2012 VW Tiguan's Redesign Gives SUV New Look

Njuguna Kabugi | 8/16/2012, 3:05 p.m.

Though the Tiguan has slightly less interior space than the class leading Honda CR-V we reviewed early this summer, there is spacious seating for five adults, easy step-in through the wide-opening doors and generous leg room and head room. The rear seat can also slide forward six inches to increase luggage space in the back, and for a little extra comfort on road trips, each of the rear seatbacks can be adjusted.

VW says fuel mileage has improved to an EPA rating of 21 in city, 27 highway, and 23 combined. Throughout my road test, I found those figures accurate with one exception. Tiguan needs premium gasoline to deliver the excellent performance. Over time, at almost $4 a gallon, the VW is a lot more expensive to maintain, compared to comparable models from Honda, Nissan and Ford - all of which hit the coveted 30 mpg mark with their compact crossovers.

The Tiguan's suite of active and passive safety features earned it a coveted Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick rating for 2012. The driver and front-seat passenger are protected by front, and side-thorax airbags, while side curtain protection head airbags take care of those in the front and rear seats. All Tiguan models also feature the advanced Volkswagen Intelligent Crash Response System that automatically shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and even switches on the hazard warning lights if the vehicle is involved in certain types of collision.

VW has a starting MSRP of $22,840. To get all the creature comfort offered on the Tiguan, expect to pay more than $30,000.