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2013 Volkswagen Tiguan Overview
For 2013, the Tiguan, Volkswagen’s midsize SUV crossover, gets a mid-cycle scrub. Targeted at small families looking for something sportier than a wagon, this model is sleeker and more economical. It is available in 7 trims, all of which contain a turbcharged 200-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 207 lb-ft of torque. VW likes to tout the Tiguan as the only car of its class to offer its turbo standard.
The base S has a 6-speed manual transmission for the front-wheel-drive version, with an available 6-speed automatic; all-wheel drive (AWD) is also available. The S sits atop 16-inch wheels and has daytime running lights. The SE ditches the manual transmission and the cloth seats, adding simulated leather seats and tacking on a roof rail; it comes standard with 18-inch wheels. Sunroof and navigation are available for both. The top-of-the-line SEL has all the goodies below it and adds bi-xenon headlights, leather seating and 19-inch wheels.
Outside, the Tiguan's front end has been redesigned to conform to the modern VW look, with new fog lights and a lower grille, making it look more like its big brother the Tuareg. With its seamless exterior it’s handsome—German handsome. (Some might read that as bland.)
The interior is where the Tiguan truly shines. The clean, stitched interior and uncluttered dash are hallmark features of all VWs. This car isn’t cheap, in both what you pay for it and what you get for your money.
Although it's pitched as a cross between GTI sport, Jetta practicality and Touran heft, it’s not as fun to drive as one may have hoped for. Still, it is comfortable and reasonably good on gas, with an estimated 18 mpg city/26 highway for the manual and 21/26 for the automatic. It has comfortable seating for 5 adults and a good amount of cargo room (56.1 cubic feet with seats folded). It’s a tall ride in a smallish frame.
The 2012 Tiguan was a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS, and you can expect the same from this year’s model. It has 6 airbags with side curtain protection, as well as what they call an Intelligent Crash Response System, which unlocks the doors, shuts off the fuel pump and turns on the hazards in case of a serious collision.
Volkswagen is attempting to bring modest elegance into the crossover world, and with its engineering and craft, has succeeded with the Tiguan.
by Stephen Moramarco
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