This was a rental that lasted a month. I rent cars all the time, and Tiguan was not on my list when I went to pick up the car. Actually I fought tooth and nail not to take Tiguan. However, it was either that or nothing, so finally I was forced to take it.
Very quickly it became apparent how stupid I was...
The first impression about Tiguan, and its interior, was that this was one nice car (or compact SUV if you want). The interior is classy, with high quality materials throughout, but most importantly - all controls and their functionality are absolutely impeccable. From wonderfully reliable and perfect Bluetooth, which includes voice commands and a pleasant female voice, which I did send to hell once or twice when she did not do as I wanted (because I talked over her), to a great computer display in the middle and excellent radio and buttons, everything was just perfect. Obviously, a lot of planning and good design decisions went into this car.
On the outside, the car seems relatively small, but inside it is quite spacious. I wish there was more leg room for the driver, not lengthwise, but more to the sides, as it felt like the doors and center console were intruding on me somewhat. This was not a long-lasting impression; only when I sat in it for the first time.
Now, the reasons why I felt so stupid after I fought not to take this car:
- The car is a pocket rocket. I mean, its acceleration is out of this world. This shows especially when one is on the highway and trying to pass someone who is intentionally being difficult - from 65mph to 100mph in an instant. Crazy but true, and quite welcome when really needed.
- The brakes are equally impressive. Almost too good.
- The automatic transmission works like a charm. I am not an A/T type, and only like standard transmission, but VW is converting me to the dark side with their silky smooth and intelligent A/T. Haven't tried the DSG transmission yet, but this one was quite perfect.
- MPG was OK for a car that fast and big.
- Every little thing on this car works as one would expect: From radio to Bluetooth, to remote, to doors and so on... it is one smart car. I cannot stress this enough.
- The car handles quite well, although I am the type who likes aggressive driving, so I am still not sold on the idea of an SUV that handles well (one of my previous cars was an Integra, a car which very few cars can beat in handling department). I am very picky when it comes to handling, but Tiguan helped me get more confident with SUVs in that respect.
- With seats that fold flat, and intelligent design all over (e.g. it takes a split second to lower rear seats, with zero effort too!), lugging large items is a breeze.
Add to that its superior crash ratings, great visibility, great engine and transmission, and there is very little reason left why one should not buy this car.
As I said earlier in my review, I rented this car against my will - I was forced into it by the rental agency due to a lack of other cars.
Now, I am seriously considering buying it! That's how thoroughly impressed I am with Tiguan.
P.s. I hear that the new 2012 Tiguan is not much different from the older model, which is a good thing. Some complain about new model's transmission mapping (shifting to higher gear too soon), but I am sure that can be corrected through a new chip or at the dealer, or at least by switching to Sport mode.