Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Is the Cheapest 3-Row SUV Under $25,000

The Volkswagen Tiguan is one of the many smaller, crossover SUVs available on the market. Boasting Volkswagen’s quality and craftsmanship, the Tiguan is both family-friendly and efficient.

But the new 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan proves good things can come in cheaper packages and might just be the most affordable third-row SUV you could buy.

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan: cheapest three-row SUV of the year

RELATED: The 2021 Subaru Forester vs. 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

The experts at U.S. News recently compiled a list of the new year’s cheapest SUVs. A total of 15 SUVs made it on to the list of “The Best New SUVs Under $25,000 in 2021.”

As the SUV segment grows more competitive, there seem to be plenty of affordable, yet impressive, options. But according to U.S. News, “if you need three rows of seats, the Volkswagen Tiguan is your only option on this list.”

Out of 15 impressive SUVs on the list, the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is the only one that offers three rows of seating. Although there is one other SUV in the segment that offers both a third-row and a price tag of under $25,000, the experts “don’t recommend it.”

Not only does the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan make it on to this list of affordable SUVs, but its quality also earns it a top spot among the same contenders. In fact, out of all 15 choices, U.S. News places the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan as sixth on the list.

What makes the Volkswagen Tiguan’s cheap price a good value?

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan has a starting price of just under $25,000, at around $24,000. The same U.S. News experts claim that a few of the new Tiguan’s best attributes “include its coddling ride, generous cargo volume, and good crash test ratings. It also earns an above-average rating for predicted reliability.”

For an affordable price, the Tiguan also features a high-quality, comfortable interior, as well as standard advanced safety features. And although it is small enough to fall into the compact segment, it still manages to offer seating for up to seven people with three rows.

The Tiguan comes with a sole powertrain choice: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 184 hp, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Standard interior features for Volkswagen Tiguan include a 6.5-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Wi-Fi hot spot. An upgraded 8.0-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster are also available.

Standard safety features include a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, forward-collision warning, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

It is for these reasons that U.S. News experts give the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan an Overall Score of 7.9/10, receiving its highest scores of 9.6 in Safety and 8.0 in Critics’ Rating categories.

According to U.S. News, the Volkswagen Tiguan is “one of the few compact SUVs to offer third-row seating” and its balance of price-to-quality helps earn it the eighth spot in rankings among all compact SUVs and the tenth spot among all SUVs with three rows. 

Some sacrifices have to be made: what the cheap Tiguan should work on 

As a compact SUV, U.S. News experts feel the Volkswagen Tiguan has a weaker engine and poorer fuel-economy than many of its competitors. In fact, its EPA-estimated fuel-economy ratings of 22 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway are “below-average figures for the compact SUV class.”

But its low price means sacrifices need to be made somewhere. And even though the Tiguan is one of the few small SUVs to have a third-row, that third row may be more suitable for small children than adults.

According to Motor Trend, the Volkswagen Tiguan “is larger than most compact SUVs it competes with,” but has a “cramped, uncomfortable third row.” So if you need to fit adults in the third-row, it might be best to look elsewhere.