Owner Review

2009 Volkswagen Tiguan 125 TSI Review

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The Tiguan is a joy to drive.

The Tiguan has been good to own, mostly. With a turbocharged 2.0 engine mated to a 6-speed torque-converter transmission, the car accelerates keenly with a silky-smooth urgency. We struggle to hear or feel the car changing gear in either direction. In fact the car's mechanicals generally feel a class above some of its competitors. The flip-side is economy, which is never great and sometimes feels a bit 'last-decade'. High 7's to low 8's on the highway and 11's around town are what to expect on L/100km scale.

Tiguan is a bit of a 'q-car' with its conservative styling but raunchy acceleration and tight, GTI-inspired handling. It feels like it was engineered by an ambitious German outfit before the world became obsessed with economy. Funny that. No 'eco' button or stop-start cut-out nonsense here. This SUV is a pleasure on a twisty road. Driver's will struggle to find the handling limits on public roads, unless you are just being silly. Reflecting it's incredibly quiet and sporty suspension, the ride around town is firm, though never uncomfortable. The car has 16-inch wheels which are not sexy to the eye but are soothing to the passenger's rear-end.

Cabin quality again feels a class above, although by 2016 standards it's low-tech. The iPhone didn't exist when this car was first being designed and engineered, but for passengers is spacious, comfortable, very quiet and a nice place to be. Rear vents, superb ergonomics in all seats, and 5 adjustable seats are highlights. The boot is small, though well shaped.

Our car has had one big reliability fault, with a moon roof that leaked water down the left A-pillar into the footwell. Volkswagen came to the party, but it took time and a mouldy smell throughout the car was the cost, for many months. We pray it doesn't happen again, but Melbourne winters are the enemy.

Servicing costs have been moderate. The car only requires one service per year, but no doubt Japanese or Korean brands would be cheaper. Parts too are....German, when it comes to cost. But overall the build quality is exquisite, and the body in particular feels bulletproof.

This is an enthusiast's SUV or for a smallish family that value engineering quality and panache. We love the over-engineered feeling everywhere you look.