The Tiguan feels easy to drive and most engines have plenty of oomph
The dash is simple and logical to use, and all seats are comfortable
Decent safety kit but rear curtain airbags are a cost option
Feels solid though not all owner surveys back this up
Better for passengers than for their luggage
Even entry-level cars are decently equipped
While the Tiguan has all the practicality of an SUV, and even some off-road ability, it's actually pretty compact overall and feels like a much smaller car to drive; it doesn't sway on corners and feels glued to the road. The 1.4-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines come with a variety of power outputs; the two more powerful diesels provide some useful extra muscle. There are four-wheel-drive models but the 2WD cars are better to drive. The cabin is a generally calm place to be although that car-like handling comes with a slightly jiggly ride.
The front of the cabin looks much like any other VW Group car; it's smart and very easy to use. However, rear visibility isn't that great so it's worth paying for the rear-view parking camera. The Tiguan is roomy for four and will sit five at a push, but if you push the rear seats back to increase legroom, be ready to compromise severely on boot space. Otherwise, the boot is well shaped and it's a very easy to fold the seats flat. As well as sliding the rear seats you can also recline their backs, though they need to be upright to take a child seat; both of the outer rear seats have Isofix with top-tether points. Entry-level S models are decently specced, including air-con, alloys, four electric windows and a digital radio; SE cars get dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and Bluetooth; Sport cars get part faux suede seats while Escape cars have body protection for off-roading and come only with 4WD.
The interior feels both smart and solidly built, though the Tiguan scored only three stars for reliability in the 2012 JD Power customer satisfaction survey. Safety provision looks better, with stability control and emergency brake assist standard. However, you have to pay an extra £260 for the curtain airbags to extend to the rear seats. Deadlocks and an alarm help to deter thieves.
The Tiguan is competitively priced and holds its value well. Running costs are low on 2WD models, which is another reason to consider these over their 4x4 siblings.