What Changed for 2009:
- All-new model in Volkswagen's lineup
- Small sport utility vehicle (SUV) designed for agility and safety
- Front- or all-wheel drive (FWD or AWD)
- Standard turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine
Volkswagen launched the all-new Tiguan in the summer of 2008 as a 2009 model. The compact 4-door crossover SUV followed in the steps of its larger sibling, the Volkswagen Touareg 2. While Volkswagen now has two SUVs in the marketplace, each targets a decidedly different audience. Now in its second generation, the Touareg 2 features a standard full-time AWD system, solid mechanicals underneath, and an available air suspension giving it formidable off-road capabilities. It is available with a choice of 6- or 8-cylinder engines mated to an automatic transmission. At the other end of the spectrum is the new Tiguan. It offers front- or all-wheel drive and a standard 4-cylinder powerplant with a choice between a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Designed to be sporty and fun to drive, Volkswagen calls the Tiguan \"the GTI of compact sport utility vehicles,\" a reference to the popular Golf-based GTI hatchback from the 1980s.
Volkswagen offers a standard 3-year/36,000-mile warranty on all 2009 Tiguan models. In addition, all 2009 Volkswagen models come with the Carefree Maintenance Program-all scheduled maintenance described in the vehicle's maintenance booklet is free during the initial warranty period.
There are three different Tiguan models in the 2009 lineup: Tiguan S, Tiguan SE and Tiguan SEL. All share an identical 2.0-liter powerplant. All S models are FWD with basic \"Metro\" cloth interior. The SE models are equipped with an upgraded \"Urban\" cloth interior and offer a choice between FWD or Volkswagen's 4Motion permanent AWD system. The top-of-the-line SEL model shares the driveline options with the SE model, but features leather upholstery as standard equipment.
All 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan models deliver a long list of standard convenience features including power windows with pinch protection, power door locks, and cruise control. The S models are equipped with air conditioning with manual controls, split-folding rear seats, and an AM/FM audio system with a single CD player. The SE model adds privacy glass, heated seats, and an upgraded 6-disc CD changer with satellite radio among other niceties. The SEL model is equipped with Xenon headlamps, premium Dynaudio sound system, and dual-zone Climatronic temperature controls to name just a few of the upgrades. Popular option packages include rear side air bags, factory-installed trailer hitch, and the DVD Satellite Navigation with MDI system. While 17-inch alloy wheels are found on even the base model, Volkswagen offers stylized 18-inch wheels as an option on the SE (standard on the SEL model).
All 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan models share an identical 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The direct-injection iron/aluminum powerplant is rated at 200 hp and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. According to Volkswagen, the standard FWD model will sprint to 60 mph in less than 8 seconds. Fuel economy has been EPA-estimated at 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway for the FWD model, and 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway for the 4Motion AWD models equipped with an automatic transmission.
All 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan models feature a host of standard safety features. These include advanced multi-stage front air bags for the driver and front passenger, and front side thorax air bags. A head curtain air bag extends the length of the cabin and is designed to cover all outboard seating positions. Rear side air bags are optional on all 2009 Tiguan models. In addition, there are safety belt pre-tensioners for all outboard seating positions. Rear seats feature the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system to ease child-seat installation, and the rear doors are equipped with child locks on all models.
When crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan received a \"Good\" rating (the Institute's highest score) in frontal offset crash testing and a \"Good\" rating in side-impact testing. As of this writing, the Volkswagen Tiguan had not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The electronics in the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan are designed to set new standards in the class, according to Volkswagen. The optional radio navigation system, designation RNS 510, includes a 6.5-inch-wide touch-screen VGA color display. With an internal 30-gigabyte hard disk, the RNS 510 manages navigation, telephone control, rearview camera, radio, CD and MP3 players. For deep off-road adventures, the navigation system is able to record waypoints and tracks off the digitized map, allowing drivers to orient themselves and easily find their way back home, VW says.