Agility and fuel efficiency in a compact crossover SUV are just a few of the great reasons to choose the Volkswagen Tiguan. But it is also fair that you know the common faults of the Volkswagen Tiguan, before considering buying it.
While newer models have plenty of high-tech features, older vehicles are still a great option with good resale value. Some reports indicate that the price of a 5-year-old Tiguan in good condition will only have depreciated by 44%.
How good is the Volkswagen Tiguan?
The Tiguan scored average in most reliability ratings. Consumers give it 3.0 out of 5.0, ranking it 26th out of 26 SUV models. Most owners find themselves taking their SUV to the auto repair center more often than expected.
However, all models of the Volkswagen Tiguan boast good fuel efficiency , with the later model years giving excellent mpg for an SUV. Combined with its intuitive technological features, the Tiguan can serve you for a long time if you take good care of it. Like many VW models, it can rack up at least 100,000 miles with regular maintenance and repair.
Common faults of the Volkswagen Tiguan
Since its first unit launched in 2009, the Volkswagen Tiguan has seen its share of reliability issues. The exact problems and their frequency can change between model years, with newer vehicles generally having fewer problems. Below are some of the common Volkswagen Tiguan failures through the model years:
1. Transmission problems
Some 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan owners have reported their transmission suddenly shifting hard up or down. The problem usually emerges after driving for at least half an hour straight.
Meanwhile, many 2018 Tiguan drivers have complained about their SUV suddenly hesitating while stepping on the accelerator pedal. In some cases, accelerating produces popping noises that get worse at higher speeds. The engine may shut down completely, increasing the risk of an accident . Some owners also report grinding noises coming from the transmission, which is never a good sign.
2. Problems with the brakes
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the US has registered multiple complaints about multi-year service brakes on the Volkswagen Tiguan model.
On many occasions, the brakes would take too long to come on after the driver stepped on the pedal or would not deploy at all. In either case, malfunctioning brakes increased the risk of a collision, especially when the vehicle was traveling at high speeds.
On more recent model year models such as the 2019 Tiguan, the automatic braking system and front brake assist could malfunction in a number of ways. They would connect by themselves without warning or not work at all . One of the possible reasons behind the problem is a faulty brake sensor that sends inaccurate readings to the automatic brakes, leading to their erratic performance.
The Tiguan’s anti-lock braking system and electronic stability control could also fail without warning. Some 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan owners have reported that the ABS and ESC failed along with other electronic parts, effectively bringing the vehicle to a standstill.
Other related problems reported by Tiguan owners include brake parts wearing faster than normal and unpleasant vibrations. Replacing the faulty parts usually solves the problem, although some problems tend to recur despite extensive repairs.
3. Electrical problems
One of the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan’s electronic safety features is Lane Assist, which scans road markings and helps keep the SUV in the correct lane. However, you can make mistakes reading the road markings and unexpectedly steer the Tiguan out of the lane. Many owners have reported this happening along with the “lane assist unavailable” message with no explanation.
Other optional safety features are available for the 2018 Tiguan, such as adaptive cruise control. But just like lane assist, they can also malfunction when you least expect it . Some drivers have reported that their forward collision avoidance feature sometimes triggers prematurely, even when the SUV is still a safe distance away. If there is another vehicle behind the Tiguan, this can lead to a rear-end collision.
Some Tiguan owners have also reported that their SUV’s electronics tend to turn on even when the key is not in the ignition. This depletes the battery, leaving the vehicle without enough power to start the ignition system.
Although earlier model years have simpler electronics, they also have their share of electrical issues. The ignition coils on the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan can fail prematurely. And if the coils fail while driving at high speeds, the engine can stall abruptly, putting the driver in danger.
4. Engine problems
The Volkswagen Tiguan also develops many problems related to its engine. The intake manifold could fail prematurely, while the water pump may require multiple replacements before it logs 20,000 miles.
Some owners have also reported problems with their engine oil, such as their main seals leaking and using too much oil . Others have complained about a bad turbocharger, which can decrease the power produced by the engine.
On 2009-2011 Volkswagen Tiguan models, the timing chain and its tensioner are prone to wearing out prematurely or without warning. A faulty timing chain tensioner can cause a stall, while the timing chain can wreck the engine if it slips or runs rough.
Whether you buy a new unit or second-hand, the Volkswagen Tiguan will meet most of your expectations and requirements for an SUV. Get the most out of your ride by reading up on reported mechanical problems for the model year you own or are planning to get.