2018 Volkswagen Tiguan 162TSI: owner review

I chose a new-model 2018 Tiguan as it was so much larger and with a more rugged and aesthetic appeal to its lines.
Owner: Russell Spinks

What we love
  • Great motor and aesthetics

What we don’t
  • DSG/mechatronics and water pump issues

The new-model 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan was so much larger and with a more rugged and aesthetic appeal to its lines.

We have had a Land Rover Discovery and a Subaru Outback before this, and really liked the higher viewing profiles for safety and vision.

The new Subaru just didn’t cut it with performance and the interior. The Tiguan, however, seemed so much more spacious and optioned with the assist package and particularly boot space.

The car travels along beautifully, and with the 162kW 2.0-litre engine it packs some real punch.

Economy is also a plus. It is great on country drives and we get around 7.0L/100km, and 9.0L/100km for semi-rural driving. It is quiet, smooth, and handles curves beautifully with a sports car feel as it sits so flat.

The seats are also very comfortable and supportive on the long drives. Also, the sound system is great.

Towing is fabulous as it barely notices a full trailer behind it.

However, we have suffered from the curse of VAG mechatronics unit failures. The first one in my Audi A1 and then the Tiguan wouldn’t select the odd gears.

I saw some fluid on the garage floor and assumed it was transmission fluid seeing as we had the gear issues. It was solenoid failure and had only done 50,000km. VW Australia finally came to the party with parts and labour bar $500, which they said would allow them to give an extra warranty on the gearbox.

No parts in Australia, of course, so we had a decent wait for one to come from Germany.

All was good, but now low coolant levels threw a code and more fluid on the garage floor. The car hadn’t done more than 1000km since the mechatronics unit.

I had it evaluated by VW and the water pump had failed. Yep, it had also gone in my Audi two years earlier! No Audi assistance with that one $1000 later! (I should have pushed that one in hindsight.)

It seems that the fluid initially seen with the mechatronics unit was coolant not transmission fluid as expected. VW Australia were involved again and they covered 80 per cent of the parts and labour. $330 this time, although the car was only six months out of warranty, it had only done 56,000km, and less than 1000km since the warranty expired.

All fixed (four weeks ago), but now when travelling at 60km/h+ I hear a groan/hum when turning on curves. This is only new and I am hoping it is not power steering related.

I loved the Tiguan and my A1 also, but VAG has some serious issues with certain components. Have we bought a lemon? Honestly, if I had the money, I would sell it just to get rid of the trouble and for peace of mind.

I see that they are superseding the DSG to an auto, but the water pump evidently has plastic components and has to deal with high pressure and temp! Why not aluminium?

Owner: Russell Spinks

MORE: Everything Volkswagen

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