The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited lacks the bells and whistles of its more modern sibling, but it still comes at a tempting price point. If you love Volkswagen’s style but don’t need too much equipment, it might be just your speed.
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2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited Overview
What's New for 2018
The Tiguan Limited returns without significant changes for 2018.
Choosing Your Volkswagen Tiguan
The Tiguan Limited is Volkswagen’s designation for the the first-generation Tiguan, which was succeeded in 2017. The Limited provides fewer and less sophisticated features, but it’s substantially cheaper.
All Tiguans are powered by Volkswagen’s classic 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed to the wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. The Tiguan Limited still allows a choice between either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
In fact, the drivetrain choice is the only “trim” designation VW provides on the aging Tiguan. After a $900 destination fee, the front-drive Tiguan Limited starts from $23,150, which is more than $2,000 cheaper than a modern Tiguan in the base S trim. The difference shows in elements like the Limited’s wheels, which are basic 16-inch steel units. Still, all models do come with a five-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a backup camera, and heated side mirrors. Otherwise, standard features are basic – single-zone climate control, cloth seats, and a basic sound system.
The all-wheel-drive Tiguan starts at $25,125, but it doesn’t add any standard features other than VW’s 4Motion drive system. Mileage doesn’t suffer too much: the EPA estimates 19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined with all-wheel drive compared to 20/26/23 for FWD models.
A Premium Package adds back some creature comforts for a price of $1,295. Included are a 6.33-inch touchscreen with app compatibility, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless access and push-button start, a leather-wrapped shifter, roof rails, a USB port, and (thankfully) cruise control.
Regardless of whether you need all-wheel drive or not, we think it’s worth adding the Premium Package for the few extra features. Even after adding the package, the Limited is more than $1,000 cheaper than a Tiguan—a bargain for buyers who don’t need the latest and greatest.
2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited Review
In addition to a smaller, more urban-friendly footprint than the redesigned Tiguan, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited – a carryover first-generation model – also scores points for its lively four-cylinder turbo and upscale interior. But deductions from that total include a dull, conservative design, lackluster handling, and middling safety scores.
Offered in only a single trim, pricing for the 2018 Tiguan Limited starts at $23,150 for the front-wheel drive model and tops out at $26,915 for the all-wheel-drive version equipped with the optional Premium Package and seventeen-inch alloy wheels. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The usual power features are present, plus a five-inch touchscreen, keyless entry, heated outside mirrors, and Bluetooth connectivity. While a rearview camera is also standard, advanced safety features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control are not offered.
With a single trim, we'd opt for the all-season versatility of the all-wheel-drive model and kick things up a notch with the Premium Package. The Tiguan Limited's budget focus is its strongest attribute, so we'll pass on the optional 17-inch wheel package and its $495 premium.
- Model: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited SE
- Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
- Output: 200 hp / 207 lb-ft
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
- MPG: 19 City / 25 Hwy
- Options: 4Motion all-wheel-drive ($1,975), Premium Package ($1,295, roof rails, 6.3-inch touchscreen, HD radio, satellite radio, USB port, multi-function leather-wrapped steering wheel, cargo cover, keyless push-button start, leather-wrapped gearshift knob, cruise control, and Volkswagen App Connect, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto)
- Base Price: $23,150 (including a $900 destination fee)
- Best Value Price:$26,420
More responsive than a Toyota RAV4, there's a nimble feeling to the Tiguan Limited that's surprising in a product this old. The ride is smooth and tuned for comfort, ideal for extended highway cruising. The suspension does a nice job of absorbing road irregularities and larger impacts, while the automatic transmission emphasizes the engine's broad torque curve, making even daily commutes interesting. Towing capacity is 2,200 pounds, while the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, which typically delivers ninety percent of torque to the front wheels for better fuel economy, is capable of sending one hundred percent to either axle under extreme conditions. Speaking of fuel economy, it's not stellar. The EPA estimates the Tiguan Limited will return19 miles per gallon in the city, 25 on the highway, and 22 combined on all-wheel-drive models.
The turbo four can make things interesting, but most competitors' normally-aspirated engines offer equal power, with rivaling turbos packing considerably more powerful offerings. Like many older, four-cylinder turbos, Premium fuel is recommended for the Tiguan Limited's 2.0-liter.
The Tiguan Limited's conservative exterior is wrapped around an interior that, while on the small side, looks nice enough The materials are simple and richly textured. Fit and finish is impressive, the front seats are sporty and supportive, while the driving position is excellent. The second row seats slide and tilt to adjust for more passenger room or cargo space, and offer adequate shoulder and leg room, while the parking footprint is small enough that it's not a challenge to park.
On the downside, only cloth upholstery is available – leather requires stepping up to the redesigned Tiguan. In going the mono-spec route, VW also axed the option of power seats, heated seats, adjustable seat height and lumbar support, a sunroof, automatic climate control, fog lights, LED running lights, and bi-xenon headlights. More worryingly, the Tiguan Limited's crash test results are subpar, while the cargo capacity (24 cubic feet with the second row up and a maximum of 56 with it folded) can't compare to that of rivals like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, which can top 70 cu ft of max cargo volume.
The Best and Worst Things
Despite being limited to cloth, the interior remains decidedly upscale.
It's a bummer that advanced safety features aren't available.
Right For? Wrong For?
A small footprint and versatile interior should help to attract urban-dwellers that need an affordable crossover.
Poor crash test scores and the lack of advanced safety gear will hurt the Tiguan Limited with families.
The Bottom Line
Despite a city-friendly size and upscale interior, the Tiguan Limited disappoints with a conservative design, lack of equipment, and poor safety ratings.