As we head out of town it’s immediately apparent the Tiguan has some spunk. This is due to the 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct injected 4-cylinder that makes 200 horsepower. There’s little turbo lag here and lots of torque (207 lbs-ft). Tiguan feels faster than the 7.9 second 0-60 time VW claims. I tell you this in case you’re feeling cocky and consider drag racing a Toyota RAV4 V6 for pinks. Don’t. You’ll lose your ride. There’s a choice of manual transmission and the automatic I’m driving that features a Tiptronic manual shift mode. Both are 6-speed.
As we head for eastern Washington the roads become more narrow and curvy. Here Tiguan shines. Volkswagens have a solid German feel to them and their small sport ute is no different. While VW’s comparison to GTI is a bit of a stretch, Tiguan will sling around corners with poise and precision considering it rides moderately high. While I’d like to do a back-to-back comparison to be sure, while in my hands the chassis dynamics feel best in class.