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There are so many good SUVs on the market that it can be hard to narrow down sometimes. The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan is a small SUV with much to offer shoppers, including a third row. For various reasons, Volkswagen’s compact SUV has garnered a reputation as a popular and commendable vehicle. Its style, functionality, safety features, and performance make it a compelling choice in the competitive market.

What small SUV has a good overall rating?

This Volkswagen Tiguan is a good small SUV
The Volkswagen Tiguan | Volkswagen

The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan is a good small SUV that is one of the few to offer a third row. It provides a quiet cabin with nice materials, and there is actually a lot of space in the first two rows. U.S. News says Volkswagen offers the Tiguan in four trim levels this year: S, SE, SE R-Line Black, and SEL R-Line—a turbo four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower powers all of the options. While the base S trim starts at $26,950, the fully-loaded Tiguan starts at $37,680.

2023 Volkswagen Tiguan TrimMSRPFuel Economy
S$26,95024 mpg city, 31 mpg highway
SE$30,58023 mpg city, 30 mpg highway
SE R-Line Black$33,31021 mpg city, 28mpg highway
SEL R-Line$37,68021 mpg city, 28mpg highway
Small SUV fuel economy

When equipped with front-wheel drive, the base S trim gets 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. That drops to 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway with all-wheel drive. Volkswagen’s R-Line models drop the fuel economy to 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Those looking for a fuel-efficient option will likely find that in any of the lower trim levels.

Is this small SUV safe?

This Volkswagen Tiguan is a good small SUV
A 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan | Volkswagen

For a small SUV, the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan is a safe option. Some of the standard driver-assistance features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and forward collision warning. Automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and a rearview camera are also standard.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan its Top Safety Pick Plus award. Volkswagen’s small SUV provided good protection for both the driver and passengers. The LED projector headlights earned an acceptable rating, but there is room for improvement.

The NHTSA gave the 2023 Tiguan a five-star rating on the side and rollover crash tests. It has not rated the small SUV in the frontal area, and one of the areas has a warning on it. On the side barrier test, it simulates a crash into a fixed object like a tree or utility pole. The Tiguan’s door unlatched and opened increases the likelihood of occupant ejection. Even though the small SUV performed well in most other tests, it is a drawback worth noting.

Is the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan a good small SUV?

Overall, the Volkswagen Tiguan is a good small SUV and a value-packed option. It offers a comfortable ride and many standard safety features. The optional third row is not provided in much of the competition, which is another bonus. It isn’t the biggest third row, but it is nice to have the option.

National safety groups like the IIHS and NHTSA have recently been cracking down on vehicle safety. High safety scores like the Top Safety Pick Plus are harder to get, and for good reason. It usually means automakers improve safety issues relatively quickly to keep those accolades. For now, the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan’s blend of style, practicality, safety, and performance makes it a convincing choice that’s, unfortunately, often overlooked.


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