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Used Volkswagen Tiguan review: 2011-2012

EXPERT RATING
8
NEW Virtually every segment in the car market has become a hotbed of intense competition with rival carmakers doing everything in their power to win over car buyers with newer and better models, but none is more competitive than the SUV segment. Love 'em or loathe 'em there's no doubting the fact that the SUV has

NEW

Virtually every segment in the car market has become a hotbed of intense competition with rival carmakers doing everything in their power to win over car buyers with newer and better models, but none is more competitive than the SUV segment.

Love 'em or loathe 'em there's no doubting the fact that the SUV has become the car of choice for most people, whether they're young or old, single or married with kids, an outback adventurer or a townbound wannabe.

In such a competitive environment he who stands still loses, so all carmakers are furiously beavering away creating new models to one-up their rivals, which is exactly what VW was doing in 2011 when it unwrapped its updated Tiguan SUV.

Already one of the segment's leaders VW built on the popularity of its compact SUV with a range of mods that made it even more appealing.

On first glimpse it would have been easy to think that VW had merely tweaked the appearance of the already attractive five-seater Tiguan by altering the grille, and headlights and taillights, but the real changes were made under the skin with a raft of new diesel and petrol engines.

The petrol choices kicked off with the 118 TSi with a 1.4-litre supercharged and turbocharged four cylinder engine, then stepped up to the 132 TSi with a 2.0-litre turbo petrol four, and ended with the 155 TSI with its 2.0-litre Golf GTi engine.

On the diesel front there was one engine offered, that being a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel.

Dependent on the model the transmission choices were a six-speed manual and a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch auto.

All vehicles except the front-wheel drive 118 TSi boasted VW's 4Motion all-wheel drive system.

The interior was unchanged and typically VW with black plastics that were more tactile than at first appeared, along with a touch of chrome for a bright highlight.

If there was a criticism of the Tiguan it was the boot, which wasn't very spacious, particularly for family use.

Standard features of the Tiguan included Bluetooth phone and audio, air with dust and pollen filter, roof rails, and multi-function steering wheel.

The Tiguan's on-road manners were impressive across all models. It felt solid, handled nicely and rode comfortably, with the diesel being a standout model in the range.

NOW

VW's reputation has taken a bit of a battering in recent times, particularly with the problems that have plagued the DSG auto transmission.

The company voluntarily recalled a large number of cars built between 2008 and 2011, that's before the Tiguan came on the scene, to check for corrosion that could affect the operation of the DSG transmission.

That recall didn't affect the Tiguan, but it should be taken as an alert to thoroughly road test any vehicle equipped with the DSG to highlight any faults that might be present.

Recalls that do affect the Tiguan relate to a problem with an overheating fuse that could result in the failure of the lights, while one in 2012 related to the possible cracking of an injection pipe on diesel engines that could result in a fuel leak with the potential of a fire.

Generally owners appear content with their Tiguans, and we get few complaints about them.

The cars are holding up well in the early years of their on-road life and the quality of their build should ensure they continue to perform well for years to come.

One issue that crops up from time to time is the oil consumption of VW engines. They do use some oil, which makes it important that the engine oil level is regularly checked. To fail to do so is risking major engine troubles.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2012 $8,690 $18,480
2011 $8,030 $15,620

View all Volkswagen Tiguan pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$12,990
Based on 113 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$6,500
Highest Price
$17,888

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
103 TDI 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $11,990 – 12,990 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan 2011 103 TDI Pricing and Specs
118 TSI (4x2) 1.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $8,989 – 14,923 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan 2011 118 TSI (4x2) Pricing and Specs
125 TSI 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $8,499 – 15,990 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan 2011 125 TSI Pricing and Specs
132 TSI (4x4) 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $9,922 – 17,888 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan 2011 132 TSI (4x4) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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