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2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Review 

  • 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan: $26,950 – $37,680 
  • Best Compact SUV of 2023 – J.D.Power 
  • Pros: Spacious interior, athletic performance, smooth and comfortable 
  • Cons: Weak base engine, sensitive touchscreen controls, stiff seats 
  • MotorBiscuit score: 8.1
The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan driving down the road
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan | Volkswagen

Stop ignoring the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan for popular rivals like the Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V. The Tiguan is the only SUV with unmistakable European zest to provide an engaging yet comfortable performance. 

With an upscale interior and tons of standard features, the Tiguan delivers poise and value. However, while the sole engine choice is a potent 2.0-liter turbocharged unit, things could be faster. 

Also, while the Tiguan is loaded with standard tech and safety features, it’s not exactly intuitive. But the 2023 VW Tiguan has another trick up its sleeve with available third-row seating. This is something that only the Mitsubishi Outlander has to offer in the class. 

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan: What’s new? 

Not much has changed for the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s primarily a carryover model despite being part of the second generation launched back in 2018. However, the Tiguan will be refreshed in 2024

Plus, the 2023 VW Tiguan isn’t showing its age. It still features modern tech and an upscale interior, crafting a welcoming place to spend time. The SE R-Blackline got a new 19-inch wheel design, and the USB-C ports were upgraded to 45W charging. 

Which 2023 VW Tiguan trim is best? 

The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan off-roading near horses
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL R Line | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

There are four 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan trim levels: 

  • Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T S – $26,950 
  • Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T SE – $30,580 
  • Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T SE R Line Black – $33,310 
  • Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T SEL R Line – $37,680

Moving up to the SE trim does tack on roughly $3,630. Still, it comes with tons of upgrades, such as a power liftgate, remote start, synthetic leather upholstery, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a wireless charging pad, dual-zone climate control, and 18-inch alloy wheels. 

But the SEL R Line packs some serious heat with AWD, hill descent control, sport leather seats, a 360-degree camera, automatic parking assist, the premium Fender audio system, a hands-free power liftgate, a lightbar integrated into the grille, built-in navigation, etc. 

How does the 2023 Volkwagen Tiguan drive? 

The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan driving on the pavement
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan | Volkswagen

Driving the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan can be a relaxing yet athletically charged experience. The sole engine option is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder unit with 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. 

It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.1 seconds during a MotorTrend road test. Sporty vibes from the racing-oriented SEL R Line make it feel a bit faster, but this is an average time for the class. It’s only a smidge faster than the non hybrid Toyota RAV4. 

It mainly features a smooth power delivery, but there are noticeable acceleration delays at times. The steering has a nice weight to it, and the brakes are smooth and confident. However, We wouldn’t mind a little more stopping power. 

The VW Tiguan feels confident and well-planted around sharp curves. The 18.85-foot turning radius is excellent for navigation through crowded downtown areas. Use the Eco Mode to save gas, but it can feel heavy with this setting. 

The Normal Mode is great for a balance of speed and comfort without aggression. It’s a nice blend of each driving mode. Sport Mode takes the cake by being the most fun with faster response times. You can also make custom driving modes with features from each preprogrammed mode. 

Overall, the VW Tiguan is a low-effort daily driver that’s convenient with athletic vibes. 

Can the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan go off-roading? 

The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan off-roading in the woods
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

Yes, the 2023 VW Tiguan can go off-roading, but it’s mostly suited to getting to and from the campsite. You won’t find the Tiguan climbing over rock faces and hanging out with the Jeep Wrangler in Utah, but it has a good start. 

The Off-Road driving mode and all-wheel drive 4MOTION system provide precise control. Plus, it has a four-wheel independent suspension and can deliver power to the wheels in need. 

The Hill Descent Control system acts as a cruise control system at speeds under 20 mph. It allows you to climb down steep surfaces and rock inclines without slipping or sliding. Again, the Tiguan could have more stopping power. 

It has an impressive amount of torque for climbing over obstacles and felt smoother than the Mazda CX-50 over gravel. However, it lacks undercarriage protection and only has a ground clearance of 7.4 inches. We hope to test the Snow Mode once winter swings around. 

How comfortable is the 2023 VW Tiguan 

The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan parked by a scenic view
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

We consider the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan to be comfortable enough for most applications. While the sport leather seats are supportive and welcoming for energetic drives, the bottom cushion is a bit flat. It starts to feel stiffer the longer you drive. We noticed it about an hour or two into road trips. 

On a positive note, the VW Tiguan has an extremely smooth ride quality that seems to glide over the pavement. Rougher sections are quickly dampened, and the interior is pretty quiet at highway speeds. 

The dual-zone climate control system is strong and effective, but the ventilated seats could be a bit stronger. Also, the second row is massive, with plenty of space for two adults to stretch out. We didn’t have a model equipped with the available third row. 

Is the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan interior nice? 

The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan interior is upscale and borders luxurious. Some may feel like it’s a little boring and understated, but on the other hand, it’s simple and elegant. Pops of brushed metal and white accent stitching draw the eye. 

We love the available panoramic sunroof that allows natural light to filter into the cabin. It has the right amount of tint to keep bright rays at bay. The interior ambient lighting feels fresh and modern. 

Also, the layout is well-planned, with everything you need placed within reach. The doors open wide for easy access, and the rear cargo hold hatch is pretty versatile. It has a low liftover height to simplify loading heavy or bulky items. 

Does the VW Tiguan have good tech? 

The tech and dashboard in the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan | Volkswagen

The tech in the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan is adequate. It works, and the software is fast, but the 8.0-inch touchscreen feels limited. It’s feels complicated at first, with unnecessary menus to flip through for simple commands. 

We did enjoy the faux off-roading display, though. It provides a compass and elevation guage instead of your pitch and roll.

However, the available upgraded 10.25-inch digital guage cluster is very advanced. It displays your map, navigation, driving stats, and miles until empty. It’s much easier to customize than the infotainment system. 

The available 360-degree display, parking sensors, and parking assist feature make it extremely easy to get in and out of tight situations. Overall, it feels advanced, but people may prefer more physical controls over touch-sensitive buttons.

How much cargo space does the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan have? 

The cargohold of the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan | Volkswagen

With the third row equipped, the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan provides 12.0 cubes behind the rear seat and up to 65.3 cubes total. With only two rows, the VW Tiguan has an impressive 37.6 cubic feet in the rear with up to 73.4 cubes overall. 

The VW Tiguan has a solid amount of space for storing personal items, with plenty of cubbies and trays to take advantage of. The one in the center of the dashboard is our favorite. Plus, the glove box and door pockets are generous. 

But the Tiguan falls short when it comes to towing. It can only tow up to 1,500 lbs, and the tow hitch has to be installed by the dealer. Rivals like the Toyota RAV4 can tow up to 3,500 lbs. 

How safe is the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan? 

The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan off-roading in dirt
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan is only of the safest SUVs available. It’s an Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ award winner. It received a ‘Good’ in almost every single crash simulation, which is the highest score possible. 

The standard emergency braking system with pedestrian detection earned a ‘Superior’ score. It avoided a collision at 12 mph, and at 25 mph, the vehicle speed was reduced by 24 mph before impact. 

However, the child seat anchors earned an ‘Acceptable’ score because the tether anchors are difficult to maneuver around other anchors. But they are easy to find and attach. They aren’t easily confused with other hardware, either. 

Standard safety features include:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

How reliable is the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan? 

The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan off-roading on a gravel path
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan isn’t the most reliable SUV in the bunch. It earned a score of 73 out of 100 from J.D.Power. Scores between 70 and 80 are average, anything between 81 and 90 is above average, and scores between 91 and 100 are best. 

It’s only three points away from falling in the below-average range. The Tiguan is expected to last between 150,000 to 200,000 miles. You might be able to push it to 250,000 miles with proper care and regular maintenance. 

It costs about $672 to maintain the Tiguan annually. This is a little more expensive than the average yearly maintenance cost of $652 for rivals. 

MotorBiscuit gives the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan a score of 8.1 out of 10 

The experts at MotorBiscuit have awarded the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan with a rating of 8.1 out of 10. The VW Tiguan is better than you think, with an athletic performance that’s easy to customize and an upscale interior. 

It has tons of standard features and surprising off-roading capabilities. It’s one of the only vehicles in its class with an available third row, even if it does cut into the cargo space. The VW Tiguan could have softer seats and a little more excitement. 

But it has an adequate amount of power and solid racing vibes. The tech has a learning curve, and it’s not the most reliable option, but it’s well-rounded. We can’t wait to see the 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan in action.