Volkswagen calls its all-new 2009 Tiguan the "GTI of SUVs" and with good reason, too. This compact crossover sport utility vehicle shares not only its underpinnings with the sporty GTI hatchback, but its turbocharged powerplant as well. The result is a sport 'ute capable enough for getting off the beaten path, but refined enough to make the daily commute a smooth-sailing affair.
The Tiguan's styling is in line with current V-dub's, with the aggressive, angular headlights, and a smiling grille with the chrome "VW" shield emblem resting in the middle. The Tiguan rolls on standard 16-inch alloy wheels, but can be outfitted with available 17- or 18-inch alloys as well.
Power comes from VW's turbocharged 2-liter inline-4. It puts out 200 horsepower and 206 pound feet of torque, sent to the front wheels or available 4MOTION all wheel drive. A 6-speed automatic transmission is available on all models, while the front wheel drive model gets the option of a 6-speed manual.
Fuel economy for the Tiguan ranges from 16 miles per gallon city, up to 26 miles per gallon highway.
Trims for the Tiguan are S, SE, and SEL. Our test SEL model came equipped with tilt-telescoping multifunction steering wheel, 8-way power adjustable driver's seat, chrome-accented interior, and the available touch screen navigation system. Standard on all trims is a 60/40 split fold rear seat, which gives way to just over 56 cubic feet of cargo space.
Safety features on the Tiguan include 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, electronic stabilization program, anti-slip regulation, energy-absorbing steering column, and a full array of front impact and side curtain airbags.
Base MSRP for the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan is $23,200. An SEL 4MOTION model with full options will top out at just under $38,000. The Tiguan is backed by a 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
With its turbocharged powerplant, available all wheel drive, and Volkswagen's refined driving characteristics, the all-new 2009 Tiguan compact SUV will make for a smooth journey- on or off the road.