2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Review


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2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Overview

The Volkswagen Tiguan, a compact crossover, has served as the entry point to the brand’s SUV lineup for well over 10 years. The Tiguan was last redesigned for 2018 and gets new features and trim levels for 2020. Rivals include the top-selling Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue, as well as the practical Honda CR-V and personable Mazda CX-5.

The Tiguan’s looks are endearing, with a European elegance not found among most of its competitors. It features high-end lighting design and a sporty stance. To shake things up for 2020, the Tiguan SE R-Line Black model gets black bumpers and badging and black 20-inch alloy wheels.

The Tiguan’s sole engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder rated for 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, carries over, paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard and yields 22 mpg city, 29 highway, and 25 combined. Optional 4Motion all-wheel drive (AWD) sacrifices 2 mpg in each category.

FWD Tiguan models get three standard rows of seating. Five trim levels are available: S, SE, SE R-Line Black, SEL, and SEL Premium R-Line. The base S trim comes with cloth upholstery and alloy wheels. The SE adds synthetic leather upholstery, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, and heated front seats. The SE R-Line Black gets a panoramic sunroof. The SEL has a heated steering wheel, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, remote start, and a power hatch. The top-end SEL Premium R-Line adds leather upholstery and a hands-free power hatch.

While the base S trim features a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and newly standard WiFi, stepping up to the SE gains an 8-inch touchscreen, HD Radio, satellite radio, and the option of wireless device charging. The SEL trim adds VW’s customizable Digital Cockpit and navigation, and the SEL Premium R-Line gets a Fender premium audio system.

Although the 2020 Tiguan has not received an overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it earned a 5-star rating in the side crash evaluation and a 4-star rating in the rollover evaluation. This year, all Tiguan models get forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert standard, in addition to a reversing camera. Options include a surround-view camera system, active-lane control, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and parking sensors.

The Tiguan is an appealing compact crossover, but it lacked the value necessary to keep up with class leaders. Its new standard features and options for 2020 should help in this regard.


Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.

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