In only its second generation, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is a great entry-level model for those looking for an affordable, capable SUV. Read on to learn about its defining features.

The Volkswagen Tiguan began its life in 2009, and has historically been a small SUV. Where it used to once be nestled between the largest sedan offerings from VW, the Passat and Touareg, the 2018 iteration of the VW Tiguan enjoys a (much needed) complete redesign. Now capable of seating up to seven, the third row of this model is standard on all front-wheel drive models, but optional on all-wheel drive models.

While the Tiguan isn’t the most luxurious or the fastest SUV out there, it is a hard-working, every-day daily driver that will get you to and from where you need to go.

Performance Specifications

The only engine available on the 2018 VW Tiguan is a 2.0-liter TSI turbo inline-four capable of 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. All models are equipped with an eight-speed automatic with Tiptronic and Sport modes, and are available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Those that are all-wheel drive have been designated with the “4MOTION” tag.

This year’s Tiguan is also capable of towing up to 1,500 pounds. New to this year’s model as well is the switch from premium fuel requirements to regular old gas. You just might need that extra money, however, as the 2018 Tiguan’s efficiency isn’t as great as it could be.

The 2018 Tiguan can be purchased in the following colors:

  • Habanero Orange Metallic
  • Dark Moss Green Metallic
  • Silk Blue Metallic
  • Deep Black Pearl
  • Platinum Gray Metallic
  • White Silver Metallic
  • Pure White
  • Cardinal Red Metallic

Fuel Efficiency

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t do so great in terms of fuel efficiency. The sole 2.0-liter engine only achieves 22 city and 27 highway EPA-estimated mpg in front-wheel drive models, while all-wheel drive models maintain their 27 highway mpg, but drop to 21 for city mpg. Kelley Blue Book ranked the 2018 Tiguan 24th in the lineup for its fuel efficiency, in spite of the fact that Edmunds notes the new engine is more fuel efficient than the model’s last iteration.

If it’s a fuel-efficient small SUV you’re looking for, other brands have better options.

Entertainment and Safety Features

A full 10 inches longer than the previous year’s model, the 2018 VW Tiguan is offered in the following trim levels, each with an additional 4MOTION, AWD-capable option. Simply pick the features that most suit your needs, and opt for AWD if you so prefer.

The S model starts out our list at $24,595. This base model comes standard with black roof rails, heated side mirrors, auto headlights, and LED taillights and daytime running lights. This model rides on 17-inch wheels and features cloth seats. Safety and tech features include Bluetooth, a Rear-View Camera System, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, and Electronic Stability Control (ESC). Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, and Blind Spot Monitor are all available with the Driver Assistance Package.

Customers who want the SE model will pay $26,750 for a leather steering wheel, keyless access, push button start, heated V-Tex leatherette seating, and an eight-inch touchscreen. SiriusXM is available, as well as a sunroof if customers opt for the Sunroof Package.

SEL models are available with the R-line package, which features Park Distance Control among its many advanced features. Standard to this model are silver roof rails, a panoramic sunroof, halogen fog lights, 18-inch wheels, and remote start. Customers will also receive an illuminated glovebox and a remote liftgate and can opt for the optional 19-inch wheels if they so choose.

Top-of-the-line SEL Premium models are equipped with tons of safety features, such as an Overhead View Camera, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), Pedestrian Monitoring, Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Traffic Alert, and High Beam Control (Light Assist). Customers who purchase this model will also enjoy a Fender premium audio system, a self-dimming interior rearview mirror, leather seats, a heated steering wheel, a hands-free liftgate, Park Distance Control, LED headlights, and 19-inch wheels. The 20-inch wheels are optional.

All models are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and come with a six-year, 72,000-mile “People First Warranty,” one of the best offered by any marque today. Each model also features the Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS), which will disable the fuel pump, unlock all doors, and activate the hazards in case of a collision.

Speaking of safety, the NHTSA awarded the 2018 VW Tiguan four to five stars in most categories, except in the Frontal Crash test, where it scored three out of five stars. The IIHS ranked it “Good” in all tests.

How the 2018 Tiguan Compares to the Competition

Consumer Reports enjoyed the prompt response of the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan’s engine, but noticed it didn’t have much in the well to pull from in terms of power. In fact, experts point out that it has less horsepower than the last model, but what it loses in horses it gains in torque. While this is certainly not a bad thing, the low towing capacity of the 2018 model does leave customers a bit high-and-dry.

U.S. News ranked the 2018 Tiguan eighth in its compact SUV segment, naming it as a finalist for the 2018 Best Compact SUV for Families. At such an affordable price, capable of all-wheel drive, and cozy enough to appease most buyers’ standards, the 2018 Tiguan is a smart buy for your budget. Just be sure to put your smallest kids in the third row, if so equipped, recommends Kelley Blue Book (KBB). The anterior seating row is the smallest on the market, according to KBB experts.

Competitors in the compact SUVs segment include the Mazda CX-5, the Honda CR-V, Ford’s Escape, Toyota’s RAV4, the Chevrolet Equinox, Nissan Juke and Rogue, Subaru’s Forester and Outback, the Hyundai Tucson, Kia’s Sportage, the Jeep Wrangler, Compass, Grand Cherokee, and Renegade, and the Buick Envision, to name a few. More expensive models, like those produced by BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and Land Rover, are competition as well, but if it’s an affordable SUV you’re looking for, the Volkswagen Tiguan is a strong contender.


  • Large amount of cargo space
  • User-friendly technology
  • Functional
  • Quiet cabin


  • Fuel efficiency
  • Tiny third row
  • Weak engine
  • Heavy and cumbersome to drive

Though it’s not able to compete with the peppiness of its Golf brethren, the 2018 Tiguan certainly is a better-looking version of its former self. The only compact SUV other than the Nissan Rogue to offer seating for seven, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan holds its own, in a new, more-refined way.