Pros: Car-like ride and handling quality; high quality cabin materials and finishing; comfortable passenger accommodations; simple, user-friendly controls
Cons: Steep pricing on higher trim levels; firmer ride than some class competitors; not as much cargo room as some rivals
CG Says: For 2014, Volkswagen’s compact crossover SUV gets a performance-oriented R-Line model with sport suspension, 19-inch wheels, and special interior and exterior trim. SE and SEL models gain a few new features, and Volkswagen’s Car-Net communications system/smartphone app is now available. Tiguan offers the premium engineering, solid workmanship, sporty road manners, and upscale equipment levels expected of European brands–including VW. That’s why it costs more than most class rivals. European sourcing doesn’t help. At least the price penalty is somewhat offset by three years of no-cost scheduled maintenance, and VW is rapidly improving its brand image with newer products like the American-made Passat midsize sedan. So although Tiguan may be off our Best Buy roster, we still recommend you give it serious consideration. It deserves to sell better than it does. The entry-level S models offer the best dollar value without skimping on essentials, but a mid-line SE makes sense if you avoid the pricey navigation and sunroof features.