Tuesday, December 13, 2016

2016 VW Tiguan R-Line AWD: The Brand’s Entry-Level Crossover

Highlight: This is the last model year for the R-line trim.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $31,540 (Base MSRP:$25,755)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; heated washer driver nozzles; automatic headlights; Daytime Running Lights; rain sensing wipers; an automatic dimming mirror; a rearview camera; an electronic stability control system; an electronic parking brake; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (Base S Model): 16-inch wheels; front wheel drive; pseudo leather seats; heated front seats; a power reclining driver’s seat; keyless access; a push-button ignition starter; a 5-inch infotainment touchscreen; a rear seat center armrest; and an automatic a/c system

Standard Equipment (R-Line): 19-inch alloy wheels; a 6.3-inch infotainment touchscreen; satellite radio’ a panoramic oversized roof; bi-xenon daytime running lights; adaptive front cornering lights; fog lights with cornering capabilities; paddle shifters on the steering wheel; a power driver’s seat; a power passenger reclining seat; a leather wrapped steering wheel; chrome roof rails and other trims; body side skirts; and distinctive badging

Options: None

Other Trim Levels:


Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an 8-speaker with AM/FM/CD

Bluetooth Connectivity: Depending on trim

USB Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder turbo/200-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New: While the design is essentially the same, the VW Tiguan welcomes a number of significant improvements and changes for the 2016 model year. Buyers can expect a significant price reduction in the base model, a standard rearview camera, an upgraded infotainment system and a standard 200-horsepower engine. Also the R-line trim has been repositioned for the 2016 model year.

Why: VW has made a number of adjustments to their compact crossover, the most significant being lowering the price of the base model by a much needed $1,600. This price adjustment not only brings the vehicle in line with many of its competitors, VW has beefed up its standard equipment list, adding a rearview camera, a keyless ignition starter and a spirited 200-horsepower engine with a standard automatic transmission. Yes, so buyers searching for a 2016 model will get more bang for their buck.

The Tiguan, which is easy to navigate due to its short wheel base, also offers an optional parent-teen friendly security and service feature. This parental overseer feature monitors one’s driving speed and alerts the owner when the vehicle has traveled outside of a predetermined driving range. Yes, big brother is definitely riding along. This is a great feature for parents to monitor their teens or college age kids.

Moreover, the Tiguan is available in a front wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration. Ironically, we spent time reviewing the newly repositioned R model. The R-line unfort trim is the brand’s sporty compact crossover, which wears aluminum wheels that makes the vehicle pop. Like with the base Tiguan, the R-line trim also carries a lower price point. In fact, it’s now slotted between the S and the SE trims.

Furthermore, the Tiguan can also be outfitted with real leather, a premium audio system, a memory driver’s seat, 19-inch wheels, a premium audio system and a dual zone climate control system for those wanting to step up to the higher end SEL trim.

But: The VW Tiguan is somewhat on the small size, when compared several of the volume players in the segment. This equates to less leg room for the rear occupants and a smaller cargo/utility space. Also a number of the segment players offer such semi-autonomous features as a radar activated cruise control system, a forward collision braking system or a blind spot lane changing system.

Verdict: The Tiguan’s $1,600 price reduction should steer more consumers toward the Tiguan. However, the German engineered compact is still priced higher than many of its competitors, although the vehicle provides the most powerful standard engine in the segment along with more standard content, too. And unfortunatley, for buyers seeking the latest high tech semi-autonomous features, they’ll have to look elsewhere.

Competition: Chevy Equinox; Ford Escape; Honda CR-V; Hyundai Tuscon; Jeep Cherokee; Kia Sportage; Mazda CX-5; Nissan Rogue; Toyota RAV4; and Subaru Forester

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