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Volkswagen Tiguan 2011 review

Volkswagen's Tiguan compact SUV has been a big hit since it arrived back in 2007

Volkswagen's Tiguan compact SUV has been a big hit since it arrived back in 2007 (`08 in Australia). Its popularity is set to click up a gear with the arrival of an upgrade that brings a raft of improvements including, for the first time, a front wheel drive entry level model priced at $28,490. That should get buyers attention.


Handsome new corporate front styling is instantly obvious and there are minor exterior tweaks including new tail lights and body brightwork. Inside stays pretty much the same as before but the direct injection engines have been upgraded with more power and lower fuel consumption and emissions.

Bluemotion technology that includes engine stop/start, a coasting function (diesel DSG only) and brake regeneration is fitted to the diesel model and the 118TSi.


It starts with the 118TSi in manual only at this stage. The 118kW/240Nm, 1.4-litre, twin charger, petrol engine gets a DSG dual clutch transmission option next year.

Next up is the 2.0-litre 132TSi turbo petrol, 132kW/280Nm four cylinder in six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG (all DSGs are seven-speed in Tiguan).

The range topper is the 2.0-litre 155TSi in DSG only. It's engine is lifted from Golf GTi and is good for 155kW/280Nm.

The only turbodiesel is the 103TDi with 103kW/320Nm. This engine is almost ubiquitous through the VW range.

All Tiguans are five seater, five door vehicles with all but the 118TSi featuring 4Motion all wheel drive. All models pass Euro 5 emissions regulations.


Fuel economy is impressive through the entire range with the best being the diesel 103TDi manual sipping a scant 6.0-litres/100km. The "worst" is the 155TSi at 8.8.

The petrols require a minimum 95RON petrol and the 64-litre tank in Tig' gives a best of 1000km+ range in the 103 TDi diesel and the 118TSi petrol.


Volkswagen has upped the ante in this department with the new Tig' scoring plenty of standard kit like Bluetooth phone and audio, a media device connection box, air conditioning with dust and pollen filter, roof rails, alloy wheels and multi function steering wheel.

Obviously, the further up the food chain you go, the more goodies you get.


It's a five star car and has plenty of protective and life saving technology including six air bags, stability control, electronic differential lock, safety head rests, brake assist, electric park brake with hill hold. Option packages will improve safety further.


Nothing of note to complain about apart from a slight amount of steering backlash when cornering at speed on a bumpy road. The diesel is the pick of the bunch, goes like a train and has strong throttle response. Some of the other turbo petrol variants hesitate slightly on throttle application.

The front wheel drive model is impressive and with DSG, could be the pick of the bunch on a cost/ benefit basis. Tiguan is a good size, has tidy manners and comfortable and controlled ride. We tested the 155TSi with sport mode chassis control and it was taut and terrific, but nearly as good in normal mode.


Space saver spare - boo hiss. Auto headlights and wipers only standard on 155TSi model. But new Tig' is a keen contender in the incredibly competitive compact SUV segment. Not bad soft off road either. We'd have one in a flash.


Price: from $28,490 to $42,990
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km
Resale: 75 per cent
Engines: 1.4 litre petrol, 118kW/240Nm; 2 litre turbo diesel,103kW/320Nm; 2 litre petrol,132kW/280Nm; 2 litre petrol,155kW/280Nm
Safety equipment: Six airbags, ABS, ASR,ESP. Five-star crash rating (previous Tiguan)
Transmissions: Front drive, all-wheel drive, 6-speed manual, 7-speed DSG
Dimensions: 4427mm(L), 1809mm (W),1686mm (H),2605mm (WB)
Ground clearance: 195mm
Towing capacity: 1800kg to 2000kg.

Pricing guides

Based on 75 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
Highest Price

Range and Specs

125 TSI 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $9,790 – 13,420 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan 2011 125 TSI Pricing and Specs
103 TDI 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $8,800 – 12,320 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan 2011 103 TDI Pricing and Specs
147 TSI 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $9,240 – 12,980 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan 2011 147 TSI Pricing and Specs
118 TSI (4X2) 1.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $8,140 – 11,440 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan 2011 118 TSI (4X2) Pricing and Specs
Peter Barnwell


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