Volkswagen Tiguan: right size, right time
In the auto industry, just as any business, timing is everything, and I think Volkswagen has timing on its side with the midsize Tiguan. The SUV offers the abilities and functionality buyers' want in larger SUVs without the burden of low fuel economy. I was eager to test the Tiguan for many reasons, not the least of which was the design. I liked what I saw but would I like how it drove? Would I fit in the driver's seat? How would my passengers like the seats? How about the cup holders? These are questions I ask. I can get quite a fair judgment from others as I sit behind the steering wheel. It is as if I have a full complement of staff evaluating each of my test vehicles. The footprint the Tiguan holds on the road is near perfect and it's large enough to accommodate the stuff and friends I carry around. It also has excellent visibility all around, so it doesn't feel small. One aspect that tends to be overlooked by buyers is the importance of outside rearview mirrors to avoid hitting an obstacle or small child. I must say, the Tiguan rates high in the visibility department. Billed more as an all-wheel drive vehicle than an all-out off-roader, the Tiguan benefits by being easy to enter and exit from all four doors. The rear lift gate opens wide to accept a good bit of cargo.Power from the tried and true 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is adequate for a vehicle of this size. The engine felt quite zippy around town and while traveling on the interstate. The Tiguan turbocharged engine suffered little at the effects of changing weather. As I drove through the bright warming sun, through rainsqualls and then thunder and lightning, the SUV held its grip on the road. Equipped with all-wheel drive, it's surefooted in all conditions. The Tiguan feels right. It's the right size, offering easy ingress, egress and excellent visibility. It offers comfortable seats and plenty of storage, along with nimble handling. I was confident that I had all the advantages of a large SUV without any drawbacks.
Ron Moorhead, a nationally syndicated automotive columnist, can be reached at email@example.com.