Monday, April 6, 2020

Test Drive: 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Starts At $25,965

The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan is considered a compact SUV, though, at 185.1 inches, has the longest overall length compared to its dozen rivals in the segment, and is a significant 8.7 inches longer than its shortest competitor. The Tiguan's length enables space for a third row seat which only one other vehicle in the class offers, giving it an added benefit for those needing to accommodate 2 more smaller passengers. Three rows of seating are standard in front-wheel-drive Tiguans with a second-row bench that can recline, slide seven inches fore and aft, fold down, and be split 40/20/40. The 4Motion all-wheel-drive Tiguan comes standard with two rows and an optional third row. The flexible configurations give the Tiguan an edge.

The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan is powered by a 184 horsepower four-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection engine delivering an impressive high maximum torque of 221 lb-ft and mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. The Tiguan has the third most horsepower of the thirteen vehicles in the segment but is also the heaviest compact SUV at 3,757 pounds.

The driving experience was excellent, especially the confident feel at fast highway speeds, and overall sporty road feel, nice stiff ride and precise German-style handling, which, for my motion sickness prone family, is a must. The Tiguan is one of five turbos among the compact SUV class and does have some brief turbo lag from a standing stop and it's engine feels like it has to work harder than some others but the Tiguan's highest-in-class torque output may   satisfy you. After all, its a Sports Utility Vehicle and does well to provide more than most.

The top-of-the-line R-line 4motion 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan, (starting at $39,815, including $1,020 destination charge), was provided by the manufacturer for a week test drive, and, in addition, I made four dealer visits to evaluate the base Tiguan S, (starting $25,965), as it was narrowed down to one of two compact SUVs I was considering to purchase. Your personal tastes and requirements will dictate which trim level suits your needs and price range but as you climb the price ladder other vehicle comparisons will enter the picture. For example, Keyless access w/push-button start, Dual-zone Climatronic, Rain-sensing wipers, Auto-dimming rearview mirror, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist), Park Distance Control, High Beam Control (Light Assist) and Overhead view camera (Area View) are available on more expensive Tiguan trims.

The Tiguan S has many standard features like Forward Collision Warning w/ Autonomous Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist), Blind Spot Monitor (Side Assist), Rear Traffic Alert, the expected Rearview camera and even a tire pressure monitoring system. What more do you really need? The Tiguan S also has a nicely integrated, intuitive-to-use 6.5-inch color touchscreen, smaller than the 8-inch found on the more expensive trim levels, but not the protruding from the dash tablet-look found in many vehicles. The large, highly visible, yellow blind spot warning light on the side mirror is a big plus.

The Tiguan comes in S, SE, SE R-Line Black, SEL, and SEL Premium R-Line models, all equipped with the next-generation Car-Net® telematics system, in-car Wi-Fi capability (when you subscribe to a data plan) and wireless charging starting on the SE trim.

The 2020 Tiguan has four-year/50,000-mile (whichever comes first), which Volkswagen reduced from its 2019 five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. A bonus is the 2 year or 20,000 mile transferable Carefree Maintenance Program that sets the Tiguan apart, though its Korean rivals still boast the longest warranties.

SUMMARY: The quality interior workmanship, clear driver visibility, spaciousness, driving experience, included features, slightly longer than most warranty, make the 2020 Tiguan S a great value and a finalist on your compact SUV shopping list.