Volkswagen Tiguan Years to Avoid and The Best Years

Volkswagen Tiguan Years to Avoid – Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Volkswagen Tiguan, where we will explore the years to avoid when considering this popular compact SUV. As a potential buyer, it’s crucial to be informed about any potential issues or concerns that may arise with certain models.

The Volkswagen Tiguan has earned a reputation for its stylish design, comfortable ride, and practicality, making it a favored choice among SUV enthusiasts.

Volkswagen Tiguan Years to Avoid

However, like any vehicle, certain model years may have experienced specific problems or shortcomings.

In this article, we’ll delve into Volkswagen Tiguan’s history to identify the years that have been reported to have the most issues and drawbacks.

Let’s get started and explore the worst years of the Volkswagen Tiguan, so you can confidently choose the best model that suits your needs and preferences.

Volkswagen Tiguan Years to Avoid

When it comes to purchasing a used car, being aware of potential problems is crucial in making an informed decision. In the case of the Volkswagen Tiguan, certain model years have garnered a reputation for being plagued with annoying and sometimes even dangerous issues.

In this review, we will explore the worst years to avoid when considering a Volkswagen Tiguan.

Volkswagen Tiguan Years to Avoid

By understanding the shortcomings of these specific models, you can steer clear of potential headaches and ensure a more satisfying ownership experience.

2009 Volkswagen Tiguan: The Troubled Beginning

Starting off our list is the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan, a model that received considerable criticism for its numerous problems. Despite being only the third model in the Tiguan lineup, the 2009 version proved to be the most problematic.

With three recalls, cooling issues, multiple NHSTA complaints, and a host of engine problems, it quickly gained a reputation as the worst year for the series.

Engine misfires, oil leaks, failures in the ignition coil, and the plastic intake manifold contributed to the litany of issues owners faced.

Moreover, the timing chain tensioner posed a serious threat, capable of damaging the engine irreversibly.

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2010 Volkswagen Tiguan: Following in Troubled Footsteps

The 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan followed closely in the footsteps of its predecessor, earning the second spot on our list. This model mirrored many of the issues experienced in 2009, making it another year to avoid.

Engine failures remained a significant concern, with the timing chain continuing to pose a threat to the engine’s integrity.

Additionally, the bubbling fuel issue persisted, leading to engine stalling and triggering a recall.

Partial loss of exterior lights also necessitated a recall, further highlighting the problems faced by owners.

2011 Volkswagen Tiguan: Efforts to Address Issues

Moving to the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan, we find that the company made some efforts to address the ongoing issues. Despite giving the car a facelift, however, the engine problems persisted.

The timing chain remained a weak point, causing extensive damage to the engine.

Faulty intake manifolds and rear main seal failures continued to plague the model.

Excessive oil consumption, oil leakage, and rough engine performance were recurring complaints. Unfortunately, the fuel bubbling issue also persisted, showing that not all problems had been resolved.

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2012 Volkswagen Tiguan: A Slight Improvement

The 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan presented a marginal improvement compared to its predecessor. Nonetheless, it still fell short of resolving the recurring engine issues. Misfires, engine failures, and stalling remained common occurrences.

The timing chain problem, which had persisted for four consecutive years, continued to wreak havoc on the engine’s functionality.

Additionally, the spring clock issue led to the complete disablement of the airbag system, resulting in a recall. Regrettably, the fuel bubbling problem remained unaddressed, causing disappointment among consumers.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan: A Step Backwards

Taking a leap forward to the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan, we find a concerning regression in terms of reliability. This model experienced a resurgence of engine issues, resulting in a staggering 12 recalls.

While some recalls were specific to a limited number of vehicles, others affected a larger portion of the Tiguan fleet.

Recalls included problems such as poor welds on the rear shock, short circuits in the sunroof light, and a lack of warning when the key was left in the ignition.

The fracturing of rear coil springs also posed a safety risk and prompted recalls.

2019 Volkswagen Tiguan: Lingering Criticisms

Finally, we come to the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan, which garnered its fair share of criticism, particularly from the NHSTA. Although it fared better than its 2018 counterpart with only three recalls, concerns remained.

Recalls were issued for issues such as the lack of warning when the key was in the ignition and the rear coil spring fracturing, which was similar to problems seen in the 2018 Tiguan.

Engine-related complaints included loss of acceleration and stalling.

Remember, thorough research and a comprehensive understanding of a vehicle’s history are key to a satisfying ownership experience.

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Best Year for Volkswagen Tiguan

When it comes to finding the perfect Volkswagen Tiguan, it’s important to consider the years that have proven to be the most reliable and satisfying for owners.

In this section, we will explore and rank the best years for the Volkswagen Tiguan based on customer satisfaction, performance, and overall quality.

Best Year for Volkswagen Tiguan

By understanding these standout years, you can make an informed decision and enjoy a rewarding ownership experience.

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan: A Class-Leading Option

Topping our list of the best years for the Volkswagen Tiguan is the 2020 model. With its impressive safety features, customizable trims, and responsive steering and handling, the 2020 Tiguan stands out as an exceptional choice.

This seven-seater SUV offers ample cargo and occupant space, a premium interior, and remarkable comfort in the first and second rows.

Additionally, advanced security and safety features come standard, ensuring peace of mind on the road.

With various trims and both AWD and FWD options, the 2020 Tiguan provides versatility and a delightful driving experience.

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2016 Volkswagen Tiguan: Balanced Performance

The 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan secures a spot on our list due to its reliable performance and noteworthy handling. Although it may not have gained as much popularity as its successors, the 2016 model still delivers an enjoyable driving experience.

This five-seater SUV boasts excellent acceleration and quality handling, providing a satisfying ride.

With features such as the flat-folding passenger seat and available heated front seats, the 2016 Tiguan offers comfort and convenience.

Available in multiple trims, including AWD and FWD capabilities, this model provides options to suit different preferences.

2015 Volkswagen Tiguan: Recreating Success

Continuing the legacy of the previous year’s model, the 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan retains its spot as one of the best years for this SUV. Released in 14 different trims, the 2015 Tiguan shares similarities with its predecessor, offering a familiar and successful formula.

Notable features include a quality interior, adjustable backseat legroom, and the addition of a folding front passenger seat.

With its fast-paced acceleration and responsive handling, the 2015 Tiguan delivers a confident and enjoyable driving experience.

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2014 Volkswagen Tiguan: Old and Reliable

The 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan secures a close second place on our list of the best years. This reliable five-seater SUV offers a range of 14 different trims, providing options to cater to individual preferences.

While it may have slightly less seating and cargo space compared to newer models, the 2014 Tiguan impresses with its great acceleration, sporty handling, and quality interior with adjustable backseat legroom.

Customers can choose between AWD and FWD systems, as well as a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, ensuring a personalized driving experience.

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan: Modest Approach with Great Performance

The 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan earns its spot on this list by being a popular and well-rounded model. Available in five different trims, the 2017 Tiguan features the same impressive acceleration and handling that has earned the model its reputation.

The quality interior with adjustable legroom in the back seats ensures a comfortable ride for all passengers.

Although it lacks the folding front passenger seat found in previous years, it compensates with a high-quality multimedia system, standard backup camera, and heated front seats.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan: The Latest Advancement

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan marks the final entry on our list as the best and most recent model in the lineup. While the 2022 version has not been extensively tested yet, the 2021 Tiguan offers exceptional features and performance.

With its choice of five different trims and seven seats, this model provides generous cargo and occupant space.

Like its predecessor, the 2021 Tiguan delivers the same level of responsiveness and interior quality, ensuring a satisfying driving experience.

When it comes to finding the best Volkswagen Tiguan, the years highlighted in this review stand out for their reliability, customer satisfaction, and exceptional performance.

Consider these standout years to ensure a rewarding and enjoyable ownership experience with your Volkswagen Tiguan.

VW Tiguan Problems

Volkswagen cars are renowned for their quality and durability, but like any vehicle, they can encounter certain issues. We will explore some of the common problems that have been reported with the VW Tiguan.

Understanding these issues can help current and prospective owners make informed decisions and take appropriate measures for maintenance and repairs.

We will delve into problems such as Takata airbags, timing chain issues, and clock spring failure, discussing their impact on the vehicle and its occupants.

1. Takata Airbags: A Dangerous Concern

One significant problem that affected not only the VW Tiguan but also various other models across different car manufacturers was the issue with Takata airbags.

These faulty airbags were installed in vehicles and had the potential to explode upon activation.

As a result, metal fragments and shrapnel would be forcefully launched into the cabin, posing a severe threat to the safety of passengers.

This problem was deemed so dangerous that it led to a widespread recall of millions of vehicles.

2. Timing Chain Issues: Engine Reliability at Risk

Another common problem reported by VW Tiguan owners is related to timing chain issues. Drivers of various Volkswagen engines have experienced problems with the timing chain, even at relatively low mileage, sometimes as early as 20,000 miles.

A loose timing chain can cause significant damage to the engine, resulting in costly repairs or even engine replacement.

This issue gained significant attention, leading to a class-action lawsuit against the company.

As a result of the settlement, Volkswagen increased the warranty coverage for certain vehicles affected by this problem.

3. Clock Spring Failure: Impact on Vehicle Functions

The clock spring is a crucial component in the VW Tiguan as it enables communication between the steering wheel and the car’s computer system.

It is responsible for controlling essential functions such as airbags, cruise control, horn, and radio volume buttons. Surprisingly, many Tiguan owners have reported clock spring failures, resulting in the loss of these functionalities.

This issue was unexpected, as clock springs are typically expected to last the entire lifespan of the vehicle. Such failures were disappointing for owners and required repairs or replacements to restore the affected functions.

If you own a VW Tiguan or are considering purchasing one, it is advisable to stay informed, perform regular maintenance, and address any reported problems promptly. By doing so, you can mitigate the impact of these common issues and enjoy a more trouble-free ownership experience.

Which year of Tiguan is most reliable?

The most reliable year of the Volkswagen Tiguan is the 2012 model. It has ranked the highest for reliability and offers a well-mannered ride quality, ample power from its turbocharged engine, solid build quality, and premium interior features.

How reliable is Volkswagen Tiguan?

The overall reliability of the Volkswagen Tiguan varies depending on the model year. The 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan, has a predicted reliability score of 73 out of 100, which falls into the “Average” category according to J.D. Power’s ranking system. A score of 91-100 is considered “Best,” 81-90 is “Great,” 70-80 is “Average,” and 0-69 is “Fair” and considered below average.

Is the VW Tiguan long-term reliable?

The long-term reliability of the VW Tiguan receives mixed ratings. Consumer Reports has given the last three years of the VW Tiguan a low rating of 1/5 for reliability. On the other hand, J.D. Power ranks the overall reliability of the VW Tiguan as “Average.” The expected lifespan of the VW Tiguan is estimated to be between 160,000 to 190,000 miles, which is slightly below average for compact SUVs.


It is important to research and gathers information on specific model years before making a purchase decision. Understanding the potential problems and reliability ratings can help buyers choose the best Volkswagen Tiguan for their needs.

By being well-informed, one can make a more confident and satisfying choice, avoiding the pitfalls associated with problematic years.

So, if you’re considering a Volkswagen Tiguan, it is essential to be aware of the VW Tiguan Years to Avoid, ensuring that you select a model that offers reliability and peace of mind.