It's been a long time since Volkswagen made its name in this country as a purveyor of inexpensive automobiles. Interestingly, lately, the brand seems to be firmly back in that zone.
For the past couple of years, VW has quietly been re-arranging its trim levels and standard content---and then lowering the price. It's a phenomenon we mentioned in our June review of the 2020 Tiguan 2.0T SEL with 4MOTION on the old TireKicker site. As compelling a value equation as that vehicle was, dropping one trim level and ditching the all-wheel drive puts the Tiguan into a remarkably low price point. And if you specify the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T SE R-Line Black, you get some style, too.
Under the hood, it's the same 2.0-liter, 16-valve turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower, mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. Going from 4MOTION to front wheel drive boosts EPA estimated fuel economy by 2 mpg in both the city and highway cycles---22 and 29.
The base price is $30,295. The window sticker is at the end of this review, so you can see for yourself, but among the standard equipment highlights at that price are 20-inch black alloy wheels, halogen fog lamps, heated, foldable, power-adjustable side mirrors with integrated turn signals, variable intermittent wipers with heated washer nozzles, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and a six-speaker sound system.
And....that's it. Zero options on our test vehicle, so with $1,020 destination charge, the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T SE R-Line Black's as-tested price is $31,315. In a size class where mid-30s to pushing $40K is rapidly becoming the norm.
It gets tougher and tougher to resist the value proposition Volkswagen is making with its vehicles. And the Tiguan is a great choice for a family-hauler at 75-80% the price of most of its direct competitors.