motion all-wheel drive starts at $30,675.

2.0T SE

Starting at $31,390, the SE takes the 2.0T S features and adds 18-inch “New York” aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/50 R18 97H low rolling resistance all-season tires; silver roof rails; chrome window surround and lower door trim; front fog lights and cornering lamps; LED Daytime Running Lights; Bi-Xenon headlights with AFS; a panoramic power sunroof; full power driver’s seat with power lumbar support; power reclining passenger seat with lumbar support; V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; front and rear carpeted floor mats; a MIB II Discover Media touchscreen navigation system with USB, VW Car-Net App-Connect and a 6.3-inch display; Sirius XM Satellite Radio; and VW Car-Net connected vehicle services. The SE with 4Motion all-wheel drive starts at $33,365.

2.0T SEL

Starting at $34,445, this well-equipped trim adds to the 2.0T SE features: 19-inch “Savannah” silver aluminum-alloy wheels; wheel arch extensions; sport suspension; Vienna leather seating surfaces; driver’s seat memory function; full-power front passenger seat with power lumbar support; rearview camera with Rear Assist; power folding exterior door mirrors with memory function; dual-zone Climatronic® climate control; and the acclaimed Fender® Premium Audio System. The 4Motion all-wheel-drive system adds $1,975.

Competitive Set

  • Honda CR-V
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Ford Escape
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Jeep Cherokee
  • Chevy Equinox
  • Subaru Forester
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Kia Sportage
4.5 Out of 5