The 2019 Tiguan carries from the complete overhaul given to the crossover in the 2018 model year. This year, though, the Tiguan has an added trim level and some content shuffling to go with. The bigger, better Tiguan is now also more customizable.

Quick Specs & Info

2019 Volkswagen Tiguan Class: Small-midsized crossover-SUV
Base Model As Tested: 2.0T SE 4Motion
Powertrain 2.0turbo auto Powertrain 2.0turbo auto
Base MSRP $24,295 MSRP as tested $29,285

Overview

Our chief complaint about the Volkswagen Tiguan in the past has been its lack of interior space and refinement. Our chief love of it has been its sporty nature and great handling on the road. With this new-generation Tiguan, VW added more space by extending the length of the Tiguan by about ten inches. That added more interior room, but means more weight as well.

The added weight has detracted somewhat from the sport-tuned fun of the Tiguan, but not so much that we’d call it a loss. Just enough that this is no longer an enthusiast’s machine is all. That’s a good thing overall. Because the 2019 Tiguan needs to have an edge without being less than its competition. It’s now very competitive.

Trim Packages

There are six trim packages for the 2019 Tiguan, starting with the base model S and moving through the SE, SEL, SEL Premium, SEL R-Line, and Premium SEL R-Line. The R-Line trims are new this year and add larger 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels and sportier exterior styling additions. The base model S comes very well equipped for the price, but most consumers will probably find their sweet spot in the SE or SEL packages with their added infotainment and driver assistance features.

Exterior and Interior Design

On the outside, the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan keeps its sporty looks and strong edges. We like the design, which stands out in a parking lot full of similar-sized everyday machines. Especially in the optional Habenjaro Orange we drove it with.

Inside, the Tiguan is a typical VW with an austere design aimed towards simplicity. There’s nothing to grab and “wow” anyone, but it’s functional and materials quality is generally good. Hard plastics are found, though, and interior noise levels could use some work in this new model.

The useful infotainment, comfortable seating, and extended versatility thanks to better backseat room and a larger cargo area are all boons here.

Driving the 2019 Tiguan

The Tiguan remains fun to drive, though not as fast paced as its preceding generation was. It handles very well and predictably, but loses some umph (even with the new turbo-4) because of its added bulk. The 184 horsepower of the engine isn’t quite enough to compete with V6-powered competitors that are sportier, but it’s generally on par or better than most competitors’ four-banger engines. VW did hit the mark well with the eight-speed automatic that’s attached.

As with last years’ model, which we drove when it debuted, we think the 2019 Tiguan has a lot more capability than most would expect.

Competition

Kep competitors with the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan include the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Toyota RAV4.

  • The Chevrolet Equinox has a good price point and interior appeal, but misses on rear-world drive quality and usable versatility.
  • The Honda CR-V is a close competitor and a best-seller in this segment for good reason. It has a lackluster transmission, in comparison, and isn’t as price competitive.
  • The Nissan Rogue offers great all-around capability, albeit with a far less sophisticated feel on the road. It sells very well for good reason, including price point, but loses out on fun factor.
  • The Toyota RAV4 comes in a variety of great packages for many needs and is probably the most competitive vehicle to the Tiguan in today’s market. It’s not as punchy to drive, but it has a lot going for it in off-road capability and a hybrid option that well worth considering.

Strong Points

  • Versatility of Design: The interior of the 2018 Tiguan is much more versatile than it was in previous generations and is now one of the best in the segment.
  • Drive Quality: The 2018 VW Tiguan has one of the best drive dynamics in the segment, with punchy returns from its turbocharged engine and a great steering dynamic to go with that.
  • Low Price Point: The Tiguan is consistently below others on the market in comparable price points and that should attract many buyers. Especially given its warranty.

Weaknesses

  • Slow Turbo Engagement: Uptake on the turbocharger can be slow, with a long lag between throttle push and engagement.
  • Fuel Economy: Some competitors are offering better fuel economy, including hybrid options, that just aren’t available with the Tiguan.

Conclusions

The Tiguan has evolved a little with this new generation, adding more usefulness to attract more buyers. This slight sellout to the norm means less punchiness at the throttle, but the 2019 Tiguan is still a great drive with most of the major qualities of its predecessors as strong points. It’s an often-overlooked option in the small-midsized segment and shouldn’t be.

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An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.

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