The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover SUV with available 3rd-row seating.

It’s hard to beat the fit and finish in Volkswagen vehicles.  And that holds true with the 2020 Tiguan.

Plus the Tiguan’s smooth sure-footed performance, high-tech features and Euro-styling combine for a serious value proposition.

I recently picked up a 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan from my friends at Ontario Volkswagen for this review.

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2020 Volkswagen Tiguan front A

Available LED headlights and daytime running lights

A Midsize Or Compact Crossover SUV?

Sometimes it’s difficult to accurately categorize vehicle class sizes.   That’s because carmakers state a vehicle is in one particular class size.  And then automotive journalists put a vehicle in a different category.

Sidebar: And if you’ve ever noticed, rental car companies play funny games with size categories too.  Of course, that’s to better pad their profit margins.  And, I find that practice super-annoying but hey, that’s between you and me. ;0)

So, back to Tiguan’s class size.   If you go to Tiguan is currently categorized as a midsize crossover SUV.   But, I’m putting the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan in the compact crossover SUV category.

And while I could refer to the vehicle’s dimensions in comparison to others in the industry, I’m not going to.  Instead, I’m calling the 2020 Tiguan a compact crossover SUV because Volkswagen is adding to its lineup this year.

2020 VW Tiguan driver profile

2020 VW Tiguan Courtesy of Ontario Volkswagen

VW’s Crossover SUV Line-Up

In recent past years, Volkswagen offered only the Tiguan and Atlas.  And since the Atlas was much bigger than the Tiguan most of the industry called Atlas full-sized and Tiguan midsized.

But for 2020, VW is introducing a new Atlas Cross Sport.  It’s slightly shorter than the Atlas and doesn’t offer a 3rd-row of seating as the Atlas does.

And yes, you read correctly at the top, Tiguan does offer a 3rd-row of seating.   So here’s Volkswagen crossover SUV the line-up and seating-row options for 2020.

2020 Volkswagen Crossover SUV line-up:

  • Atlas full-size w/ 3-rows of seating
  • Atlas Cross Sport midsize mid-size w/ 2-rows
  • Tiguan compact w/ optional 3-rows of seating

New For 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan

Notable changes for the 2020 VW Tiguan include increased standard driver assistance and a new SE R-Line Black trim option.

Standard Driver Assistance:

  • Front assist
  • Side assist
  • Rear traffic alert

SE R-Line Black Trim:

    • Fog lights
    • Black headliner
    • Panoramic sunroof
    • Front and rear park distance control
    • 20-inch black aluminum-alloy wheels
    • Black-accented R-Line bumpers and badging

Also new for 2020, on the SE trim and above is available wireless phone charging.

2020 Tiguan Trim Configurations And MSRPs

So, with the addition of the SE R-Line Black below are all the trim options and manufacturer’s suggested retail starting prices for the 2020 VW Tiguan.

2020 VW Tiguan rear model badge and plate

2020 VW Tiguan SEL – My Test Driver For This Review

 2020 VW Tiguan Trims & Starting MSRPs:

    • S $24,945
    • SE $27,095
    • SE R-Line Black $30,295
    • SEL $32,245
    • SEL Premium R-Line w/4MOTION $38,795

4MOTION all-wheel drive adds $1,300 to any trim.

As always, pricing I share only reflects starting manufacturers suggested retail prices.  Getting your Tiguan equipped to your liking will impact the price.

But always keep it simple and go see my friends at Ontario Volkswagen.  They give you both the best deal and buying experience in all of Southern California.

Your iDSC contact @ Ontario VW:

Randy Halcomb

cell: 909-772-1728

email: RHalcomb [at] OntarioVW [dot] com

Or email me and I’ll introduce you personally: Tom [at] iDriveSoCal [dot] com.

Engines & Transmissions

Volkswagen keeps it simple by offering the same engine across all trim levels.  And that’s a 184-hp, turbocharged 4-cylinder that puts out 221 lb-ft of torque.

2020 VW Tiguan center console

Available drive modes: snow, on-road, off-road and off-road custom

Additionally, VW gives all Tiguan trim levels the same 8-speed automatic transmission with Sport mode.  Plus that transmission also includes Tiptronic shifting for when you want to be in even more control of the vehicle’s performance.

Drive And MPG

The 2020 Tiguan drives like a sure-footed and responsive Volkswagen – just as you’d expect.  The turbocharged 4-cylinder appropriately kicks-in earlier and revs higher in sport mode.  And manually shifting gears with Tiptronic is fun.

22 mpg city / 29 mpg highway

22 mpg city / 29 mpg highway – w/out 4MOTION

Fuel economy for Tiguan is pretty similar regardless of the trim option you go with.  And the only major difference that comes into play 4MOTION all-wheel-drive.

2020 VW Tiguan rear

LED taillights

So 2020 Tiguan’s without all-wheel-drive is rated at 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.  And when you add 4MOTION all-wheel-drive there’s just a slight drop to 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

What Does 2020 VW Tiguan Look Like?

The 2020 Tiguan is unmistakenly a European vehicle.  And to that end, also unmistakenly a Volkswagen.  It’s bold and clean from every angle.

LED headlights

Available LED headlights move with your turns

And the R-Line Black trim gives Tiguan an aggressive and sporty new dimension that immediately had me doing a double-take.

Volkswagen Tiguan Interior

When you close the door of a Volkswagen you can both hear and feel the quality.  That’s because it’s always solid with attention to the fit and finish – especially inside.

2020 VW Tiguan front seats and dash

Tiguan front seats & (digital) dash

One feature of the Tiguan’s interior that doubles as an exterior feature is the available panoramic moonroof.  I’m noting that hear because it’s absolutely huge.  It’s so big that I couldn’t fit the entire roof into one picture.  So, you’re going to have to trust me.  It nearly takes up the entire roof.

Spacious 2nd-row backseat

Spacious 2nd-row backseat

And a nod to Volkswagen engineering is the versatility of 3-rows of seating in a compact crossover SUV.  While the 3rd-row of seating is definitely sized for kids, it’s functionality is brilliant in a compact vehicle.

2nd and 3rd rows of seating

3-row compact crossover SUV

And when you lay both rows of backseats down you’re left with a generous amount of cargo space.

2020 VW Tiguan cargo area with 2nd and 3rd row seats partially down

Up to 73.5 cu ft of cargo space

With the backseats laying nearly flat the Tiguan provides up to 73.5 cubic-feet of cargo space.

Technology & Infotainment

So the lead topic in Volkswagen technology has to be the digital cockpit.  This has to be the way the entire automotive industry is going.

2020 VW Tiguan digital cockpit

Digital instrumentation

The available digital cockpit allows for unique driver personalization.  Up to 4-different profiles can be customized and saved.


Available full-screen navigation

And lots of vehicle monitoring options keep drivers well informed.

vehicle driving options

Monitor the vehicle and your driving performance

So whether you want to keep track of the vehicle’s performance, or your own skills behind the wheel, Tiguan has you covered.

Driver Assistance Technology & Safety

And Tiguan delivers when it comes to safety and driver assistance tech.

So, the Institue for Highway Safety named the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan as a Top Safety Pick.  That’s when it’s equipped with LED headlights and an adaptive front-lighting system with dynamic cornering headlights.

Plus Tiguan offers all the driver assistance safety technology features that we’ve come to expect in new cars these days.

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Driver Assistance Safety:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blindspot monitoring
  • Rear traffic alert
  • Light assist
  • Front assist
  • Lane assist

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Top-3

My Top-3 for the 2020 Tiguan are pretty simple:

  1. Styling: I love this current generation of VW’s Tiguan already.  But adding the SE R-Line Black takes Volkswagen’s European styling to another level.
  2. Technology: Until all the class competitors catch-up to VW’s digital cockpit the Tiguan’s available tech will be tough to beat.
  3. Versatility: The words compact crossover SUV and 3-row do not usually go together.  Especially in such a high-value package.

Ontario VW

My thanks as always to my friends at Ontario Volkswagen.  Whether you need to get your VW serviced or pick-up a new one, this is the place to go to in Southern California.  PLMK if you’d like me to introduce you.  General Manager Earl Reed and Randy Halcomb are always happy to connect with iDSC readers/listeners.