Kevin Cody

Beach wheels: Volkswagen Tiguan SEL a handsome, well-built family hauler

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The Tiguan SEL 7-passenger sport-ute packs a 184-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine capable .

by Jeff Mitchell

Recently I spent a week driving a Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line sport utility and came away generally impressed.

Beneath the hood, the 7-passenger sport-ute packs a 184-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine capable of generating 221-pound feet of torque (at 1,600 RPM). That engine is mated to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission.

My 2019 Tiguan, dressed in “Pyrite Silver Metallic” paint with “Titan Black” leather seating, came with some handsome 20-inch steel alloy wheels and featured VW’s “R-Line” badging motif, a rear diffuser and specialized bumpers.

Inside the spacious cabin, you will find a driver’s cockpit featuring a lot of intuitively placed technology, including parking distance control.

My SEL Premium tester also came with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and an 8-inch satellite navigation/media screen that featured voice control.

You’ll also find a hands-free power liftgate, a great-sounding nine-speaker Fender sound system and an overhead view camera.

The Tiguan’s driver’s cockpit features a lot of intuitively placed technology, including parking distance control.

Refreshed for 2019, VW offers six different trim levels in the Tiguan for you to consider.

Off of paved road surfaces, my all-wheel-drive Tiguan held up nicely. It won’t exactly clamber over boulders but it will handle some washboards and ruts effectively.

On paved road surfaces, the Tiguan’s throttle response will definitely not set your hair on fire — which for most suburban uses is probably a good thing.

While the Tiguan will technically accommodate seven adults, there’s no doubt that the third row is best designated for the munchkins. It’s a tad tight back there.

The Tiguan has reportedly performed admirably in most if not all Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests, including the dreaded front-end collision test. Other safety gear available on the vehicle includes active blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist and automatic high beams.

Gas mileage on my tester was solid. I registered 24 mpg overall, 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the open highway. In terms of cargo space, my Tiguan offered 37.6 cubic feet behind the second row and 73.5 cubic feet behind the first row.

As trimmed, my Tiguan has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $40,485. It competes with (among others) the Toyota RAV4, the Hyundai Tucson and the Honda CR-V. For that reason, it’s a good idea to take some time and road-test the entire class before making a final decision.

My Recommendation: Consider strongly. While the Tiguan might not take your breath away in terms of speed, the Tiguan is a solid, well-built family hauler that should provide years of comfortable and reliable service.

Jeff Mitchell is a South Bay automotive writer. Reach him at  j.edward.mitchell@gmail.com. ER

 

 

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