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When it comes to SUVs, people look for storage space and a roomy interior to make traveling comfortable for their families. Features and technological amenities are also important when making a purchasing decision. While those are great things to look for in a vehicle, they’re not as important as one other aspect, which is how safe the SUV is for your family.

The Volkswagen Tiguan is a popular sport utility vehicle for many reasons. But is it safe enough to be worth the purchase price? The NHTSA reported their findings, and it just might surprise you how well it actually performed during the rigorous testing they put it through.

NHTSA safety testing for the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan

The Volkswagen Tiguan didn’t do as well as expected with the NHTSA’s safety testing. It received some five-star ratings for the side crashes, however, a serious issue arose when they tested its performance on side crash impacts.

The driver’s door popped open when the vehicle impacted with another barrier during their evaluation. They notated on their findings that an open door is a serious risk for a person to be ejected from the vehicle when a side-impact crash takes place.

The frontal crash tests remained uncompleted. When they began the evaluation, they noted that the seat belt on the driver’s seat ripped apart during testing. Before giving any ratings for this part of their examination, they reported that they need to investigate the cause of the tear in the belt before they could complete it.

The rollover crash test received four stars with a rollover risk of 16.80%, which is pretty comparable to other SUVs in its class. There are also three recalls on this version of the Tiguan. The most serious one has to do with the rear coils possibly fracturing while driving, which increases the risk for a crash.

IIHS safety testing of the Volkswagen Tiguan

The most current evaluation the IIHS performed on the Volkswagen Tiguan is the 2018 SEL trim, which they used for the frontal crash tests. They gave it five-star ratings for all areas examined for this part of their evaluation. For front crash prevention, the vehicle to vehicle evaluation, IIHS felt the Tiguan performed very well, and received a superior rating.

Side crash and roof strength passed their examinations as well. The only poor ratings the Tiguan had was for the low-beams and high beams on curves and the left side visuals. Child seat latches received an acceptable rating while they considered everything else good. They made this 2018 model Volkswagen a top safety pick for 2019.

Final thoughts on safety

Standard safety features for the Volkswagen Tiguan include daytime running lights, Latch child seat anchors, tire pressure monitoring, and traction control. It also comes with passenger airbag sensing deactivation, engine immobilizer, child safety locks, and side-mounted airbags. Optional equipment for the higher trims includes blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and parking sensors for both front and rear.

While the 2018 model got good marks for safety from the IIHS, the NHTSA found concerns with both the 2018 and 2019 models. With the driver’s seat belt issue and the huge risk for possible ejection from the driver door popping open on impact, it’s not something to be taken lightly.

Should you consider purchasing one, it’s important you don’t take any unnecessary risks when driving. Be sure they have addressed the recalls before buying one of these.

In the end, it’s safer to avoid the 2018 and 2019 models of the Volkswagen Tiguan or drive it at your own risk. Hopefully, the newer models will address the concerns the NHTSA had to make this sport utility vehicle safe to drive once again.