A Buyer's Guide to the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan

If you’re in the market for a concept SUV, you’ve probably noticed a few more options sprouting up every year. However, the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan should still make the decision a relatively easy one.

Key Features

Being compact means this is a quicker SUV, thanks in part to its 200-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine (same as the GTI’s). The 4motion all-wheel drive also complements what the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan has under the hood.

Its 40/20/40 split-rear seating proves smaller doesn’t necessarily mean less room for passengers. Of course, folding seats also make it easier to take plenty with you too.

Changes for the 2012 Model

Volkswagen made a number of notable changes to the 2012 model. The hope was that doing so would win attention for the compact SUV that it had previously been lacking.

There are six different versions of seating and stowing available that are new. This year’s model also has greater upright proportions, providing more interior room and a better vantage point, either for seeing the countryside around you or traffic in the city. There’s also a 12-volt power outlet. While this was aimed at those who plan on using their Tiguan for hitting the trails, it was just as welcomed by passengers who want to charge their phones, plug in tablets, etc.

What We Like

The Tiguan’s price point is easily one of the car's best traits. You get a lot of SUV for comparatively little money. After that, it’s is an AWD vehicle —great for the city, but also helpful for those going off-road—and the roomy interior.

What Concerns Us

Although the 2012 Tiguan has proven popular, there’s still no telling if the mini-SUV market will truly take off. If it doesn’t, you could be looking at a disappointing resale value in the future. Also, the affordable price on this SUV can quickly climb when you start adding options.

Available Models

Aside from the basic model, there are also SE and SEL models. They both feature turbocharged engines and upgraded trim on the exterior. A power sunroof is optional. The SEL model has sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Major Recalls

There have been two major recalls of the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan. In 2014, many were recalled because adding winterized fuel to their tanks could result in bubbles, which would eventually make the vehicles stall. The following year, a recall went out because debris could break the driver’s side air bag’s clock spring in such a way as to render it ineffective.

Common Issues

Like a lot of Volkswagens, the Tiguan may force you back to the body shop on a regular basis, which will definitely add to that otherwise pithy price tag.

Volkswagen Tiguan 2012 Interior


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Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

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