The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan brings class-leading refinement and handling to the compact crossover SUV segment. True, it's a bit pricier than its rivals. But it offers much in return, including a spirited turbo engine, European driving dynamics, a refined interior, outstanding safety ratings and excellent overall craftsmanship.
Indeed, the materials quality of the Volkswagen Tiguan's interior is close to the level found in luxury brands and clearly differentiates it from typical, and more plastic-oriented, compact crossovers. Combined with its solid build quality and confident handling, the 2011 Tiguan offers an overall standard of sophistication not easily matched in this segment.
That said, it does have a downside. While the 2011 Tiguan provides adequate passenger space, its cargo capacity comes in on the tight side. Shoppers who place a higher value on passenger and storage room over refinement may want to consider competitors such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2011 VW Tiguan is offered in three trims: S, SE and SEL.
Standard features on the base Tiguan S model include 16-inch alloy wheels, power windows, keyless entry, air-conditioning, power doorlocks, Bluetooth, cruise control, 9-way manually adjustable front seats, power mirrors, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery and an 8-speaker audio system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
Moving up to the Tiquan SE adds leatherette vinyl upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels, a power-adjustable driver seat, extra chrome exterior trim accents, a trip computer, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, heated front seats, a roof rack, foglights, heated washer nozzles, a roof storage console and a touchscreen audio system with an iPod interface and satellite radio. Also available for the SE is the optional Sunroof and Navigation package which includes navigation, a panoramic sunroof and 18-inch alloys.
The top-of-the-line Tiguan SEL then adds leather upholstery, a 12-way power driver seat, keyless ignition, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, driver memory funtions and ambient interior lighting. The available Premium Navigation option for the SEL also features a rearview camera and is coupled with an 8-speaker Dynaudio sound system on the SEL 4Motion (AWD) .
Other optional features offered on all models include 19-inch wheels, side steps, a trailer hitch and a ground-effects kit.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering the 2011 Tiguan is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that's good for 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with either a standard 6-speed manual transmission or optional 6-speed automatic on the Tiguan S, while the SE and SEL models are 6-speed automatic only. All models come standard with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is also offered on the SE and SEL, called 4Motion.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for the new Tiguan comes in at 20 mpg city and 25 mpg on the highway for both the front-wheel and all-wheel-drive models with the automatic transmission. The Tiguan S with the manual transmission is rated at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.
Standard safety features across all 2011 Tiguans include stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes (ABS), front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags.
The Tiguan also excelled in government crash tests, earning five out of five stars in all frontal-impact and side-impact occupant protection categories.
The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan's cabin is attactive, distinctly upscale and solidly constructed with high-quality materials. Controls and gauges are easy to see and user-friendly, including the optional navigation system which comes with a large screen. The seating is comfortable and supportive, both front and rear, making for pleasant accommodations whether around town or on long road trips.
Maximum cargo capacity behind the rear seats comes in at 23.8 cubic feet. This can be expanded to 56.1 cubic feet by folding down the second-row seat. While most consumers will probably find this adequate, it is on the smaller side among compact crossovers. The 60/40-split-folding rear seat does, however, come with a trunk pass-through, allowing longer items to be stored. The rear seat also easily slides foreward and backward, while the backrest also reclines.
The 2011 Tiguan's turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides brisk acceleration in the city and when passing on the highway. While perhaps not the fastest in its segment, it's certainly impressively lively and capable. The Tiguan's steering is also precise and responsive to a light touch. And the grip is confident and secure when cornering, while the suspension is still able to provide a comfortable ride over road imperfections and rough spots.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try Public Wholesale Car Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.
2011 Volkswagen Tiguan:
S, manual: list price: $23,720, invoice price: $22,771
S, automatic: list price: $24,820, invoice price: $23,827
S 4Motion, automatic: list price: $26,775, invoice price: $25,704
SE, automatic: list price: $28,215, invoice price: $27,087
SE 4Motion, automatic: list price: $30,170, invoice price: $28,963
SEL, automatic: list price: $33,135, invoice price: $31,810
SEL 4Motion, automatic: list price: $35,090, invoice price: $33,687