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My week with the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is coming to a close, and honestly, I will miss this SUV. It feels like an excellent option for road trips and for driving around town. The Volkswagen Tiguan is definitely an excellent daily driver, but it does have two drawbacks to consider. 

Two 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan drawbacks to consider 

A red 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan
2021 Volkswagen Tiguan | Allison Barfield

Just for some quick background information, the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan begins at about $25,245. I’ve been spending the week with the VW Tiguan SEL, which is the highest trim level. It raises the price to about $33,000. 

You may be surprised to learn that the Tiguan has three rows of seats. Many people seemed shocked when I told them that Volkswagen has three-row options. But it’s smaller than the Volkswagen Atlas, and this leads to the first potential issue. 

1. The third row is tight 

The third row of the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is pretty tight. It’s for small kids only back there. You have to push the second row forward to have enough space to raise the third-row seats. Otherwise, it’s blocked by the headrests. 

There isn’t a power fold button, but that’s fine. This isn’t a luxury SUV. I had to wrestle with the second and third-row to get into the back. I’m 5’1,” and the headrest of the third row sat between my shoulder blades. 

But the seat was still comfortable and supportive. I was able to push the second row forward to have enough knee space. It took some acrobatics for me to fit through the back door opening to get back there, but once I fit, I could sit. I’m sure a regular owner would quickly learn how to handle the seats to get their kids back there. 

2. The infotainment screen in the VW Tiguan could be updated

My second potential issue to consider is a little subjective. I thought the layout of the 10.0-inch touchscreen looked a little dated. Plus, the glass quickly gets covered in fingerprint smudges. But it works great. I preferred using Apple CarPlay to the VW software.

You couldn’t search for a place in the built-in navigation system, you had to know the address. This made it much more convenient to use Apple maps instead. Also, there seemed to be an extra step with each function. For example, you had to hit an X on the screen to turn the backup camera off once you switched from park to drive.

The graphics look great, and the system is fast and responsive. It was easy to learn. Also, the VW Tiguan isn’t outdated in terms of tech. The SEL model has a wireless phone charger, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a customizable digital gauge cluster. With the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan around the corner, the screen will have a new layout soon enough. 

What I liked about the VW Tiguan 

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan interior
2021 Volkswagen Tiguan interior | Volkswagen

Are the Volkswagen Tiguan and Atlas the Same SUV?

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is very comfortable. The suspension absorbs impacts well for a smooth ride, and the interior has a sense of quiet luxury. It was peaceful, even when driving through I-85 and I-26 construction zones with heavy traffic. 

Each row of seats is perfectly comfortable, except for taller people in the third row. The seats are well-padded and supportive. Also, the driver’s seat offers tons of lumbar support controls for the perfect position. 

The fuel tank is massive. It holds about 15.9 gallons of gas. When I received it, I had 450 miles left before needing a fill-up. It gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and up to 29 mpg on the highway, which is pretty good. 

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is very agile and easy to maneuver in tight city areas. It’s straightforward to parallel park and can make tight turns. Overall, my week with it felt exciting, comfortable, and convenient.