In this 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan review, we take a look at VW’s new compact SUV that’s as stylish as it is big! So big that VW even offers up the option for a third row of seating. And so stylish that many find it more appealing than Volkswagen’s former Toureg model.
Additionally, this second generation Tiguan comes in a trim level to suit every driver’s needs. Even offering up the sporty R-Line package!
2019 VW Tiguan Top-3:
1. Exterior Styling
2. Interior Tech & Design
3. Engine Power & Torque
We picked up a 2019 VW Tiguan to review from our friends at Ontario Volkswagen for a recent fun day of driving Southern California. Click play below to hear the complete details in our podcast or you can continue reading below and check out the pictures from our test drive.
April 24, 2019
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan Review
Clinton “The Professor” Quan: This is one of the biggest compact, crossovers on the market. That extra third row, it’s a nice feature to have.
This is one of the most attractive compact crossovers out there. I’m a huge fan of the interior as well. It’s got plenty of torque, plenty of pick up, very, very smooth.
“We’re looking at about 22-city, 29-highway… that’s solid for a vehicle this big, because this is one of the biggest compact, crossovers on the market.”
Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal the Podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello Clinton.
Professor: Hey Tom.
Tom: Hello my friend. This podcast is a vehicle review, the good Professor, Mr. Quan went on out to our friends at Ontario Volkswagen in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California, just off the 15 there and he picked himself up a Volkswagen Tiguan.
Tiguan Toureg Comparison
And I’ve been eyeballing that Tiguan I tell you. I recently drove the Atlas and obviously the Tiguan is the Atlas’s smaller sibling, but I’ve seen a Tiguan sitting next to a Touareg and we talked about this a little bit. A lot of people love the Touareg. The Touareg’s no longer, but it’s still an awesome truck.
But the Tiguan looks just about as big as the Touareg when you’re looking at them side by side from the rear. Now I know they’re not. I know that the Touareg’s still a little bigger.
Professor: Just a little bit bigger.
Tom: Yeah, but we were talking and I don’t think you looked this up, I didn’t look it up.
I’ll bet with the enhanced engineering technology as far as the interior goes, that the current Tiguan has more interior people and cargo space than the past Touareg.
Professor: I wouldn’t be surprised.
“…the new Tiguan is so much bigger. It’s a little over a foot longer than the previous Tiguan.”
Tom: Probably just a little bit of trivia, but nevertheless, to kind of bridge the gap of Volkswagen before and Volkswagen now.
Professor: And that’s I think another reason why the Touareg was discontinued because the new Tiguan is so much bigger. It’s a little over a foot longer than the previous Tiguan.
Tom: Yeah, it’s a much bigger vehicle. So at any rate, out to Ontario Volkswagen, picked up the Tiguan…
Thanks to our partners at Ontario Volkswagen, Mr. Earl Reed, General Manager, Randy Halcomb, our go-to guy, Shant Bashian, General Sales Manager, Jim Straley, Service Director, love everybody at Ontario Volkswagen.
For all your Volkswagen needs, head on out to Ontario Volkswagen, just off the 15, in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California.
That being said, Professor, take it away.
Tiguan Trim Levels
Professor: Yes, I drove the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan, SEL Premium which is one of the top-of-the-line trims in the Tiguan family.
There’s let’s see, six different trims, well if you include all the different… if you include the four motion trims, then you’re really looking at probably like nine or ten different trims.
Tom: They have something for everybody the way that they section off all of the various trims. So let’s go base to tippity-top and all the variations as you can, off the top of your head.
- Tiguan S, starting MSRP $24,295
- S with 4Motion MSRP $25,595
- SE $26,695
- with 4Motion $27,995
- RSEL $31,795
- with 4Motion $33,095
- R-Line $33,645
- R-Line with 4Motion $34,945
- Premium with 4Motion $37,195
- Premium R-Line with 4Motion $38,895
*Don’t worry about MSRP – go see my friends at Ontario VW!
Professor: Got it. So, for our 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan review, we’re gonna start off with the base trim which is the S, and that starts off at about $24000.
Then you move up to the SE and that goes for about $27000 and both of those have the analog cockpit. From there you move up to the SEL which has the digital cockpit and that runs for about $32000.
Then, there is an SEL R-Line and that runs for about $34000. And so, all of these first four trims that I mention, they also have a 4-Motion option.
Tom: Option. And 4Motion is their all-wheel drive.
Professor: It’s their all-wheel drive. It’s like Audi’s Quattro. And that’ll add about $1300 to each of the trims that I just mentioned.
Then you go up to the SEL Premium and that comes standard with four motion and that runs for about $37000 and then the very, very top of the line is the SEL Premium R-Line and that goes for about $39000.
2019 Tiguan Options
Tom: Now the R-Line is basically an aesthetic sports package, meaning it’s badging on the outside and in, but it looks nice.
Professor: It looks really nice, especially with those larger rims. You’ll get the 19 or the 20-inch rims with that.
Tom: Yeah, I like the R-Lines.
‘…4Motion is Volkswagen’s all-wheel drive. Like Audi’s Quattro.’
Professor: Yeah, the R-Line looked fantastic during our 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan review. I really, really like the R-Line.
Tom: So it’s just the two top trims that come with four motion, standard?
Professor: Standard equipment, yeah. You wouldn’t be able to get that without the 4Motion. All the other trims that I mentioned previously, you can get it without the 4Motion.
Tom: You can get in two-wheel drive and that two-wheel drive’s gonna be front wheel drive.
Professor: Yes, correct. It’ll be front wheel drive.
4Motion All-Wheel Drive
Tom: But you know hey, for 1,300 bucks, might as well get it I think right?
Professor: Yes. Well, a lot of people, especially in California, they don’t really need it and most people who buy crossovers and SUVs now, they don’t get the all-wheel drive.
You get a little bit of weight savings with that.
“The first one doesn’t even come close to this one, absolutely, exponentially better.”
Tom: You get a little bit of weight savings and you’re a little bit worse off in fuel economy which I want to get to in just a second, but to your point, because you always mention that, in L.A. don’t really need it and I agree.
My first four-wheel drive vehicle, SUV, in L.A., I had for six years and I took off the road a total of zero times. However, being from the Midwest, now present company excluded, you can drive. There’s a lot of Southern Californians who can’t or not very well. My beautiful wife… I won’t even go any further.
But so, with that in mind and the rainy season and the very poor drainage that we have on the roads, for 1300 bucks and not a big difference in fuel economy, getting that four-motion, all-wheel drive, not a terrible idea for some people.
“…the Tiguan does have available third-row seating. That’s big.”
Not a terrible idea. It’s going to give you better control of the road, significantly more surefootedness in certainly gravel situations, loose terrain, but especially the rainy, wet season, which we just had a heck of a one here.
Professor: Yeah, we had a big wet… pretty big rainy season.
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan MPG review
Tom: I just wanted to note that. But now getting back on track, fuel economy, what are we looking at?
Professor: We’re looking at about 22-city, 29-highway.
“We’re looking at about 22-city, 29-highway.”
Tom: Okay, that’s solid.
Professor: Yeah, that’s solid for a vehicle this big, because this is one of the biggest compact, crossovers on the market.
Probably the biggest one on the market among the compact crossovers. It even has available third-row seating on certain-
Optional Third-Row Seating
Tom: That’s right, the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan does have available third-row seating. That’s big.
Professor: That’s big too.
“It’s very well proportioned. I think it looks great from every angle, whether you’re looking at the front, the side, the back…”
Tom: That’s a big plus.
Professor: That’s a big plus for a lot of families who want that extra third row when maybe they’ll need it once every few weeks or so or once a month but it’s a nice feature to have.
Tom: Yeah. Next, the outside. Take us around. What do we see?
2nd Generation Exterior Styling
Professor: Well I think the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan is one of the most attractive compact crossovers out there.
Professor: I love the clean, modern, contemporary design.
It’s very well proportioned. I think it looks great from every angle, whether you’re looking at the front, the side, the back, the three-quarter front or the three-quarter rear.
I don’t think there’s a bad angle on this vehicle.
Tom: Agreed, 100%.
Professor: Big fan of the design.
Tom: The Tiguan, this is the second generation, is it not?
Tom: Okay and I think this generation looks exponentially better than the first generation.
Professor: Oh, it blows away the first generation. It’s night and day.
The first one doesn’t even come close to this one, absolutely, exponentially better.
2019 Tiguan Interior
Professor: The inside. I’m a huge fan of the interior as well. While reviewing the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan I really liked what they’ve done with the interior. How the center stack, it’s angled towards the driver. You know-
Tom: You love that.
Professor: How I’m a big fan of that. So it’s got that big screen.
This one had the virtual cockpit as we mentioned earlier. The upper trims have that and it’s got really clean crisp graphics.
I wasn’t necessarily a big fan of this when I first saw it on a number of vehicles but after seeing this in the VW, I was very, very impressed.
And all of the buttons, the controls, switches, they’re all right there at your fingertips. So it’s got excellent ergonomics and there’s plenty of space.
It looks almost like an Audi inside, especially the top of the line trims.
“…all of the buttons, the controls, switches, they’re all right there at your fingertips. So it’s got excellent ergonomics and there’s plenty of space.”
Tom: Yeah, Volkswagen, there you go.
Professor: And during my 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan review I loved the massive moon roof as well. Gives it-
Tom: That is big right?
Professor: It gives it a… it makes it feel a lot more spacious inside.
VW Tiguan Technology
Tom: So, 2019 VW Tiguan technology. We already touched on it a couple of times, but the digital cockpit. That is a big thing for Volkswagen.
I think it’s not only a big thing for Volkswagen, I think it’s gonna be a big thing for everybody in the not so distant future.
I think Volkswagen’s ahead of the curve on the digital dash, especially as more vehicles become hybrids and more vehicles become certainly electrics. The digital dash is just going to be I think, the norm.
Professor: Yeah, you’re seeing that in a lot of the luxury vehicles.
So, you’re definitely going to see that in the non-luxury vehicles coming up.
“…I really like what they’ve done with the interior. How the center stack, it’s angled towards the driver.”
And, I’m trying to think of another compact crossover in this segment that has a digital cockpit and I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.
I believe this is the only one in its class that has that digital cockpit.
Tom: The only non-luxury. I can’t think of any.
Professor: Yeah, nothing. I can’t think of anything… nothing that comes to mind right now.
Volkswagen Digital Cockpit
Tom: And before the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan review, I kept on telling you, let’s call it the right thing. Is its digital cockpit, and then I just started calling it digital dash, didn’t I? Perfect. Good job Tom.
To explain what the digital cockpit does is, I mean, it’s exactly what it sounds like. But instead of the two big circular gauges that you would have.
Professor: Tachometer and speedometer.
Tom: Right for your RPMs and your miles per hour. Instead of those, it’s a digital screen in either scenario and highly configurable.
“…this is the only one in its class that has that digital cockpit.”
Professor: That’s a big advantage right there.
Tom: Now we don’t have anybody in the Audi space that we work with or Porsche, but those are both in the Volkswagen family upstream.
Tom: Are they big in digital cockpits right now already?
Professor: Oh yeah. Audi’s definitely doing it.
Tom: So, they’re already been there, done that.
Professor: Yeah, that’s why it’s coming down to the Volkswagen vehicles.
Tom: That makes sense, that makes sense.
Professor: Yeah, if you look at the A8, A7, A6-
Tom: And they’ve been doing it for a while?
Professor: More recently in the past several years. Yeah, the Q5. So the Q5 is the compact crossover from Audi. Very similar in size to the Tiguan.
2019 Tiguan Engine & Drive
Tom: All right. How’d it drive?
Professor: Oh, it drives great. It’s got, I don’t think we mentioned the engine. It’s got a 2.0 liter inline, four-cylinder turbo charge.
Tom: I meant to ask you about that. Are we across the board that same engine?
Professor: It is the same engine across the board on all trim levels.
Professor: Yeah. During our 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan review we found that it pumps out 184 horsepower, but more importantly, it cranks out 221 pound-feet of torque. So it’s got plenty of torque, plenty of pick up, very, very smooth.
Tom: If you have that third row, all that torque will be put to use. But that is a lot of torque, isn’t it?
Professor: Yes. And I felt like it had plenty of power.
“…I drove it up to Lake Arrowhead up on the twisty mountain roads and it handled well and plenty of power going uphill.”
Professor: Even though it’s a big compact crossover vehicle. It handled very well. I drove it up to Lake Arrowhead up on the twisty mountain roads and it handled well and plenty of power going uphill.
Tom: The Professor. He’s always taking his test drives some exotic, southern California location. I’m just like taking mine wherever is…
Professor: I’m getting the full experience.
Tom: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. The professor is thorough in his vehicle reviews.
2019 VW Tiguan Warranty
Okay, so that brings us to the one thing that I think we need to touch on more in our Ontario Volkswagen vehicle reviews and that is the Volkswagen People First Warranty.
Professor: Six years, 72000 miles.
Tom: Bumper to bumper.
‘…Volkswagen’s People First Warranty. 6-Years / 72,000-miles transferable!’
Professor: Bumper to bumper.
Tom: Now the key thing about that, it’s okay-
Professor: That’s the key thing, bumper to bumper.
iDriveSoCal’s contact @ Ontario VW
RHalcomb [at] OntarioVW [dot] com
Tom: Bumper to bumper, right, and I mean, lots of vehicles have three year, 36000 miles.
So we’re already doubling that, right? Boom. But the big thing is that not only is it double what most are, it’s also transferrable. That’s big.
Professor: That’s big, yeah.
Tom: So, need to point that out. With that in mind, unless there’s anything else, the top three.
Top-3 | 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan
Professor: Top three.
I’m gonna have to definitely go with the exterior styling of the vehicle.
As soon as I saw the new Tiguan, I was very, very impressed with the design. I love the way it looks as I mentioned earlier from all angles. Really clean, modern, contemporary design.
Second, I’m going with the interior.
2019 VW Tiguan review Top-3:
1. Exterior – clean, modern, contemporary design.
2. Interior – ergonomics, high-tech digital cockpit and big screen navi.
3. Engine – power and torque with all-wheel drive and great fule economy!
I’ve been a big fan of Volkswagen ergonomics for a long time and they did another fantastic job and this one, they decided to go really high tech with the digital cockpit and they’ve got that really big screen for the navigation system.
So that’s really, really nice.
Tom: Oh, that’s right and on the center stack, big screen.
Tom: Yeah, we didn’t even mention that.
Professor: Center stack and it’s angled towards the driver. So, it’s got great ergonomics.
And then third I’m going with the engine, especially with that torque and then you’re still getting great fuel economy, especially for a crossover with all-wheel drive.
Tom: All right, very nice.
Ontario Volkswagen in Ontario, California
Professor, thank you so much as always. That was the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan as reviewed by our good friend, Mr. Clinton Quan, aka the Professor.
Our thanks as always to our friends at Ontario Volkswagen, just off the 15 in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California.
Mr. Earl Reed, General Manager, Randy Halcomb, our go-to for iDriveSoCal, Shant Bashian, the General Sales Manager, Jim Straley, the Service Director.
Just a fine group of people out there at Ontario Volkswagen, we love working with you guys.
For iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith. Thank you, Professor, and thank you very much for listening.