Review - Volkswagen Tiguan

By Alexi Falson on 06 May 2021
image for Review - Volkswagen Tiguan The mid-size SUV market is arguably the toughest segment of the market to gain significant traction. Volkswagen is very much aware of this fact, and it has been taking the fight to its rivals like the Toyota RAV-4, Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V by hedging its bets on its European sophistication.

Volkswagen is gearing up for the release of the refreshed 2021 Tiguan lineup, with the entry-level 110TSI already on sale, 162TSI and 147TDI expected to hit stores in May, and the 132TSI expected to be released in June, 2021. With that in mind, let’s dive into the changes, the $4,700 price increase, and value for money on offer in the latest generation VW Tiguan to see if it’s worth your vote over the competition.

Starting Price: $39,690

OnlineAuto Savings: $4,274

Volkswagen Tiguan (110TSI LIFE) Specifications

Model Date 2021
Series 5NA MY21
Variant 110TSI LIFE
Transmission 6 SP AUTO DIRECT SHI
Drive FWD
Engine TDFI
Engine capacity 1395
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 5000 / 1500
Cylinders T4
Torque 250
KW 110
Fuel tank size 58.0
Fuel usage specs 7.7 / 0.0
CO2 175
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Volkswagen Tiguan car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

The updated 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan lineup kicks off at $39,690 for the base model Tiguan Life 110TSI, or $43,690 for the Life 132TSI; this is an increase of $4,700 over the previous Tiguan entry-level model. Stepping up to the mid-range Tiguan Elegance 162TSI costs $50,790, or $52,290 for the 147TDI diesel variant.

From here, the range jumps to the range-topping Tiguan R-Line, which costs $53,790 for the 162TSI or $55,290 for the 147TDI diesel variant; the Tiguan R-Line with a 162TSI engine is now $2,100 more than the model it replaced.

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What Features Does the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Have?

Volkswagen is including a range of equipment as standard on the entry-level Tiguan Life, including 18-inch alloy wheels, LED head, fog and tail-lights, 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation, gesture control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic wipers, hands-free tailgate, reversing camera, tri-zone climate control, and a 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro for the driver to enjoy.

This is in addition to a host of safety equipment that we’ll cover in the latter portion of this review.

Stepping up to the Tiguan Elegance adds features like matrix LED headlights, premium LED tail-lights, leather interior trim, adjustable heated seats, a heated steering wheel, larger 9.2-inch infotainment system, 19-inch Auckland alloys, adaptive suspension dampers, chrome highlights and ambient LED cabin lighting.

The flagship Tiguan R-Line adds a number of styling tweaks to the exterior of the car, including larger 20-inch Misano alloys, revised bumpers and side skirts and a rear spoiler, while the interior receives special leather trim, an R-Line steering wheel, stainless steel pedals and black lining on the roof.

Range Features

  • 18-inch ‘Nizza’ alloy wheels
  • 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro
  • LED Headlights
  • Hands-Free Tailgate
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Matrix LED Headlights (Elegance and above)
  • 9.2-inch infotainment system (Elegance and above)
  • Vienna Leather Trim (R-Line)
  • 20-inch ‘Misano’ alloy wheels (R-Line)

Volkswagen Tiguan Colours

Night Shade Blue Metallic Deep Black Pearl
Dolphin Grey Metallic Kings Red Metallic
Reflex Silver Metallic Pure White Solid

Is it Comfortable to Drive?

The Volkswagen group is a huge company that owns a number of other manufacturers like Audi, SEAT, and Skoda. As a result, VW’s passenger cars benefit hugely from research and development across the board, and the results show in the Tiguan. Underneath, there’s VW’s updated MQB platform - which they actually use in other cars like the Golf - and this provides a sturdy, quality feel to the driving dynamics.

On anything from a country B-road to piloting through the city, the Tiguan is both relaxed and capable of ironing out bumps and irregularities on the road, particularly if you opt for those adaptive dampers. Both the petrol and diesel engines produce more than enough power, although the diesel engine provides more torque (the push up to your speed) and makes it an easier car to drive. VW’s DSG gearbox provides remarkably quick and smooth gear-shifts; to the point that you’re unlikely to notice, which is a sign of a quality car.

Overall, the Tiguan shows all the tell-tale signs of a quality car that has been designed to achieve its purpose: a remarkably unremarkable drive from point A-to-B. German engineering is hard to top, and the latest Tiguan is further proof of this.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

The fanatical attention to detail on the part of VW’s team of engineers has carried on inside the Tiguan, but this has taken its toll on the personality inside the cabin. Everything is well thought-out, ergonomic and usable, but there’s very little to get excited about inside, especially if you’re opting for the entry-level Tiguan model.

The good news, though, is that the seats up front are extremely comfortable, the Tiguan is an extremely practical offering with an array of storage options for items big and small, most of which are lined with felt to minimise rattling from loose items.

As a five-seat tool for school trips, work commutes and long holiday road trips, the Tiguan remains unphased. In the rear of the cabin, there’s a huge amount of legroom even behind the tallest of drivers, and headroom is not a problem for a full-sized adult. There’s also the neat option to roll the rear-seats forward to enable more space in the boot for large, bulky items, with 615L of luggage capacity on offer. 

Is it Safe?

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan has been awarded the maximum Five Star ANCAP safety rating. Aside from this, VW has thrown in a large amount of safety equipment as standard on even the base models, which means you stand to benefit from features like autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic parking functions and rear parking sensors.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Depending on which engine you opt for in the VW Tiguan, economy figures range from exceptional to mediocre. By far, the most economical engine in the Tiguan lineup is the 2.0-litre TDI fitted to the 147 TDI Elegance/R-Line which has a combined cycle rating of just 6.1L per 100km. The next best option for economy is the 1.4-litre TSI engine on the base model 110TSI which returns figures of 7.7L per 100km. In last place, though, is VW’s 2.0-litre petrol unit fitted to the 162TSI which returns figures of 8.5L per 100km on a combined cycle.

Overall, the diesel engine presents the most economical offering, while the base model’s engine is the best of the petrol choices in terms of economy, but requires you to sacrifice some power.

Our Verdict: Is the Volkswagen Tiguan Worth it?

Overall, Volkswagen has very much lived up to its reputation with the latest iteration of the Tiguan; it’s a car that oozes sophistication more than its price tag may warrant. In terms of practicality, the Tiguan is more than capable of handling a family’s-worth of luggage for a weekend away, and the diesel engine offers remarkable economy for the power that’s on offer. Few buyers will be left disappointed by the latest generation Volkswagen Tiguan, so don’t hesitate to organise a test-drive if you’re in the market.

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Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Connectivity
  2. 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro driver display
  3. IQ.DRIVE Assistance and Safety Package included on base model
  4. 4MOTION all-wheel drive (132TSI Life & above)
  5. Adaptive Chassis Control (Elegance & above)


  • Build quality
  • Relaxed, smooth & sophisticated driving dynamics
  • Large, practical family SUV


  • Pricey Options List
  • Uninspiring interior design on base model
  • VW touch-sensitive controls

OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10

Volkswagen Tiguan Competition

Volkswagen Tiguan

Mazda CX-5
Volvo XC40
Audi Q3
Hyundai Tucson


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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