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Automakers from around the world are making some great SUVs in order to capitalize on the SUV craze, and it’s a very tough market to win. In the compact crossover segment, automakers like Honda and Toyota have iconic SUVs like the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. But, for Volkswagen, its Tiguan has an ace up its sleeve.

The compact crossover segment is tough 

A white Volkswagen Tiguan on display at an auto show
A Volkswagen Tiguan on display | Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

There are many types of SUVs, and the compact crossover segment is on the smaller end of things. Compact crossovers are bigger than subcompact crossovers, while being smaller than midsize and full-size SUVs.

This makes compact crossovers a great SUV for daily tasks and chores, since it’s small enough to navigate cities, while being big enough to comfortably seat and hold many passengers and their stuff. 

For VW, Japanese automakers like Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda are all competing for the same customers. And, to their credit, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda all make pretty great SUVs. The CR-V wins awards left and right, the RAV4 has a strong and stable reputation.

So, when VW made and released the Tiguan for the American market, it needed to make a splash in a way that would convince customers to buy a Tiguan instead of any of those other SUVs. What VW did was it gave it another row of seats.

The Volkswagen Tiguan’s third-row seats

As Kelley Blue Book wrote, the Tiguan’s third-row seats are one of the great things about it, since few of its competitors offer this option on their compact crossovers. Toyota’s RAV4 doesn’t have a third-row option, neither does Honda’s CR-V, and neither does Mazda’s CX-5. But, with the Tiguan’s third-row option, customers can now seat up to seven people thanks to that extra row of seats.

That said, since it’s still a compact crossover, those extra seats aren’t massive or lavish in any way. In fact, Kelley Blue Book wrote that the Tiguan’s third-row is pretty much only usable by children. But, since many SUV shoppers either have kids or will have kids, this isn’t necessarily a flaw. 

On top of that, while the Tiguan isn’t the only compact crossover to have third-row seats, it is one of the better SUVs in its class to have that option. For example, the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Nissan Rogue also have third-row seats, but the Tiguan is a great SUV in other ways, too.

Other great stuff about the Tiguan


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Like Kelley Blue Book wrote, the interior of the Tiguan is one of its strongest suits, which isn’t unsurprising since it’s a Volkswagen. The Tiguan has comfortable seats and it has a great infotainment system, too. It comes with a standard 6.5-inch touch screen display that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and, additionally, it also has a standard Wi-Fi hotspot. 

Furthermore, the Tiguan also has plenty of smart safety features, many of which are standard. Kelley Blue Book said that features such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring are all standard. These standard safety features, as well as the Tiguan’s great safety scores, makes it a very safe SUV for families to own and drive. 

In terms of its more practical aspects, the Tiguan is also pretty good, too. Kelley Blue Book wrote that the Tiguan has about 38 cu. ft. of cargo space, which is comparable to the CR-V’s cargo room.

That said, one flaw with the Tiguan is that, with the third-row seating option, customers will lose a lot of that cargo space. Regardless, with a price tag that starts at about $26,000, the Tiguan offers a lot of features for an affordable price.