HERNDON, Va. – Carrying the heart of sports car, the spirit of a large SUV, and a distinguishably modern look and feel inside and out, Volkswagen’s 2011 Tiguan drives the compact SUV category further. Starting at $23,485, and available in three fully-stocked trim levels with a number of additional upgrades, the Tiguan takes usable features from a sport utility vehicle and balances them with the everyday accessibility from a compact hatchback.
On the outside, the 2011 Tiguan is every bit a Volkswagen, with a front end that takes cues from Tiguan’s bigger sibling, the Touareg, yet is able to stand out on its own. Halogen headlamps with crystalline lenses come standard on the S and SE models, and are upgraded to Bi-Xenon™ High Intensity Gas-discharged (HID) units on the SEL model, complete with an Adaptive Front-lighting System to best illuminate the road ahead. The SE and SEL trim levels also add halogen fog lamps to the corners of the Tiguan’s body-color front fascia, just above blacked-out lower trim. The darkened portion continues along the wheel arches and the bottom of the doors, giving a more agile, hit the road stance. All models lack the clutter of side moldings, while distinctive chrome window trim and silver, rack-ready roof rails come standard on the SE and SEL. The 2011 Tiguan is now available in a bold new Night Blue color, replacing Sapphire Blue. The Tiguan’s look is finalized with an integrated spoiler up top, jeweled tail lamps midway down, integrated running and reverse lights in the blacked out lower bumper, and a pair of chrome exhaust tips. A trailer hitch package can also be added as an option with all 2011 Tiguan models.
Engine and Transmission
Under the 2011 Tiguan’s hood is Volkswagen’s proven 2.0-liter, turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder gasoline engine. With electronic TSI® direct fuel injection, four valves per cylinder, dual overhead camshafts, variable timing, and maintenance-free hydraulic lifters, the 2.0T engine is undoubtedly advanced. With its extensive repertoire, the sporty power plant has what it takes to let the Tiguan carve through back roads, handle towing duties (up to 2,200 lbs.) on the highway, and yet still go easy on using fuel – all the while developing 200 horsepower at 5,100 rpm, and 207 lbs.-ft. of torque between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm.
With the six speed manual transmission (S model only), the Tiguan can return EPA estimates of 19 mpg in the city, and 26 mpg along the highway. With the six speed automatic transmission that includes Volkswagen’s Tiptronic®, mode as well as a Dynamic Shift Program (DSP), the 2011 Tiguan is capable of an EPA estimated 20 mpg city and 25 mpg highway (FWD model). The automatic gearbox is an option with the S, and standard on the SE and SEL: Tiptronic® mode grants the driver full control over every gear change, simply by tapping the shifter up or down. The DSP setting enables the transmission to adapt to the driver’s preferred driving style, for a more intuitive experience.
The Tiguan’s versatile tendencies continue to the interior, starting with seating for five that is covered in soft yet durable cloth, or V-Tex leatherette seating in Charcoal and Sandstone on the SE, or leather seating surfaces standard on the SEL. Up front, fully adjustable driver and passenger seats (power 12-way on SEL for driver) keep occupants comfortable, while the 60/40 split rear seats make room for up to 56 cubic feet of ready-to-go storage space. The SE with Sunroof & Navigation comes equipped with a panoramic power sunroof along with a new RNS 315 touch-screen navigation system and 18-inch alloy wheels. A revised steering wheel sits before large and easy to read chrome-trimmed gauges, and a leather-wrapped wheel with multifunction controls is standard on SE and SEL. Heating and cooling controls are always within reach, and can activate either the standard single zone Climatic system with pollen filter, or the Climatronic® automated dual-zone system (SEL only). The SEL also features keyless access for locking & unlocking doors and a push button start.
For entertainment, the Tiguan aims to please everyone who is along for the ride and comes with a free three-month trial of Sirius® Satellite Radio. The standard stereo system (S trim) includes an in-dash, RCD 310 single disk CD player with MP3 readability, an auxiliary input for connecting separate devices, and eight speakers. The SE and SEL models step up to a premium touch screen system and an SD card slot – the SEL comes with an RNS 315 Navigation system. Bluetooth® mobile phone connectivity is also standard on all models, which can be outfitted with a special Media Device Interface and iPod® cable (standard in SE/SEL) to control USB-based devices and drives.
The SEL with Premium Navigation includes a Dynaudio Premium Sound System (4MOTION® only), complete with eight upgraded speakers, a 300 Watt amplifier, and Digital Sound Processor technology. Also included in this trim level is Volkswagen’s premium RNS 510 Navigation System: an ultimate entertainment center, stocked with a 6.5” high resolution touch¬screen display (which works with the available rearview camera), an integrated 30GB hard drive (10GB for navigation, 20GB for audio), WMA / MP3 audio CD playback, DVD video playback when the vehicle is at a complete stop, an SD memory card slot and an auxiliary input connection.
Chassis and Suspension
The 2011 Tiguan is nimble yet composed during most any driving situation, thanks to its compact size and, more important, its German-tuned suspension. The electromechanical power steering makes turning even easier for the driver with consistent feedback at any speed, and active return to keep the Tiguan heading straight on down the road. MacPherson struts and a double wishbone setup at the front are paired with an independent four-link setup out back, which let the Tiguan power on through the corners, and remain stable along smooth roads and bumpy trails alike. Disc brakes sit at all four corners (312 x 25 mm vented front units, and 286 x 12 mm solid rear units) and are managed by an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) for 16-inch San Francisco alloy wheels on the S, 17-inch New Orleans alloy wheels for the SE and 18-inch New York alloy wheels for the SEL.
For even greater driving stability and control, virtually no matter the weather or road conditions, Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive system is the perfect companion, monitoring road conditions and driver inputs to instantly adjust how much power is delivered to each of the four wheels. The result is even greater traction, performance, and peace of mind. Also for added convenience, all Tiguan trims will feature the Auto Hold system which prevents rolling or creeping at a stop light or during other situations.
Active and Passive Safety
The 2011 Tiguan carries over 40 active and passive safety features, which are part of Volkswagen’s standard Prevent and Preserve Safety System, to keep the driver and passengers safe. Eight airbags, including front, side thorax, and Side Curtain Protection® for the driver and front passenger, as well as side curtain units for the rear outboard passengers, all come standard. Each of the five seating positions has a three-point safety belt, with a pre-tensioner and height adjustment for the driver, front passenger, and rear outboard passengers. For the Tiguan’s younger passengers, Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) make it easy to add a child car seat.
The following safety programs and management systems are also included on the Tiguan: Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), an Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), Engine Braking Control (EBC), Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution, and Volkswagen’s Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC®).
The choice to include ESC standard on every 2011 Volkswagen comes ahead of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) mandate that by the 2012 model year, all vehicles produced will need to include some form of ESC. According to NHTSA, having ESC in a vehicle results in 35 percent fewer single-vehicle crashes and 30 percent fewer single-vehicle fatalities in passenger cars. Volkswagen’s ESC compares the driver’s intended course with the vehicle’s actual direction. If a discrepancy is detected, ESC automatically brakes individual wheels and/or reduces engine power to help maintain directional control.
Roadside Assistance and Warranty
For added convenience, the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan includes 24-hour Roadside Assistance (third party provider) for three years or 36,000 miles (whichever occurs first) as standard. Meanwhile, limited warranties found standard on all Tiguan models are:
· Five-year / 60,000 mile (whichever occurs first) Powertrain Limited Warranty
· Three-year / 36,000 mile (whichever occurs first) New Vehicle Limited Warranty
· 12-year unlimited distance Limited Warranty Against Corrosion Perforation
The Tiguan, like the full line of 2011 Volkswagen models, is covered by the no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program. Under this program, all scheduled maintenance, as described in the vehicle’s maintenance booklet, is covered for the length of the New Vehicle Warranty – three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Additionally, the Tiguan uses synthetic oil, which, when combined with state-of-the-art German engineering, eliminates the need for a 5,000 mile oil change, and allows owners to drive farther between scheduled oil changes.