6 Best & Worst Years For The Volkswagen Tiguan

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Volkswagen has been around since the late 1930s and has released various models over the years.

The Volkswagen Tiguan, not to be confused with the Volkswagen Tiguan, is a fairly recent lineup released by the company back in 2007.

This SUV class vehicle has been divided into two different generations and assembled in Germany, China & Vietnam while seeing markets in Europe, China, and North America.

It features a classic compact SUV body in a 5-door style and has five passengers.

Now that I have provided have an idea of the product, let’s discuss the best and worst years for Volkswagen Tiguan.

Best Years for Volkswagen Tiguan:

  1. 2020
  2. 2014
  3. 2015
  4. 2017
  5. 2016
  6. 2021

Worst Years for Volkswagen Tiguan:

  1. 2009
  2. 2010
  3. 2011
  4. 2012
  5. 2018
  6. 2019

Now let’s take a look at these models and see why they have been ranked.

List Of The Best Years For The Volkswagen Tiguan: What Years To Buy

Let us know what years of VW Tiguan are reliable cars to drive through the list of good and bad by year

The best years for the Volkswagen Tiguan are those with little to no problems and many happy customers.

I’ll be discussing them now and ranking them accordingly.

#1 Best Year: 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan

One of the latest models in this article, the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan, offers many positives and none of the negatives some models in this article have.

The reason why this product is on the top of this list is due to the level of safety and customizability the model offers along with the responsive steering and handling the car boasts.

This amazing car is a 7-seater SUV that came in 5 different and exciting trims.

Apart from having a lot of cargo and occupant space, the car wowed people with its premium interior and comfort in the first and second rows.

Moreover, this version of the Tiguan came with many advanced security and safety features as standard.

The model came with various customizable trims as it offered AWD and FWD systems, 5 to 7 seats.The transmission is responsive as well, which is simply spectacular.

#2 Best Year: 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan

Taking a step back from the latest and most advanced, we get to the old and reliable 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan, a five-seater SUV available in a whopping 14 different trims.

The reason why this model is a close 2nd to the 2020 model is that it only goes up to 5 seats and has slightly less cargospace however the car itself featured great & fast acceleration, sporty handling, and a quality interior with adjustable back seat legroom.

Option-wise, it gave customers a choice between AWD & FWD systems and 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions but, as I mentioned, has less seating and cargo space.

#3 Best Year: 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan

The following year, Volkswagen would try and recreate the formula that led to the success of the 2014 model.

This culminated in the 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan, also released in 14 different trims.

The reason why this is the 3rd best is that this would not be the end of the similarities, which would be many, and there would be an overall lack of innovation.

This model also had the quality interior and adjustable backseat legroom but now included a feature that allowed the front passenger seat to be folded flat.

This was supported by the fast-paced acceleration and responsive handling the vehicle had while driving.

#4 Best Year: 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan

While the 2016 Tiguan is also on this list, the reason why the 2017 Tiguan is #4 is because it was more popular than the 2016 model.

This version of the Tiguan would take a modest approach to trims and is available in only five different trims.

However, it featured the same great acceleration and handling that the model has amassed a reputation for.

It also featured the same quality interior with adjustable legroom at the back seats.

It lost the folding front passenger seat and made up for it via a great quality multimedia system. Other notable features included a standard backup camera and heated front seats.

#5 Best Year: 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan

Going a year back to the 2016 model, it was not as popular as its successor, as I mentioned before.

However, that does not inherently mean that it is not fit to be on this list as the reason why this five-seater SUV is #5 is that it features quality handling and acceleration just like the previous model and just like the model after it.

It retained the flat-folding passenger seat and was the model that added the heated front seats.

The model was available in 5 different trims, which offered AWD & FWD capabilities, a navigation system, and dual-zone automatic cooling.

Overall, the model was well received and got a lot of praise from its customers.

#6 Best Year: 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

The final entry on this list is the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan, the best, latest model in the line-up, excluding the 2022 version, which has not been exposed to enough customers to formulate a proper car ranking which is the reason why I decided it would be best to give it 6th place.

The 2021 model has been known to wow customers with its five different trims and seven seats that offer a great amount of cargo and occupant space.

Like the 2020 version, it features the same array of engine and seat count choices while having the same level of responsiveness and interior.

List Of The Worst Years For The Volkswagen Tiguan: What Years To Avoid

Riddled with annoying and dangerous problems, the worst years for the Volkswagen Tiguan are ones you should truly avoid.

#1 Worst Year: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan

According to many sources, the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan was the company’s most problematic and annoying model.

This is also alarming as this was only the 3rd model in the line-up.

Suffering from 3 recalls, cooling problems, Multiple NHSTA complaints, and a myriad of engine problems, the 2009 model is something you should avoid at all costs which is the reason why it is the #1 worst year for the series.

Starting with the engine issues, it would often misfire and cause oil leaks.

Engine, ignition coil, plastic intake manifold, all of these parts, including the engine itself, would simply fail and cost a lot to fix or replace.

The timing chain tensioner also had various problems, a common issue across various models.

This issue would also cause further problems as it could easily destroy the engine itself.

The biggest recall which the car suffered from was due to bubbling oil which would cause the engine to stall. The water pump of the car would also fail.

Like many of its components, the model was failing miserably.

#2 Worst Year: 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan

The 2009 model marked the start of a bad trend for Tiguan as the 2010 Volkswagen would also follow in its footsteps and have a major list of problems.

Why this model ranks as #2 is because this model followed the 2009 version to the dot and had most of the same problems.

Like the 2009 model, engine failure was the biggest problem affecting the model.

The timing chain was also flawed, which could easily damage the engine, which was already struggling to work.

This model was also affected by the bubbling fuel issue, which made the engine stall and hence suffer from a recall. This model was also recalled due to partial loss of exterior lights.

#3 Worst Year: 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan

Continuing with the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan, it seems that the company had finally gotten bearings on the issues surrounding the line-up and made efforts to fix it, cutting down on quite a bit of the problem.

The reason why this model ranks as so is because despite giving the car a facelift, they did not fix the plethora of engine problems surrounding the vehicle.

The timing chain was still in a pathetic state which would cause lots of damage to the engine. The intake manifold was still faulty, and the rear main seal would fail.

Overall the engine would run rough, consuming oil at an excessive rate and leaking oil. Similar to the previous two models, the fuel was still bubbling.

#4 Worst Year: 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen disappointed consumers again for the 4th year in a row with the release of the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan, which was just slightly better than the 2011 version but only slightly which is the reason why it was ranked below it at #4.

As the trend has been following, the engine’s main culprit of this year’s issues. Misfires and failures were common, and stalling was also a normal occurrence.

The timing chain was still not fixed, making it the 4th year in a row where it was causing damage to the engine.

It was also the second year in a row where the spring clock was also causing issues. This completely disabled the airbag system and forced the model to be recalled.

This would not be the only time it would be called back as the company had still not fixed the bubbling fuel, which is disappointing to see from a company this experienced.

#5 Worst Year: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

Moving on to one of the latest models in the line-up, the company had managed to root out and fix the problems affecting the previous models and went out to make great quality vehicles for the next six years.

However, they again fell into disarray with the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan, which is the reason why this model has been ranked 5th place as the company brought back the engine issues and suffered from a staggering 12 different recalls.

While quite a few of these recalls only affected a few cars, some problems such as the rear shock having poor welds, sunroof light short-circuiting, no warning when the key is left in the ignition, and rear coil springs fracturing were just a few of the reasons why thousands of Tiguans were recalled.

#6 Worst Year: 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan

The 2019 version of the Volkswagen Tiguan would also have its fair share of criticism, especially from the NHSTA, which complained about it relentlessly.

The reason why this model is at #6 is because it did considerably well than the 2018 Tiguan as it only suffered from 3 recalls instead of the 12 the 2018 one did.

The main issues of these recalls were the no warning when the key would be in the ignition and rear coil springs fracturing, which were the same issues that the 2018 Tiguan suffered from.

Engine-wise, loss of acceleration and stalling was common.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The Volkswagen Tiguan?

Most Volkswagen cars are teeming with quality and durability. However, there can be a few models which can hold many different problems.

Sometimes these problems cannot be limited to just one model and are common among models throughout the years.

I’ll discuss these problems and let you know how they affect the car and the passengers.

1. Takata Airbags

This problem affected Volkswagen Tiguan and various other models of different companies as well.

The main problem was in faulty airbags which were employed inside the vehicles. These airbags would explode on being activated.

When this would happen, pieces of metal fragments and shrapnel would also be launched inside the cabin, hurting and injuring passengers.

This is quite a dangerous problem and affected millions of cars later be recalled.

2. Timing Chain Issues

Drivers of various Volkswagen engines have reported numerous issues in the Timing chain of the car’s engine. This issue can arise as early as up to 20,000 miles which is incredibly low.

This problem is also very high profile as a loose timing chain can easily destroy the engine, costing owners a pretty penny in buying and adding a replacement.

This led to a class-action lawsuit against the company, which was settled, and the company ended up increasing the warranty for certain vehicles.

3. Clock Spring Failure

The clock spring is an integral part of the vehicle as it allows for communication between the steering wheel and the car’s computer.

This part is responsible for the airbags, cruise control, the horn, and radio volume buttons.

It was fairly obvious what the problem was when multiple users started losing these functionalities.

This problem was also very surprising as I had never heard of this occurring before.

Clock springs are said to be good for life, so seeing the company mess of something like this is disappointing.

Related: Why Won’t My Volkswagen Tiguan Start?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Long Will A VW Tiguan Last?

Volkswagen has been in the car manufacturing business for decades, so it is no surprise that they can create long-lasting and durable cars.

The Tiguan is a robust SUV that can easily last you a minimum of 150,000 miles.

You can stretch this out even further to 200,000 miles if you put in the proper maintenance and drive it within its limits.

This will no doubt last you around 15 years on the low end and 17 years on the high end before repairs and breakdowns start to become unfeasible.

Q2. Do Tiguans Hold Their Value?

Unfortunately, the Volkswagen Tiguan u depreciates around 50% in value after five years. However, the diesel versions of the line-up can easily hold 62.2% of their retail value.

The Volkswagen Tiguan has a great interior and good quality driving mobility and comfort, which is a solid investment, especially if you plan to purchase the diesel version of the model you want.

Diesel, however, emits more soot which is bad for the environment, so do know what you are getting into.

Q3. Is Volkswagen Tiguan Good In Snow?

Despite being a lightweight SUV, the Volkswagen Tiguan is an excellent choice for snowy environments and weather, as it does well in driving in snowy conditions.

It is less likely to get stuck in the snow, and various models come with an AWD system which is perfect against snowy roads.

Even if you do not have the AWD system, the FWD version does a fairly decent job treading through the snow.

The vehicle’s ground clearance has also helped driving through snow become comfortable.

Q4. How Long Does The VW Tiguan Battery Last?

This answer depends on various factors, such as the type of battery you are using, your driving habits, weather conditions, and various other factors.

However, a typical battery for the Volkswagen Tiguan should easily last you three years at the minimum.

If you take care of the car and do regular maintenance, it will no doubt increase the battery life. This could easily add a couple of years to the life of your battery.

Q5. Is The VW Tiguan Being Discontinued?

There have been various models and different versions of the Volkswagen Tiguan released in different parts of the world, which have made it difficult to track and write about all of them however, noticing the trend across countries, the Tiguan may be nearing discontinuation.

First-generation Tiguans were discontinued in China in 2020. The Tiguan Limited models only saw two years of production before being canned.

The tread line model of the Tiguan in Australia was also discontinued in 2018. While production of the line-up is still happening, it is unsafe to say where its direction could shift.


Volkswagen has continued to create quality cars that can stand the test of time.

The Volkswagen Tiguan is nothing different as the compact SUV offers great driving and solid features along with the best safety you can get.

Models such as the 2020 Tiguan and even the 2021 version are prime examples of creating great cars. It can also make mistakes, as seen in models ranging from 2009 to 2012.

Now that you know the best and worst years for Volkswagen Tiguan, you can easily avoid the problematic models and focus on the best model for you.