With available third row seating, and a body that was extended by almost a foot in length when it was redesigned last year, the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan comes to us as one of the most affordable small SUVs currently on the market. Thanks to available all-wheel drive, This so-called compact SUV is also just at home in an urban environment as it is heading to your favorite mountain bike trail. Not a hardcore off-road machine or lifestyle SUV, the Tiguan is instead a practical piece of transportation that’s perfect for those with an outdoor lifestyle or young families in need of utility.
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan SE Exterior
Sitting on a 109.8-inch wheelbase, and with a total length of 185.1-inch, the 2019 Tiguan is anything but compact. The bold styling, while conservative, still manages to have a bit of ruggedness built in. This is due in part to a burly front-end design that employs sporty callouts in the front bumper and lower fascia along with nicely designed trim that flows over the wheel arches, down the rockers and then finally into the rear bumper where twin polished exhaust ports are housed.
17×7-inch aluminum alloys wearing 215/65-series all-season rubber do a nice job of keeping the Tiguan planted to the pavement, while LED trimmed head and tail lamps help keep others apprised of your on-road presence. Other nice features include roof rails, a large panoramic sunroof, a small lip spoiler on the power rear hatch and the subtle use of chrome and high-gloss trim. This is not an over-the-top shape in any way, but instead, one that promotes conservative design and practicality for today’s modern buyers.
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan SE Interior
There’s a lot of gray in the the cabin. The seats are gray, the door panels are gray, and the dash is gray, as are most of the buttons and switches. The issue is that when a cabin is this devoid of color, you lose many of the details that make a well-designed interior — which this unquestionably is — stand out. Color aside, the cabin of the Tiguan is nicely laid out and ergonomically friendly. Our SE model also provided us with everything we needed and thankfully, was free of gimmicky add-ons and superfluous technology.
The cluster, for example, utilizes large analog gauges (although a full digital cluster is available on pricier models) with a central information screen that gives drivers access to basic vehicle information. The HVAC system is dual-zone and still manually controlled and the heated seats (10-way power for the driver and manual for the passenger) are a snap to use and all-day comfortable. Yes, there is a large eight-inch center-mounted touchscreen that gives access to audio and mobile phone functions, further vehicle settings, fuel saving tips and navigation (if equipped), however, it’s intuitive and employs a nicely designed interface. There are also multiple USB and 12v charge ports, an AUX jack, as well as loads of storage cubbies both front and rear.
Passenger and storage capacity is the real highlight of the 2019 Tiguan though. Third-row seating, albeit cramped, allows for up to seven occupants and when combined with mass amounts of storage (up to 73.5 cubic feet) the Tiguan positions itself as one of the most versatile small SUVs currently on sale.
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan SE Performance
Under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. Power is transferred through a smooth shifting an eight-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic manual shift capabilities through the front wheels. With a zero-to-60 mph time of just over eight seconds, acceleration is decent, but load the Tiguan down with passengers and cargo and you might be wishing for a bit more pep.
That said, both driver and passengers alike are treated to both a quiet cabin and competent on-road manners once underway, and as a whole, the Tiguan is a joy under normal conditions. Plus, with available all-wheel drive and four different drive modes (Snow, On-Road, Off-Road, Off-Road Custom) foul weather is never an issue. Fuel economy comes in at an EPA-rated 22 mpg city and 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg** in combined driving, which translates to a range of over 350 miles from the 15.3-gallon fuel tank.
We did find that our front-wheel drive tester when pushed displayed mild amounts of understeer due to a robust curb weight of 3,777 pounds. It’s not overly chubby mind you, but at days end, we would like to see it go on a small diet and receive a bit more in the way of suspension tuning. Braking performance and emergency handling manners were very good, with the Tiguan receiving a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan SE Safety
The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan SE comes to us with such safety features as airbags, available automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, anti-lock brakes, available all-wheel drive, automatic pre-collision braking, electronic stability control, an intelligent crash response system, and a standard backup camera. A full-size spare is also included.
Additional safety features can be seen over at VW.com.
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan SE Overall
With a base price of $26,965, and an as-tested price of $29,185, the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan SE offers buyers a great combination of versatility and practicality at a great price. There’s also no reinventing of the wheel here, but instead, a focus on giving buyers a well-appointed SUV that’s at home in a multitude of daily driver situations.
Drop by your local AutoNation Volkswagen dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $29,185.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.