- Revised trim levels and feature availability for 2019
- Part of the second Tiguan generation introduced for 2018
- Offers a lot of space for passengers and cargo
- Three-row seating is useful in a pinch
- Tech interface is intuitive to use
- Longer warranty period than most competitors
- Subpar acceleration and responsiveness
- Ranks low in fuel economy for the class
- Optional larger wheels make for a bumpy ride
Overall rating 7.3 / 10
Volkswagen redesigned the Tiguan just last year. The new Tiguan is a lot bigger than the previous model, and VW used that extra size for greater cargo and passenger space. In fact, few vehicles in the small SUV segment offer what the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan does: an optional third-row seat. Popular competitors such as the Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5 are two-row-only offerings.
Whether you can benefit from that third-row seat is another matter, however. Headroom and legroom in the way back are in short supply, so it’s a seat you’ll want to use on an occasional basis only. Another potential concern relates to the Tiguan’s engine. Acceleration is underwhelming, as is fuel economy.
Otherwise, the Tiguan is appealing. It boasts a comfortable and quiet interior and plenty of features for the money. For example, even the base trim level comes with smartphone connectivity, and there are lots of available safety features on upper trim levels. Overall, we think the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan represents a distinctive choice in the small SUV class.
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan configurations
The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan is a two- or three-row SUV that comes in six trim levels: S, SE, SEL, SEL R-Line, SEL Premium and SEL Premium R-Line. All Tiguans are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine (184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque) that’s connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. Three rows of seating come standard with front-wheel-drive models, and two rows are standard on all-wheel-drive models, with a third row available as an option.
Standard features for the Tiguan S include 17-inch wheels, roof rails, heated side mirrors, automatic headlights, cloth upholstery, a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, USB port, and a six-speaker sound system and VW’s Car-Net App Connect, which controls select smartphone apps from the touchscreen and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
An optional Driver Assistance package adds forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The SE includes those Driver Assistance features, plus heated washer nozzles, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone climate control, simulated-leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an 8-inch touchscreen, satellite and HD radio, voice commands, and two extra USB ports. A panoramic sunroof is optional on the SE.
The SEL comes standard with the sunroof and adds 18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, remote start, adaptive cruise control, navigation, and front and rear parking sensors, Car-Net Security & Service (which offers remote access to the vehicle through a smartphone app, automatic crash notification and monitoring services for young drivers), and Car-Net Guide & Inform (which displays real-time traffic, weather and nearby fuel prices).
Finally, the SEL Premium adds adaptive LED headlights, automatic wipers, a hands-free liftgate, a digital gauge cluster, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, a nine-speaker premium Fender sound system, and extra driver assistance features including a surround-view parking camera system, lane departure warning and intervention, and automatic high-beam control.
The SEL R-Line and the Premium SEL R-Line build on the SEL and the Premium SEL trim levels, respectively. The R-Line versions of those trim levels include larger wheels (19-inch for the SEL, 20-inch for the SEL Premium) and sportier exterior styling elements.
Seat comfort 8.0
Ride comfort 7.5
Noise & vibration 7.5
Climate control 8.0
Ease of use 7.0
Getting in/getting out8.0
Driving position 8.5
Small-item storage 8.0
Cargo space 8.0
Child safety seat accommodation 8.5
Audio & navigation 9.0
Smartphone integration 7.5
Driver aids 6.0
Voice control 6.0