Compact crossovers are everywhere, and VW’s entry into this hot segment is the Tiguan. For 2016, the Tiguan sits in a unusual position that straddles the line between mainstream and luxury crossovers.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan is a part of the fast-growing compact-crossover segment that tends to focus on low pricing. VW is an exception to this rule, with a starting price of $24,890 that's on the high side for its class. On the bright side, lots of premium features come standard with the base S trim level, and include:

  • Keyless access with pushbutton start
  • A rearview camera
  • Heated front seats
  • An eight-speaker audio system
  • Automatic climate control

To get even more premium features, move up to the SE ($31,390) or SEL ($34,445) trims. For added performance, opt for the R-Line ($28,700).

Performance Pros

While the Tiguan doesn’t have the sporty driving dynamics of many VW cars, it is still fine to drive. Its 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine has a flat torque curve that delivers a decent amount of pep for the class. Ride is also comfortable.

Performance Cons

Most VWs have at least a touch of athleticism, but the Tiguan only feels sporty in R-Line model.

  • The soft suspension isn't a match for the Tiguan's peppy 2-liter engine.
  • Light steering doesn't offer much feedback, and feels very numb at times.

Interior Pros

Volkswagen Tiguan Interior

We consider the Tiguan's interior its greatest strength. It is almost as if VW designed it from the inside out.

  • Seating is high and upright, giving the driver a great view.
  • Great interior design that looks more expensive than its price tag may lead you to believe.
  • The split-folding rear seat provides plenty of usable cargo space -- up to 56.1 cubic feet.

Interior Cons

We do have a few criticisms of the Tiguan's interior:

  • Rear-seat legroom is limited when taller people are in the front seats.
  • The 5-inch screen in the center stack looks very dated.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

While VW has always delivered top-notch interiors, the Tiguan takes the premium feel to a new level. Everything is right where we expect it, the driving position is perfect, and there's plenty of room for our cargo.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Crossover SUVs are built for families, and these families expect to be safe. Unfortunately, the Tiguan lacks some modern safety features, which results in a four-star rating from the NHTSA and a "Marginal" rating in the small overlap test performed by the IIHS.

The Bottom Line

Volkswagen Tiguan

There are cheaper compact crossovers and more expensive ones, putting the Tiguan in a weird spot between mainstream and luxury models. For buyers looking for something in this narrow niche, the Tiguan is perfect. For others, however, the Tiguan just doesn’t make sense.