Volkswagen Tiguan: Chronicling the Changes

Revised: October 16, 2023

Volkswagen arrived late to the compact utility vehicle game, releasing the oddly named Tiguan in 2009. Its lateness, though, has everything to do with its commitment to wagons. As the market changed, Volkswagen responded with its first utility vehicle, followed by two more models over the next decade. Today’s Tiguan is much larger than the earlier model but is still considered a compact SUV with available room for seven.

Volkswagen logo

Chronicling the Changes

2024 — Every Tiguan model now comes with the IQ.DRIVE driver assistance technology as standard. The S trims are enhanced with features such as an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rain-sensing wiper system, and a steering wheel trimmed in leatherette. Additionally, a mid-year update will introduce the MIB3 Composition Media infotainment system, equipped with wireless charging and wireless App-Connect.

2023 – Following its 2022 refresh, the 2023 Tiguan adds minor cosmetic changes including 19-inch wheels for the SE R-Line Black models.

2022Volkswagen updates the Tiguan’s front end with standard LED headlights. Updated keyless entry, a digital cockpit, ambient lighting, and advanced driver-assist technologies roll out.

2021 – The most noteworthy change this year is the release of the third-generation infotainment system.

2020 – For 2020, all Tiguan models receive standard front assist, side assist, and rear traffic alert. Updated adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go becomes available. Wireless charging is optional.

2019 – Technology improvements and expanded driver-assist features highlight the 2019 model.

2018 — Volkswagen launches the all-new second-generation model. This one goes from one of the smallest in the segment to one of the largest. This model receives standard third-row seating in some grades. The previous engine returns and works exclusively with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Second-Generation Volkswagen Tiguan

The second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan
The second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan

2017 — The Tiguan swaps the R-Line and SE grades for new Wolfsburg and Sport models, the latter featuring a standard leather package.

2016 — Volkswagen adds a new infotainment system interface and makes a rearview camera standard across the model line.

2015 — Light changes highlight the 2015 model, including expanded added equipment and content changes.

2014 — For 2014, Volkswagen adds an R-Line appearance package that offers interior and exterior design embellishments.

2013 — All grades receive an electronic parking brake as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather shift knob.

2012 — Following light tweaks the previous year, the 2012 Tiguan gains extensive front and rear styling changes. New wheels, improved fuel economy, and four grades – S, LE, SE, and SEL – highlight this model.

2011 — One year after its introduction, the Wolfsburg Edition goes away.

2010 — Volkswagen adds a Wolfsburg Edition to the product line and Bluetooth arrives on all but the base model.

2009 — Volkswagen introduces its first compact utility vehicle, naming it the Tiguan (Tig*Gwan). The new vehicle seat five comes with standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. The 2009 Tiguan comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower. It works with either a 6-speed manual gearbox (S model) or a 6-speed automatic transmission. This model comes in S, SE, and SEL grades.

First-Generation Volkswagen Tiguan

The first-generation Volkswagen Tiguan
The first-generation Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen Tiguan Considerations

Every manufacturer has at least one entrant in the highly competitive compact utility vehicle segment. From GM there are three models – the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, and Buick Envision. Ford offers the Escape and Bronco Sport.

Other models in the segment include the Nissan Rogue, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4. The Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Forester, Kia Sportage, and Hyundai Sportage should also be considered. Mazda offers two models – the CX-5 and the CX-50.

See AlsoThe Roomy Volkswagen Tiguan Crossover

Photo Attribution

Photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Matt Keegan
Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

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