2015 Volkswagen Tiguan

What's new for 2015? Several features are made standard for the entire 2015 Tiguan lineup, including a rearview camera, a 5-inch touchscreen, Volkswagen's Car-Net connected services and an iPod cable. Additionally, the entry-level Tiguan S loses its manual transmission, while the R-Line model gets a new rear bumper.

The 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan is past due for a full redesign, but this does happen to be one small crossover SUV that's aging pretty well. As you might expect from Volkswagen, the Tiguan successfully bridges the gap between mainstream and upscale. True, it costs a little more than the everyday small crossovers, but in return you get above-average performance and refinement, along with a certain amount of exclusivity.

We're impressed by the 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan's 200-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It's powerful in just about any situation, and its six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and quickly. The standard Tiguan isn't particularly sporty when you're driving around turns, as it's primarily about comfort, but there's still plenty of poise, which is remarkable given how smoothly and quietly this VW rides. If you're looking for upscale, European character from a small crossover SUV, the 2015 Tiguan is certainly worth a look.

Exterior Highlights
Available in S, SE, SE with Appearance, SEL and R-Line trim levels

The 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan is available in five trim levels: S, SE, SE with Appearance, SEL and R-Line.

The entry-level S comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, roof rails, trailer-hitch prep, cruise control, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, eight-way manual front seats with adjustable lumbar, 40/20/40-split-folding rear seats, fore-and-aft sliding and reclining for the rear seatbacks, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 5-inch touchscreen interface and an eight-speaker audio system with satellite radio, a six-CD changer, an SD-card slot, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod cable.

The SE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery and a power-recline function for the driver seat.

The SE with Appearance trim adds 18-inch wheels, foglights, chrome exterior trim, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and ignition and power recline for the passenger seat.

The SEL adds a navigation system, a premium Fender audio system and dual-zone automatic climate control.

At the top of the Tiguan food chain, the R-Line trim throws in 19-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, LED running lights, a sport-tuned suspension, a sport body kit, automatic wipers, power-folding side mirrors, leather upholstery, full power front seats (with driver power lumbar), driver memory settings, special interior accents and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Subtle, sophisticated interior, rearview camera, standard touchscreen interface, reclinging seatbacks up front, foldable rear seatbacks

Compared to other small crossovers, the 2015 Tiguan swims against that current with a subtle, sophisticated interior that looks and feels first-rate. You sit pleasingly high and upright in the firm front seats, and all models now come equipped with a rearview camera that displays through the standard touchscreen interface. The Tiguan has yet to get on the big-screen bandwagon, however, as the humble 5-inch screen looks undersized by today's standards. Its rudimentary graphics don't exactly give off a contemporary vibe, either.

Legroom in the rear seats can feel a little pinched with taller folks up front, but most occupants will find plenty of headroom, and the reclining seatbacks and 6 inches of fore-aft seat travel help maximize the space. The useful 40/20/40-split-folding rear seatbacks enable passengers to occupy the two outboard seats while long items rest on the folded middle section.

With the rear seats upright but slid fully forward, the Tiguan's cargo area can hold 23.8 cubic feet, while folding down the rear seatbacks makes for a 56.1-cubic-foot cargo space.

The 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan comes standard with traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is also standard, but parking sensors are not available. VW's Car-Net telematics system is included with every Tiguan and provides automatic crash notification, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location and geo-fencing (which allows parents to set boundaries for teenage drivers). A Car-Net smartphone app lets owners control many of these functions on the go.

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