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2008 - 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan
A member in Massachusetts, United States

Looking at three different suvs under 40k miles in New England and would like some feedback /advice. Looking for decent gas mileage and won't do Ford, Chevy, or Dodge.

2013/2014 Mazda CX-5- like the handling and gas mileage when we once rented. AWD hard to find in our budget.

2013/2014 Honda CR-V- always have been a Honda family for reliability and practicality. Lower gas mileage though

2013 VW Tiguan- only looking because it's 3k less than others with same mileage. Know about gas mileage scandal, premium gas, and costly maintenance. However, looks sharp and would 3k less than Honda and Mazdas be worth it? This is the most tempting choice because it's so darn cheap. Anybody else driven/has a Tiguan? What does maintenance look like/cost? Has it been reliable? Are there electrical issues?

Let me know what you guys think. Appreciate the feedback!

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Response from DarronS

9:32 am May 23, 2017

I just turned in my leased 2014 VW Tiguan. You list "decent gas mileage" as a something you're looking for, and the VW will not deliver on that. I never got better than 25 mpg hwy, and that was from Denver to KC (downhill) with a 30 mph tail wind. My normal mileage between Denver and KC was 24 eastbound and 22 westbound. Fuel mileage around town was consistently 21-22 mpg, and only that good because I live in a suburb 25 miles south of Denver with light traffic and few stop lights on my normal routes.

Maintenance cost is another place owning a VW can get very expensive. The 30k service was $300, and the 40k service would have been $400 if I had kept the vehicle that long. Combine that with VW's less than stellar track record for reliability and you have the potential for a very expensive ownership experience.

Aside from the numb steering the Tiguan drives OK, unless you're at high altitude where turbo lag is frustrating off the line. If you drive like a normal person the Prius next to you will be three to four car lengths ahead by the time the Tiguan starts moving, then the Tiguan will stumble on each shift. Give it more throttle and it will accelerate ike a normal car but then gas mileage suffers. This is not an issue at lower altitudes.

As if that weren't enough to sour me on the 2014 Tiguan, the audio interface is inexcusably poor. Instead of putting USB ports in their vehicles like the rest of the civilized world VW's engineers decided to use a proprietary connector. This means you cannot use a USB cable to connect your phone or music device. You have to use a $35 VW cable, and the plug is inside the center console. The console doesn't have enough room for many phones built after 2012 so the cables tend to break regularly. Luckily, Bluetooth pairing is easy. Unluckily, the audio system won't control an iPhone. The only way to change playlists or artists is to pick up the phone and take your eyes off the road.

My Tiguan was reliable, but if you check the stats here you'll find mine was a statistical outlier. I didn't have any mechanical or electrical problems, but the audio interface, numb steering, flaccid suspension and expensive maintenance made me decide to let VW take it back at lease end rather than purchase the Tiguan. Either the Honda or the Mazda would be better choices for you.


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Response from Member5678

11:27 am May 23, 2017

I have a 2012 Tiguan, purchased Jan 2013 at end of model year. Only have 20K miles but so far have had no repairs, just routine maintenance. I like VW because it has the European feel at a great price, simple dash controls and it feels very solid. I don't like it because I only get about 20 MPG, combined cityhighway. That may be because it is the 4Motion AWD model. But I expected to get 23 around town, not so, so if MPG very important to you the Tiguan might not be an option.

The fuel scandal does not play into it because it is not a diesel, although we did own a Sportwagen Diesel in 2010 and we loved it. Prior to this also owned a Jetta which I also liked, we bought the SUV because my elderly dad had trouble getting into the Jetta. But in any case we still have the Tiguan and will keep it for the long term, it's paid for and even with the additional fuel expense does not pencil out to buy another car. We also have Chey Volt and I absolutely hate the dash controls, after 3 years we still have trouble tuning the radio...not so with the VW. I guess German Engineering is a real thing!


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Response from Member4019

5:15 pm May 23, 2017

I leased a 2013 Tiguan SE, FWD. Love it due to the many cool features & the way it drives. I ended up buying the SUV due to low miles & high reliability. Just recently the XM tuner in the radio died. Gas mileage (San Diego metropolitan area) averages 24-25 on premium gas. On the highways I get in the high 20's, in the city low 20's. No problem w/ Turbo lag. Weak points are the sound quality of the factory speakers & no USB port, just a proprietary VW cable. For 2013, all Service for the first 3 years was complimentary!


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Response from NormT

11:16 am July 7, 2017

If you are looking at $20,,000 range compare a discount 2017 Buick Envision Preferred that retails for $37,000, for only $26,000. You'll more luxury, better fuel economy than the Tiguan, and more safety features. Plus the will be the quietest of all of those listed above.


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Response from lmoore1436

12:24 am August 10, 2017

We currently have a leased VW Tiguan, and it has been a disaster! The alarm would go off WHILE we were driving, and it took 4 trips to the dealership but they found out that water was getting into the door when it would rain and activate the security lock. Then about 4 months later we started it in the morning and it was running really rough, when going to leave work the check engine light came on and it shut off, had to have the alternator replaced. The alarm started going off again at the 1 year mark, and water was leaking into the passenger side of the car now. We also have grown very tired of the engine noise, the tiguan uses the same engine as the much smaller VW GTI, and you can always hear the engine gurgling when you hit the gas. Ours may have just been poorly constructed, or a lemon but it has been enough to turn us away from VW for life.


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