2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

Tiguan

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2016 Volkswagen Tiguan Overview

Despite a price drop of nearly $1,400 for its entry-level trim, Volkswagen’s 2016 Tiguan 5-passenger, 5-door compact crossover still packs a pretty hefty base MSRP compared to its closest rivals. But this starter edition also comes with some significant additions to its list of standard equipment, which the folks at VW hope will give it a bit more sales traction for the upcoming model year.

One big change expected for the next year’s Tiguan is a lineup shuffle that drops the sporty R-Line trim from the flagship position to a lower mid-level slot, just above the base S and below the SE and SEL. All trims return with standard front-wheel drive (FWD) and optional all-wheel drive (4Motion). The 2016 Tiguan’s cabin, though roomy enough for passengers, continues to offer only 56.1 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seatbacks folded.

Other noteworthy tweaks to the 2016 Tiguan include new features in the entry-level S trim like leatherette upholstery, keyless entry with push-button starting, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. The SE gets new 18-inch aluminum wheels, a standard power sunroof, adaptive high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, standard chrome exterior pieces, and LED running lights. And all 2016 editions receive improved MIB 2 infotainment features with either a 5- or 6.3-inch touchscreen, depending on the trim level.

The 2016 Tiguan is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine that mates with a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission for 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. Tiguans equipped with standard FWD are estimated at 21 mpg city/26 highway/23 combined, while 4Motion trims get 20/26/23.

Returning features for the 2016 Tiguan S include 16-inch alloy wheels, heated power-adjustable exterior mirrors, full power accessories, cruise control, and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. Manual air conditioning remains standard, as do sliding and reclining rear seatbacks and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The newly upgraded MIB 2 technology is complemented by standard Car-Net telematics and a 6-CD player with 8 speakers, satellite radio, and an SD card slot.

The Tiguan R-Line's standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a roof rack, and a rear spoiler, as well as heated front seats, a rear-view camera, and a cooled storage compartment. The SE offers most of the same standard equipment as the R-line, but without the sporty suspension, and the top-shelf SEL adds a power sunroof, leather upholstery, rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, memory for driver settings, GPS navigation, and a 9-speaker Fender premium audio system.

Safety equipment for all trims includes 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head-protection airbags, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, and daytime running lights. Rain-sensing wipers are now standard across the lineup, and higher trims return with VW’s Car-Net emergency alerts and communications, a post-collision safety system, a remote antitheft alarm, and geo-fencing programmable speed and audio limiting technology. Further standard safety features in upper-echelon trims include front fog/driving lights, cornering headlights, and HID headlights.

The current Tiguan once again earns a second-best 4 of 5 stars in overall crashworthiness from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the insurance industry gives it a next-to-worst rating of Marginal in small-overlap frontal-offset crash testing.

More than a few owners of current Tiguan trims complain about what they consider its dated technology and excessive engine noise upon hard acceleration, though it also continues to draw praise for its civilized driving demeanor, engine performance, and handsome styling. Look for VW’s 2016 Tiguan, in dealer showrooms already, to again challenge such favorites as Honda’s CR-V and Ford’s Explorer for compact crossover supremacy.

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Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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