2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Pros and Cons

We’ve fired up the Algorithmotron 3000 again this week. This time it’s for VW’s other all-new crossover. The completely redesigned, grown-up Tiguan.

The new Tiguan hasn’t been on sale for long, but we’ve found some happy owners and some with teething problems. And some who want more power no matter how much the turbo-four has.


The Tiguan’s new engine has 184 hp. That’s down from 200 in the last-gen Tiguan, despite a bigger and heavier vehicle. It trades power for fuel economy and premium gas for regular. Not everybody likes that.


cc’ed summed up the new engine like this “Interesting…but the new Tiguan is still a slug…”.

DAYTA said that “I’ve been looking at the 2018 Tiguan but the lack of power is a huge turn-off. Without an APR flash, I will be forced to look elsewhere.”

There have been a few teething issues with the new Tiguan. A few owners reported issues with rattles and creaks, especially from the B-pillar area.

rev18gti asked:

“Does anyone else have an annoying driver’s side b-pillar rattle besides me? It’s a slight ticking that happens about 90% of the time. I’ve had the car for about 1.5 months and 1000 miles. The rattle happens over the smallest bump. I tried playing with the seat belt position and seeing if tensioning the belt changes anything. I am beginning to wonder if it’s like the issue the B6 Passat had (my ex’s had it)”


It’s likely an easy fix, but none of the owners had taken their Tigs back to the dealer to have it resolved yet.

An issue with the automatic headlights, though, was simple to resolve. There were actually multiple threads for the issue, but the first was started by juan.beltran:

“Does anyone know how VW is going to resolve the issue on the headlights not turning off when set to automatic.”

gtguard had the same problem:

“I don’t know about OP but I know my lights are on at all times because the Android Auto map is always set to night mode.”

antsman12 took their Tiguan back into the dealership, where “this morning I received a called [sic] back from the service rep. he told me they had a fix for my car and I could bring the car back in for him to take a second look at it. 30 minutes my car auto light is working fine”


Big Pros include the Tiguan’s active safety features.

VWTattoo told this near-miss story:

“Last night, my wife was coming home from work, and was tired and distracted from the hectic day. She was sitting at a traffic light, waiting to turn left, when the light changed to green for the intersection 30 yards ahead of the intersection she was waiting at, while her light was still red. She mistook the other intersections light for her light, and she started to pull out to make the left when she shouldn’t have. She says that the car started making a racket, and jammed on the brakes for her, well before she could realize her mistake, and a car with the right of way zoomed past her front end, from left to right. After this event, she was totally sure that the Tig saved her life, as well as its own. Thank you for saving my wife’s life, Tig!”

AIRider had a similar story, if a little less dramatic:

“I had the tig save me from hitting another car, I was reversing out of a parking spot, and did not spot this guy pulling out of his own stall at the same time as I and the car just slammed on the brakes. It was the first time it happened, and was not sure if I hit something or what, looked around then realized what happened.”

Other drivers thought the low-power claims were overstated.

smg64ct203 came around to the new engine, saying “I just took delivery of mine it’s a white silver SEL. I was concerned about the engine not being powerful enough. After driving it I feel it has plenty of power. I can’t get over how quiet and how smooth the ride is.”

ahealey74 suggested changing the driving mode for more power:

“Taking it out of ECO and putting it into NORMAL driving mode will go a long way towards addressing your acceleration concerns. It is a complete dog when in ECO – you can barely make a left across traffic without killing yourself. Put it in Normal or hit the gear selector and put it into Sport mode if you need a quick burst.”


Owners and test-drivers like the extra space from the nearly foot-longer Tiguan.

TablaRasa said “we love the space on this and we were able to use it already the day after we purchased it (we purchased a 4.0 cubic feet dryer at Sears).”

IridiumB6 said “I couldn’t believe how absolutely big this thing was. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much leg room behind the driver’s seat adjusted to my height (6’3″)”

Fuel economy was a mixed bag.

buzzindsm wrote that:

“I’m a little sad that my wife is getting 22mpg over the first 1,200 miles. She got 21mpg in her 270hp V6 Acura RDX. Hopefully, it gets better over time.”

But other owners report better numbers. JSWTDI09 countered with:

“My MFD calculations said that my tank average was 28.7 mpg but when I filled the tank and hand calculated it, it was almost exactly 27mpg.” and added “For a new engine (not really broken in), I am very impressed. Going just by the MFD (which does appear to be optimistic), I usually get over 27 mpg on my 10-15 mile daily commute (less on shorter drives) and about 31 on the highway. It appears that my car is easily exceeding the EPA estimates for mileage.”

Lastly, Tiguan owners love their tech features.

LuckyDogg said “we did look at competitors, including the Forester, CRV, and Rogue, but we liked the Tiguan was more spacious and had a ****-ton of features standard in the SEL-P you couldn’t get on the others — I’m even a little jealous about some of the bells-and-whistles it has that aren’t in the Golf R.”

The new Tiguan has only been on the market for a couple of months. So complaints and cheers from owners aren’t as common as from some longer-lived vehicles. But we’ve worked to make sure that what we’re showing you is trends, not just one-off complaints. The new Tiguan hasn’t been perfect for some owners, but fixes seem easy and available. It’s not hard to see why August and September Tiguan sales are showing a big boost over last year.