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2011 Volkswagen Tiguan

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2011 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

Good for drivers who value safety and comfort over storage.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan is a sport utility vehicle, or SUV, that offers more than mainstream vehicles but less than the luxury class. While the Tiguan boasts a plethora of standard features, high styling, and powerful performance, this vehicle has meager cabin and storage space.

The Range

Body styles: sport utility vehicle
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: six-speed manual, six-speed automatic
Models: Volkswagen Tiguan S, Volkswagen Tiguan SE, Volkswagen Tiguan SEL

What's New

Volkswagen gives the 2011 model very few upgrades. It includes some minor tweaks to the exterior styling, and a few of the features come in different trims than they have before 2011. Volkswagen dropped the Wolfsburg Edition trim from its lineup, reducing the number of available trims from four to three.


The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan has a sporty profile due to the design of the fascia and the 16-inch alloy wheels, which come standard on the base model. This SUV comes well-equipped with standard full power accessories on the base model as well as the other trims. The SE trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a roof rack, heated windshield washer nozzles, and additional chrome exterior trim. Volkswagen also offers an optional Sunroof and Navigation package that adds 18-inch alloy wheels. The SEL includes adaptive bi-xenon headlights and rain-sensing windshield wipers. You can also opt for the Premium Navigation package for the SEL and get a rear-view camera.

All models have an optional trailer hitch, a 4Motion all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, side steps, and a ground effects kit with 19-inch wheels.


The quality of materials used in the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan approaches luxury status. The car has a mature and sophisticated design without it feeling old or stale. It includes large, well-placed controls, and the optional touchscreen navigation system has large, easy-to-operate controls. The dashboard’s intuitive design makes the gauges easy-to-read and to reach.

The front bucket seats offer comfort and support. The 60/40-split rear seat folds down and it has a cargo pass-through in the middle for very long items, like snow skis. The rear seat also slides backward and forward to make accessing the rear easier. If you slide the seats all of the way forward, you will have 23.8 cubic feet of cargo space. This falls short of the roomier 40 cubic feet of cargo space found in the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV-4.

Some of the interior standard features for the base model include a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery, eight-way manually adjustable front seats, cruise control, and an eight-speaker stereo system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The SE adds a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, heated front seats, a trip computer, and an upgraded stereo system with touchscreen interface and satellite radio. The SEL adds dual-zone climate control, keyless ignition, and leather upholstery. The SEL optional 4Motion with Premium Navigation and Dynaudio Package includes a rear-view camera.

Performance & Handling

The 2011 Volkswagen features a standard 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, producing 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. The base Tiguan and the S models have standard six-speed manual transmissions. The six-speed automatic comes as an option on the S model and standard on the SE and SEL models. This car accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds.

Volkswagen's 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with direct fuel injection is smooth and quiet. It still manages to have a highway fuel economy in the mid-20 mpg range, even when saddled with the extra weight of the 4Motion AWD system. The six-speed manual transmission produces mediocre performance. Shifting between gears seems to have a lot of play, as if there is a disconnection somewhere. There is reduced road noise and the ride remains smooth for as long as the road does. The steering responds well, and the model offers sure and solid handling.


Standard safety features for the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan include anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) with brake assist, stability and traction controls, front-side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags. You can also get the optional rear-view camera. The four-door Tiguan models have rear airbags available as an optional feature.

In 2010, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Volkswagen Tiguan a best possible rating of ""Good"" for protection in frontal-offset and side-impact collisions. It also receives five out of five stars for protection in front- and side-impact collisions and in roof strength tests.

EPA Fuel Economy

Volkswagen Tiguan S: 20/26 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Tiguan SE: 19/25 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Tiguan SEL: 20/25 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Powerful engine
  • Lots of standard features
  • Comfortable seats
  • Smooth handling and smooth ride
  • Premium interior materials and quality construction
  • Top safety scores

You Won't Like

  • Stingy cargo space
  • High price

Sum Up

Good for drivers who value safety and comfort over storage.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Kia Sportage
  • Hyundai Tucson

See the New 2015 Tiguan.

Front & Driver Side View

2011 Volkswagen Tiguan Consumer Rating

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