Volkswagen Tiguan, One Tough Little Beast


VW’s Tiguan, their still new small-ish SUV has a lot going for it. Everyone who’s driven it says it’s well screwed together, and the size is right for more driving situations than say, a Hummer. You wouldn’t think that an SUV the size of a Tiguan would check out that well in the crash department, but it turns out that it just passed with flying colors.

The 2009 Tiguan just earned a 5-star crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as part of the government’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). NCAP was originally responsible for setting up front and side crash test ratings, and of late added a rollover rating into their overall report. In short NHTSA and NCAP are the people that came up with the multiple star rating system.

“Volkswagen is thrilled that our Tiguan has earned the highest crash test rating, 5-star, by the government — providing further validation that Volkswagen produces some of the safest vehicles in the industry. Our vehicles have numerous safety technologies that work to help prevent accidents whenever possible, and help protect our occupants when an accident is unavoidable,” said Mark Barnes, Chief Operating Officer, Volkswagen of America, Inc. ”

VW says that “the Tiguan also features the fun-to-drive handling and performance expected from a Volkswagen. ” Which is probably true enough, given that it’s an SUV. VW’s have been a hoot to drive for a couple of decades now, so it stands to reason that they could even make an SUV funner to drive than normal. After all, BMW was able to do it with their X series of SUVs, so why not VW?

Speaking of fun, in the engine room, the Tiguan has a 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI engine, which should motivate it down the road quick enough. The chassis is described as being “European tuned” by VW, but that’s sort of pointing out the obvious, coming from a European car manufacturer. Of note in the chassis department though, is the standard electronic stability control system that Volkswagen calls Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP). That will probably come in handy for your typical ham-fisted American suburbanite driver that thinks trucks should handle like cars. Not that the Tiguan is necessarily truck like, but don’t expect it to win any fastest time of day trophies and your next Auto-X. But the Tiguan could be a great crew support vehicle, if you’re into club racing.

I wonder what it’s like towing a flatbed trailer with a formula Ford on it?

Photo from Flickr user Michi1308