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Used Volkswagen Tiguan review

Tigers and iguanas do not, it has to be said, have a great deal in common. Yet their combined attributes inspired VW to name its small SUV the Tiguan. Odd name aside, it’s an impressive, spacious, safe, solidly built, economical to run SUV that will serve young families well – unlike a pet tiger.


Volkswagen introduced the new Tiguan at the tail-end of 2020 – and a smart-looking SUV it is. It has a chiselled, handsome profile, and will prove a smart and stylish addition to any driveway, and will set the neighbours’ curtains twitching when it arrives.  

The entry-level S variant features 17-inch alloy wheels, while SE versions get larger 18-inch wheels. If you really want to pump up the style, elite R models come with a sporting body kit and lots of extra equipment. They are more expensive as a result.  

It has a chiselled, handsome profile.

What’s it like to drive?

If your kids demand to see a tiger or iguana in their natural habitat, then you might want to track down an all-wheel drive version of the Tiguan (or hit up a safari park if you like your adventures a bit more faff-free). VW’s 4MOTION technology will give you extra grip and traction no matter what the road throws at you. The more economical, fuel-efficient front-wheel-drive version will be more than adequate for most people.

The Tiguan’s light steering makes it easy to manoeuvre in town, and the high-up driving position and good visibility are a real help when you need to squeeze through tighter spots. It’s equally at home on country roads and provides a relaxed, assured and comfortable drive on the motorway to boot. 

There are a range of petrol and diesel engines on offer, along with the choice of a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox. The 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel is a great all-rounder, but the more powerful 187bhp version is a better choice if you are frequently travelling fully laden. 

VW’s 4MOTION technology will give you extra grip and traction no matter what the road throws at you


Spacious is the word that springs to mind. Most come with 5 seats as standard and each of those seats can comfortably accommodate an adult, with excellent levels of head and legroom. The back seats slide, so it’s not just those sitting up front who are treated to the perfect seating position. This is truly a family car.   

There’s a classic elegance to the Tiguan’s interior. It’s not as jazzy or ultra-modern as some rivals – understated is a better word for the high quality interiors. Admittedly, some of the plastics used throughout the cabin don’t have that lovely, soft-touch premium feel. On the plus side, they feel robust and sturdy and should withstand your own little tiger cubs when they forget to remove their football boots before they pile into the car.  

Entry-level S models come with air-con to keep you cool in the urban jungle, and lights and wipers that turn on automatically when monsoon conditions strike on the M62. If you want satellite navigation to guide you on your expeditions, and an infotainment system that lets you connect your smartphone, it’s worth paying a little extra for the SE Nav trim. 


Sun lotion, binoculars, mosquito repellent: whatever you need for your adventures, you’ll find somewhere to store it inside the Tiguan’s cleverly thought-out cabin. The glovebox is a good size, the door bins are huge and there are plenty of cubby areas. There are fold-down tray tables with bottle holders for kids in the back and cupholders for adults. 

The Tiguan’s large boot is one of the best in the class. A flat load lip makes it super easy to slide in large suitcases and you can flip down the back seats from the boot with a simple flip of a lever. 

If you need even more practicality in your life, there is also the Tiguan Allspace to consider. It’s slightly longer than the normal model and provides 2 additional, foldout seats that are perfect for kids and fine for adults during short journeys. 

Running costs and reliability

With careful driving you should get around 50mpg from the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine and almost as much from the more powerful versions.

Generally, SUVs enjoy a good reputation for reliability. For additional peace of mind however, you may wish to consider CinchCare for worry-free motoring.

What cinch loves

Like the famously energetic and enthusiastic Tigger ofWinnie-the-Poohfame, the VW Tiguan is always up for an adventure. And with the SUV’s spacious and well-equipped cabin, that can be an adventure for5adults, who can all travel in comfort with their luggage safely stowed in the generous boot.

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What else to consider? Volkswagen Tiguan alternatives

There is no shortage of family-sizedSUVs to consider and, yes, we do have more for you to consider, and even some more named after animals, both real and mythical.

Use our Help Me Choose tool if you still can't decide.

Perfect for

Town and country drivers



OK, so there might be SUVs out there that are more exciting to look at and a little more fun to drive, but if you want sure-fire certainty, the VW Tiguan delivers every time. Solid, dependable and economical to run, it gets the family SUV basics spot on, with space, safety and comfort. 

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