2016 VW Tiguan
Admittedly, I have been a VW fan since my early childhood. My dad’s first car was a used VW Beetle, his first new car was a 1972 VW Beetle, he subsequently had a 411, anew Passat Variant followed by a Beetle and a Polo for us kids and another Passat before he switched to Nissan. VW owners are loyal people and the company knows this. Even to this day you see people celebrating their VW’s from yesteryear because they were solid products which gave their owners reliable quality and unique looks for a good price.
You can see the cars I was driving in the weeks leading up to receiving this Tiguan for evaluation. I have read and followed the whole VW saga about the cheating with the Diesel fuel consumption, and remember clearly driving the Turbo Diesels before, really enjoying them and being impressed with the consumption of course. So that turned out to be fake, but I was still convinced that, since nothing was said about the gasoline driven VW’s, the experience with the Tiguan would be a good one.
As said, recently I had become very impressed with the fuel consumption of the Volvo XC90 T8, a big and heavy luxury vehicle with a 400 Hp drive train…., which used very limited fuel. I came to 22 mpg when pushing it hard. I was floored that the V8 6.1 liter Chevrolet SS was not sucking the fuel tank empty despite it’s performance, also sticking to well into the 22’s despite the Monroney declaring it to be 19 mpg average.
So you can imagine my shock and horror to find that from the proclaimed Monroney of this Tiguan of an average of 23 mpg, I had difficulty bettering 19 mpg with it.. 19 mpg with this small car..?? Seriously….?? Yes.. Every bit of it…
To say that I was disappointed would be an understatement. I really tried to improve on this. It seemed incomprehensible to me that such a small car could use so much more than even gas guzzlers did, but sadly I was unable to. Why do I go on about this on this site? Since it is part of the overall perceived design impression of a vehicle. The total should be good. If a car looks cool but functions badly in for instance it’s usability, practicality, compared to the competition, it takes away from the overall perceived design quality.
In this case I’m not even very impressed with the look of the car, nor the size, nor the fit and finish, certainly not compared to the competition. The VW design language, to me, seems to have changed to cookie cutter templates draped over any size package and tweaked to make them fit. The new front fascia for instance is literally a cookie cutter design, lots of horizontal lines splitting up the surface in a failed attempt to reduce the massive height optically. I’m sure it must have looked good in someone’s first sketch on some product, but to then drape this on all cars is simplistic and not thought out. The snout now seems to portray a huge car, on a very small body and platform, admittedly with a thirst like a huge car too, but that is not a laughing matter.
I hope Volkswagen will do me and it’s millions of loyal fans a big favor and do some more thinking before putting cars like this on the market, and in doing so show a little more respect to us, their loyal clients.