And that’s too bad because it’s actually a pretty good five-passenger sport-utility vehicle.
My tester was the Tiguan R-Line, with the “R-Line” treatment being added for the 2014 model year. The R-Line package gives you extra goodies inside and out, and its performance level is impressive.
What you need to consider, however, is how much you want to spend on an R-Line, especially considering that a basic Tiguan starts at slightly less than $23,500. My R-Line tester wore a sticker with a bottom line of $37,745.
Big difference, right?
Fortunately, the R-Line comes with a lot to make the sticker price easier to accept.
The power plant is a 2-liter, turbocharged, in-line 4 with a max horsepower rating of 200. This was more than enough oomph to move my front-driving tester around with swagger and somewhat noisy authority. Combined with a sport suspension, my Tiguan sailed along the roadways with something resembling hot-rod-SUV arrogance. Not that I had any trouble with that.
Looked good too, especially riding on those 19-inch alloy wheels.
The inside R-Line treatment includes a “metallic-finish” dash that did look pretty cool, and the flat-bottom steering wheel added to the turbo-racer feel of the vehicle. Paddle shifters were part of the deal too.
The standard list of features was lengthy and included perks such as power heatable exterior mirrors, roof rails, xenon headlights, sexy-looking LED daytime running lights, leather seating surfaces, heatable front seats, a rearview camera system and a panoramic power sunroof.
Feeling better about that nearly $38,000 sticker price now? Yeah, I thought so.
While not a massive SUV, I was impressed with the relatively high-riding view I had from the Tiguan’s cockpit, and the 360-degree field of vision was clear and comforting.
A package of generous warranties comes with the Tiguan R-Line, and the safety systems lineup is likewise noteworthy.
Fuel mileage is OK at 21 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
Overall grade: A solid “B.”
But again, a smallish SUV going for almost $38,000 is not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. I’m sure the Tiguan is a comparatively mundane, run-around, second car in households with daily drivers wearing Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac or Lexus badges, but nobody said life was fair.
If you have the kind of coin to drop on a VW Tiguan R-Line, I salute you. You’re getting a good one.