The refreshed Tiguan comes with new face, new tech, but the same old engine under the hood

The Tiguan is almost 15 years old and it won’t be wrong to say that Volkswagen has been a little slow to update it as per the segment standards. The second generation came out in 2016 and the German automaker milked the design for almost four years before bringing out the facelift. The 2021 Tiguan is the typical mid-cycle refresh one would expect. It comes with slightly revised aesthetics, new tech features, and also some announcements about newer offerings with the product lineup.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior

left right

While the derriere is pretty much the same as the 2020 model, the 2021 Tiguan comes with a few upgrades to the front and side profiles. It features a redesigned front fascia that looks much smarter than the outgoing model. The new headlights and grille give the SUV a sharper approach, whereas the new bumper makes the Tiguan look less of a ‘big mouth’.

The automaker offers three different wheels and tire combinations on the 2021 model. The 17-inch wheels come wrapped in 215/65 section tires, the 19-inch wheels in 235/50 section tires, and the largest 20-inch wheels in 255/40 section tires. Irrespective of the seating configuration you choose, the Tiguan has the same footprint, including the same wheelbase. This means the last row comes at the cost of a comparatively cramped first row, second row, and cargo space.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior
- image 916363

As for the dimension, the 2021 Tiguan measures 185.1 inches in length, 72.4 inches in width, and 66.3 inches in height. The front and rear tracks are 62.2- and 61.8 inches wide, whereas the wheelbase is 109.8 inches long. It sits 7.9 inches off the ground and has approach and departure angles of 26- and 23 degrees respectively.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan exterior dimensions
Wheelbase (in/mm) 109.8/2790
Front Track (in/mm) 62.2/1581
Rear Track (in/mm) 61.8/1570
Length (in/mm) 185.1/4702
Width (in/mm) 72.4/1839
Height (in/mm) 66.3/1685

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Interior

left right

At the onset, the cabin retains the same layout. But, there are noticeable changes here. For starters, a new three-spoke steering wheel graces the cockpit. It comes with a 10-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel that shows all the drive-related info. On the center console, the Tiguan features an eight-inch touchscreen that can be upgraded to a 10.25-inch touchscreen. It runs on a new MIB3 infotainment system and supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink. The base trim comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, however. On the top trim, the 2021 Tiguan offers stuff like:

  • 10-way driver’s power-adjustable seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped heated steering wheel
  • Fender premium audio system
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Wireless charger
2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Interior
- image 916377

In the case of the five-seat model, you have 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. Fold them down and you’ll have 73.5 cubic feet of space available to use. If you opt for the seven-seater, then you get 12 cubic feet of space at your disposal with all the seats in place, 33 cubic feet with the third row down, and 65.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the second- and third-row flipped down.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Drivetrain

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Drivetrain
- image 974948
The 2021 Tiguan retains the same 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that makes 184 horses at 4,360 rpm and 221 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm.

You can have it with either a front-wheel-drive layout or an all-wheel-drive configuration. In both cases, power is sent to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan specifications
Type 2.0L inline four cylinder, 16V, turbocharged/intercooled, TSI
Bore 3.25 in 82.5 mm
Stroke 3.65 in 92.8 mm
Displacement 121 cu in 1984 cc
Horsepower (SAE) @ rpm 184 @ 4360
Maximum Torque, lb-ft @ rpm 221 @ 1600
2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior
- image 916348

The front-wheel-drive model delivers 23 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. It comes with a 15.9-gallon fuel tank. The all-wheel-drive Tiguan returns 21 miles in the city, 27 miles on the highway, and 24 miles combined for every gallon of fuel consumed. This model features a 16.4-gallon tank.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Pricing

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior
- image 916347

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is offered in five different trims, and here’s how it’s priced:

  • S – $25,245
  • SE – $27,395
  • SE R-Line Black – $30,595
  • SEL – $32,545
  • SEL Premium R-Line – $39,095

The prices mentioned here are excluding the $1,195 destination charges.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Competition

Honda CR-V

2017 Honda CR-V
- image 699226

The Honda CR-V has been one of the safest bets in the segment for a long time now. It comes with a feature-rich, practical, and spacious cabin. It even offers the best cargo space when compared to its immediate rivals. Everything seems to tick the box until you start driving it. The 1.5-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine dishes out 190 ponies and 179 pound-feet of torque and doesn’t seem the most powerful or agile one out there. To make matters worse, it comes mated to a lousy CVT. If you are a sedate driver, you’ll be happy; but if you have a heavy right foot, you will be disappointed. But, let’s not forget that it boasts of excellent crash-test ratings which further makes a case for itself as a safe family car. The Honda CR-V starts a little over $25,000 and goes all the way up to $35,000.

Read our full review on the Honda CR-V

Mazda CX-5

2019 Mazda CX-5
- image 804345

The Mazda CX-5 is an underrated performer in the crowded crossover segment. The understated, classic looks may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is bound to look graceful even after a decade or so. On the inside, it comes with stuff like a 10.3-inch touchscreen system, 36-degree camera, funky upholstery, etc. Mazda offers it in seven different trims which means there’s something for every potential customer. The drawback here is the standard naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter, four-pot engine that makes 187 horses and 186 pound-feet of torque. The turbocharged mill should be your pick here which churns out up to 250 ponies and 320 pound-feet of twist. The 2021 Mazda CX-5 starts from $25,500 and goes all the way up to $37,500.

Read our full review on the Mazda CX-5

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Driver-Assistance Features

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior
- image 916371

The Tiguan comes with a suite of available driver-assistance features, such as:

  • Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Rear Traffic Alert
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane-Keeping System
  • Park Distance Control
  • High Beam Control
  • Overhead View Camera
  • Leave it
    • Seven-seat model feels cramped
    • Just one engine option on offer
Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

Fresh Looks, New Tech, and Electrification Spearhead the Many Changes of the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: