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2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James MurdochNorman Ruckpaul

Are You Considering a 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

There are now more small SUVs on the market than ever before. While the segment has become a bit crowded, the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan remains a highly recommended option. Families will enjoy this crossover’s everyday comfort. While the Tiguan proves to be a smooth operator on the street, it’s also a capable off-road vehicle. Let’s take a more in-depth look at why you should buy a new Tiguan.

What’s New for 2021?

This year, lower trim levels receive new wheels. VW has also updated the mid-level SE model with standard adaptive cruise control.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan – The Pros

1. Fuel-Efficient Powertrain

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is not designed to be the quickest SUV in the class. Its powertrain is more optimized for fuel economy. Under the hood is a 184-horsepower turbo engine, which pairs to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive models are rated by the EPA to average 22 mpg town/29 mpg freeway. Meanwhile, expect the AWD-equipped Tiguan to return 20 mpg town/27 mpg freeway. VW also tunes the SUV to use regular gasoline, which enables drivers to save more money.

2. Rides Like a Luxury Vehicle

Car shoppers who prioritize comfort will love the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan. On the road, the Tiguan feels more like a luxury vehicle. It definitely has one of the smoothest rides in the small SUV segment. According to some automotive journalists, the Tiguan manages large bumps better than the BMW X1. Keep in mind that the X1 is at least $10,000 more expensive. Whether taking a four-hour road trip or running errands, passengers can look forward to enjoying a relaxing ride.

3. Can Go Off-Road

Outdoor lovers will appreciate the Tiguan’s adventurous side. It will have no trouble handling a weekend camping escapade. VW’s capable 4MOTION AWD system is available as an option. There’s also 8.0 inches of ground clearance underneath the Tiguan, which helps drivers to clear deep snow and mud. When approaching irregular terrain, drivers can activate the SUV’s off-road mode to effectively improve traction. Hill descent control is another one of the Tiguan’s valuable features. It helps ensure more stability when traveling down slopes.

4. Sporty-Looking R-Line Models

The standard Tiguan is attractive. However, drivers seeking a flashier look should go for one of the R-Line models. Expect the new Tiguan SE R-Line Black trim to turn more than a few heads. VW decks it out with a cool set of 20-inch black alloy wheels and black exterior accents. Atop the range sits the SEL Premium R-Line trim with chrome exterior treatments. There are a total of seven paint color options, including Platinum Gray Metallic and Cardinal Red Metallic.

5. Provides Plenty of Spaces for Families

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is an ideal family mover. Volkswagen did an excellent job of maximizing the cabin’s interior space. Everyone will be able to travel in absolute freedom. Excellent rear legroom enables adults to feel right at home. An optional third-row seat is available for drivers who need to accommodate a couple more children. There’s also a rewarding 33 cubic feet of cargo space in the back, which further emphasizes the Tiguan’s versatile design.

6. Intelligent, User-Friendly Car-Net Infotainment System
VW’s Car-Net infotainment system is extremely simple to operate. Even beginners should be able to quickly learn the ropes. Drivers will love the touchscreen’s responsive menus. Physical buttons make the interface even more user-friendly. App-Connect, which bundles together Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allows drivers to quickly plug in their smartphone. While the standard 6.5-inch screen may be a tad too small for some people, a larger 8.0-inch display with navigation is found on the upper trim levels.

7. Volkswagen Digital Cockpit Enhances Driving Experience

Traditional analog gauges come standard on the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan. However, buyers can step up to a Volkswagen Digital Cockpit. VW swaps out the standard gauges for a fully digital instrument cluster. It’s essentially an extension of the SUV’s infotainment system. Drivers can customize this digital gauge cluster to display a lot of different information. When drivers decide to venture out of town, they’ll love the system's high-resolution road maps. Travel time and elevation can be displayed as well.

8. Premium Sound System

A six-speaker stereo is the Tiguan’s standard source of entertainment. Drivers who really want to rock out should step up to the nine-speaker Fender premium audio system. Music fans can look forward to enjoying clarity at any volume. A 480-watt amplifier helps ensure a sharp and precise sound. To enable music lovers to feel the beat, Fender equips the system with a Bassman subwoofer.

9. Thoughtful Safety Technologies

VW offers the new Tiguan with plenty of thoughtful safety technologies. After being involved in an accident, Intelligent Crash Response will prove its worth. This system automatically activates the SUV’s emergency flashers, shuts off the fuel pump, and unlocks the door. On the other hand, Automatic Post-Collision Braking slows down the vehicle to help prevent secondary impacts. Every trim level also comes standard with today’s most popular accident-avoidance technologies, including blind-spot warning and autonomous emergency braking.

10. Overhead View Camera Makes Parking Easier

When equipped with an optional Overhead View Camera, the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan becomes an easier vehicle to park. This four-camera system provides a 360-degree view. Whether parallel parking or maneuvering in a crowded parking deck, drivers will have a much higher sense of awareness. This means fender benders will be less likely to occur.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan – The Cons

1. Lacks the Performance Some Drivers May Desire

The Tiguan’s standard turbo four-cylinder engine feels peppy. However, this SUV is a bit heavier than some other models in the class. Because of its extra mass, performance isn’t quite as impressive. While the Tiguan has enough muscle to offer decent acceleration, some drivers will ultimately crave a more exciting punch. Fuel economy is a bigger priority for the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan.

2. Not Great for Towing

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is not a great choice for pulling a load. VW lists the SUV with a 1,500-pound maximum tow rating. While the Tiguan can confidently tow a Jet Ski, it will struggle moving heavier items. Drivers who need to routinely tow boats and campers should consider the larger Volkswagen Atlas.

3. Small Third Row

There are some families who will benefit from the Tiguan’s available third-row seat. Unfortunately, it comes up short in terms of legroom. Most teenagers and adults will not want to spend a lot of time sitting in the third row. Only small children will truly have enough space to unwind. Car shoppers who have a big family may need a full-size crossover.

4. Not Enough Storage Bins

According to some critics, the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t feature enough storage bins. Some of the Tiguan’s rivals have a greater number of hidden storage compartments. This SUV’s glove box is also on the small side.

5. Cooled Seats Not Offered

On cold days, the Tiguan’s available heated front seats will help keep you toasty. Unfortunately, cooled seats are not offered on any trim. When temperatures begin to rise during the summer, passengers would be grateful for the cool breeze.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2021 Honda CR-V

Every year, the Honda CR-V is among the segment’s best-selling models. It’s efficient and engaging to drive. However, only the Tiguan offers a third-row seat. A better infotainment system also comes standard on the Tiguan. To get a modern touchscreen with advanced smartphone connectivity, CR-V buyers must skip the base model. Another perk is the Tiguan’s standard Wi-Fi hotspot.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2021 Mazda CX-5

When it comes to driving fun, the 2021 Mazda CX-5 easily ranks among the segment’s best. Drivers rave about the CX-5’s sharp handling and powerful optional engine. Strong fuel economy also helps make the CX-5 a great pick. However, there’s not as much passenger space inside the CX-5. Families who need more legroom should pick the new Tiguan. Extra cargo space gives the Tiguan another key advantage.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan vs 2021 Toyota RAV4

Many people are expected to test drive the new 2021 Toyota RAV4. This crossover SUV’s bulletproof reliability and edgy styling help it to stand out. There’s also a seriously rugged TRD Off Road model in the RAV4’s lineup. While the RAV4 is a good choice, the Tiguan offers a more spacious ride. Drivers will also appreciate the Tiguan’s standard blind-spot monitor.


Drivers who are looking to buy a new small crossover shouldn’t overlook the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan. It scores well in some key aspects, including passenger comfort. All the Tiguan’s interior features are easy to operate. Although this may not be the most powerful model in the class, a smooth ride and balanced handling make it a pleasure to drive. Adventure-seeking families will also value the Tiguan’s admirable off-road capabilities.

While the Tiguan has many upsides, car shoppers must acknowledge its potential drawbacks. This SUV’s low tow rating limits its ability to pull a heavy load. Some people will also yearn for a punchier performance.

Previous Volkswagen Tiguan Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan? w/ pros vs cons