The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is the fourth model year of the second generation.

So the second generation hit the US market in 2017.  And it was great then.  But with each year it keeps getting better.

Because the compact SUV is fun to drive.  Plus it delivers solid fuel economy while also offering attractive European styling.

✅  Southern California’s Volkswagen HQ –> Ontario Volkswagen

2021 VW Tiguan Top-3:

  1. Styling
  2. Interior
  3. The Drive.

2021 VW Tiguan Review: Compact 3-Row SUV

Probably what throws most people off about the Tiguan is the optional three-rows of seating.  That’s right.  It’s compact but it does offer 3-rows.

That is to say, there’s a 3rd-row of seating for children.  Unless you’re a very small adult that back row is not for you.  Nevertheless, those extra seats come in handy.  And are in hot demand.

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Silver 2021 VW Tiguan driver profile with sky

109.8″ wheelbase

Trims And Pricing

For ’21 the Tiguan is being offered in five trim configurations.  And here they are with the manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing.

2021 VW Tiguan Trims & MSRPs:

  • S: $25,245
  • SE: $27,395
  • SE R-Line Black: $30,595
  • SEL: $32,545
  • SEL Premium R-Line: $39,095

Pictured throughout this review is the SE R-Line Black, courtesy of our friends at Ontario Volkswagen.  And that’s the official iDriveSoCal VW dealer.

2021 VW Tiguan wheel

20″ alloy wheels

Engine, Drivetrain, AND MPG

The 2021 Tiguan comes with the same engine and transmission across all trims.  However, you do have to decide if you want to go with 2-wheel driver or all-wheel drive.


First, the engine is a quick 2.0-liter inline turbocharged four-cylinder.  And it puts out 184-horsepower with 221 pound-feet of torque


The 8-speed automatic transmission seems perfectly geared for the size and weight of the vehicle.  Because with the engine, it provides confident acceleration everywhere you need it.

So this leaves you with the option of front-wheel drive or Volkswagens 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.  And either way, you have a 1,500 lb towing capacity with Tiguan.

Fuel Economy

Accordingly, the fuel economy varies only slightly.

2021 VW Tiguan MPG:

  • Front-wheel: 23/25/29
  • 4Motion: 21/24/27


Finally, the Tiguan’s curb weight differs only slightly as well.

Whereas front-wheel drive comes in at 3,735 lbs and 4Motion increases to 3,825 lbs.

What’s the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Look Like?

It definitely looks European and unmistakably a Volkswagen.  And it depends on the trim you go with. For instance, the SE R-Line that is pictured throughout this article.  It looks athletic and bold.

2021 VW Tiguan R Line passenger front with sky

It doesn’t look like a compact.

Plus the 20″ black alloy wheels that come with the SE R-Line Black trim add a touch of style and class.

Exterior Dimensions:

  • Wheelbase: 109.8
  • Track
    • front: 62.2
    • rear: 61.8
  • Length: 185.1
  • Width: 72.4
  • Height: 66.3

The ’21 Tiguan doesn’t look like a compact SUV.  For sure, all cars have gotten bigger in recent years.  Even so, nothing about Tiguan says ‘compact’ from the outside.  Or the inside for that matter.

Interior Design

And speaking of the interior, I’d classify the design as exceptional.  Specifically the way everything is laid out.

2021 VW Tiguan SE R-Line Black front seats and dash

SE R-Line Black interior

And that starts in the cockpit.  Including all the driver controls.  But it also extends to the rest of the vehicle.

2021 VW Tiguan SE backseat

36.6″ of 2nd-row legroom

For example the ample, 36.6-inches of second-row backseat legroom.  Additionally, when equipped with a 3rd-row provides 27.9 inches of legroom.

Interior Metrics:

  • Headroom: 39.6/39.1/33.8
  • Shoulder room: 57.0/55.9/47.8
  • Legroom: 40.2/36.6/27.9

*All inches

And no Volkswagen review is complete without a compliment to the brand’s attention to detail, fit, and finish.

2021 VW Tiguan cargo area with back seats partial down

Available 3rd-row

Because everything in the vehicle is easy and intuitive to adjust.  And that’s whether you have 2 or 3-rows of seating.  They’re simple to put up and back down whenever your needs arise.

One final note on the interior is the optional panoramic sunroof.  It’s surprisingly huge and must be amazing (for passengers) driving through the desert on a starry night.

’21 VW Tiguan Technology And Safety

Volkswagen offers the 2021 Tiguan packed with all the latest technology you’d expect.  Whether that’s infotainment or keeping you safe.


Volkswagen’s App-Connect, Car-Net, and Bluetooth are standard across all trims.  And options in top trims include Volkswagen’s Digitial Cockpit, 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, plus 9-speaker Fender premium audio system.

2021 VW Tiguan SE R Line cockpit

8-inch info screen and Fender audio available

Driver Assistance Safety Tech

Forward collision warning and braking, blind-spot monitoring, rearview camera, rear traffic and more, all come standard.

Additionally, Tiguan comes with more safety and driver assistance tech as you move up in trim configurations.  So, that includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and park distance control.

Then there are two features that only come on the SEL Premium R-Line trim.  Those being the overhead (area view) camera and high beam control.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Top-3

Bringing us back to my Top-3 favorite things about the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan.

  1. Styling – Tiguan looks classy-cool.  It definitely punches above its weight class in the styling department.  It’s compact but doesn’t look like one.
  2. Interior – Inside is big, comfortable, intuitive, and delivers VW’s always-solid fit and finish.  And the optional 3rd row is rare for compacts.
  3. The Drive – I was surprised to realize how much I like driving Tiguan.  Because it’s nimble and quick.  Far quicker than its 181 hp suggests.

Ontario Volkswagen – SoCal’s VW Headquarters

And for all your VW needs – buying, servicing, or just learning more – go see our friends at Ontario VW.  For the best buying experience hands-down.  Plus the selection and expert guidance through your Volkswagen options.


All the latest Volkswagen news HERE.