How many miles can a Volkswagen Tiguan last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand Tiguan, that’s a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at the most popular models but first, let’s start with a quick answer:
On average, a Volkswagen Tiguan lasts between 160.000 – 190.000 miles. A Volkswagen Tiguan has to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs 0.92 times a year with a 12% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, Tiguan owners spend an average of $730 per year on repairs.
Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below, we’ll explain in more detail how many miles a Tiguan can last. After that, we’ll compare Tiguan to its main competitors regarding potential mileage and compare the car to other Volkswagens. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems that the car can have, how much maintenance will cost per year and how to maintain a Tiguan. Read on!
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How Many Miles Can A Volkswagen Tiguan Last?
We did some serious research to know how many miles a Tiguan can last. First, we looked at the database of Autotrader.com, and we found 6.613 units of the Tiguan for sale. Then, we analyzed the data of how many of them had already crossed the 150k miles mark. On top of that, we looked at many other factors before coming to a first conclusion.
|Amount Of Miles
|Percentage Of Cars
|Cars With 150.000+
|Cars With 100.000 – 149.000
|Cars With 45.000 – 99.999
|Cars With 0 – 44.999
On average, 3-5% reaching mileage above the 150,000-mile mark is considered a good percentage for a car, but the Volkswagen Tiguan did not reach this limit. In total, 0.95% of the Tiguans for sale had a mileage higher than this. This either indicates the car is relatively new, or the cars don’t have that long of a lifespan. However, since the Tiguan has been on the market since 2009, newness can’t be the issue.
Even more concerning is that SUVs typically have 5-7% reaching the 150,000 miles mark in this test. Therefore, this doesn’t seem to be a good start for the Tiguan. We also took the liberty of documenting the highest mileage Tiguan that’s currently for sale, and we saw that this unit ‘only’ has 203.000 miles. That’s not bad, but considering it’s the highest mileage unit, that’s quite disappointing.
Also read: This Is Where The Volkswagen Tiguan Is Made
How Reliable Is A Volkswagen Tiguan Compared To Its Competitors?
On top of knowing how many miles a Volkswagen Tiguan last, we have also compared the data with its competitors. As we can see in the table below, we’ve gathered the expected mileage of the competitors as well as the highest recorded mileage on autotrader.com.
Please keep in mind that we’ve written separate articles for each of these units and are confident in the results displayed below.
When comparing the Tiguan to its competitors, we see that the Volkswagen definitely lacks behind. With an average expected mileage of 175.000 miles, it’s far below the Ford Edge, which only has 200.000 miles. What’s even worse is that the Honda CR-V has an expected mileage of 250.000 which means it has a lifespan of 3 – 6 years more than the Tiguan.
How Reliable Is A Volkswagen Tiguan Compared To Other Volkswagens?
What we see in the table below is quite alarming. Almost all Volkswagens we’ve researched don’t reliably reach a mileage of 200,000 or more. For reference, this is the first car brand that we’ve seen with this issue, given that most other car brands have most cars crossing the 200,000 miles mark with ease.
We must mention that German luxury brands (such as BMW and Mercedes) typically have lower average mileage than some more affordable brands (such as Honda, Chevy, Nissan, etc.). However, Volkswagen isn’t truly a luxury brand and has worse reliability than BMW or Mercedes, so it’s clear the brand isn’t living up to what can be expected from it.
Even worse is that the Tiguan, together with the Jetta, is the worst performing Volkswagen of them all. This does seem to indicate there’re quite some reliability problems with the vehicle (which we’ll have a look at later on in the article).
How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?
Knowing how much you would have to spend annually on maintenance is essential to grasp this car’s reliability ratings better. Even a money pit car can achieve 200k+ miles, given that you have spent thousands of dollars annually to keep it going. You definitely wouldn’t want a money pit to haunt your life.
With data that we gathered from Repairpal.com and Caredge.com, we conclude that a Volkswagen Tiguan costs $730 annually on average. Of course, there’re differences between the model years; we’ve displayed these in the table below.
However, we have to mention that $730 annually for a compact SUV is quite alarming. For reference, according to Repairpal, a compact SUV typically costs $521 per year. This means the Tiguan is much more expensive to maintain than other SUVs in the same category.
What’s interesting to see in the table is that the Tiguans made before 2014 seem to be the ones causing the majority of the problems. Some of these model years have maintenance costs of more than $900, which is quite ridiculous.
Owners’ Reviews Of The Tiguans Reliability
Besides knowing all the data, it’s, of course, also essential to see how owners experience the Tiguan. For this, we went to Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Truecar.com. All three platforms have gathered hundreds of reviews from actual car owners. We summarized our findings in the image below.
In the image above, we’ve summarized the 2016 – present-day (second generation Tiguan) ratings on the different platforms. What we found is that the Tiguan gets a surprisingly high rating. Not one single model year stands out negatively, which is a good thing.
Owners seem to be quite happy about the reliability of the vehicle, as well as its performance and overall feel. Therefore, it’s slowly starting to look like the Tiguan isn’t that bad of a vehicle after all. Maybe it was just the first generation that caused a lot of problems? We’ll have a look at that in a moment. In the meantime, this is a quote of a 2020 Tiguan owner displaying the general sentiment of owning one:
Easy to get in and out (I’m 6’2), lots of space inside, lots of space in the back with the 3rd row down, tons with 2nd and 3rd rows down. Electronics easy to use. Layout makes sense. Car feels solid and well put together.Source
Volkswagen Tiguan Common Problems
When looking for a Tiguan in the used market, you must be aware of some common problems they might pose. Otherwise, you will get a fatal blow to your wallet later. It’s a must that you know about these problems beforehand.
NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the vehicle isn´t having any problems that you should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.
More about this topic in this blog: Types Of Gas A Volkswagen Tiguan Uses (Explained)
Second Generation (2016 – Present)
This generation performs quite well from a reliability standpoint. For example, the 2016 – 2017 model years both have 64 and 37 complaints on the website of the NTHSA (very few for a new generation). The same can be said for the 2019 – 2022 model years. However, in the middle, there’s the problematic 2018 model year.
The 2018 model year has 13 recalls and more than 200 complaints. One of the most significant problems is the vehicle’s incredible lag of acceleration, entering limp mode, and the car not accelerating past 4,000 RPM. Owners have reported they’ve had to replace the Electronic Power Control Unit and the Emission Control Unit numerous times in only a couple of years.
Why this problem occurs is still unclear. Volkswagen never issued a recall for this, so owners have had to replace several units out of pocket.
Another major problem of the Tiguan is a rattle coming from the B-pillar (a structural part of the car essential for its structural integrity). Faulty rivets caused this rattling noise. Volkswagen did issue a TSB for this.
First Generation (2009 – 2016)
This generation was definitely more problematic than the one that came after it. The 2009 – 2013 model years have each received well over 100 complaints. Furthermore, the same problems were an issue in all these model years. The 2014 – 2015 ones are practically free of major problems.
The engine in the 2009 – 2013 models is the main problem. Many of them suffer from stretching timing chain tensioners, resulting in costly repairs and complete engine failure if the timing chain comes off during driving. Furthermore, these engines suffer from carbon buildup in the intake system due to their direct injection. This would result in power loss, OBD codes, check engine lights, and a rough idle.
Furthermore, these model years had widespread electrical problems that were either caused by corroded wiring (to the exterior lighting or under the front seats) or melting of the holder of the exterior lighting fuse (this was 2009 – 2011 only).
Is a Volkswagen Tiguan A Smart Buy?
So, is the Volkswagen Tiguan a vehicle that’s worth buying or not? The answer seems to have multiple sides to it.
First of all, we saw that the Tiguan as a group doesn’t reach that high of mileage. It’s beaten by most of its competitors in this category, and this was an initial sign the Tiguan doesn’t seem to be reliable. When we looked at the overall maintenance costs of the Tiguan, we also saw that this is far above average. However, we did see that the maintenance costs of the first generation were much higher than the second generation.
This image was strengthened when we looked at the owner reviews of the second-generation Tiguan: owners are very positive about the vehicle.
Finally, when we looked at the Tiguan’s problems, we saw that it was the first generation that suffered from engine and electrical problems. In the second generation, only the 2018 model year is a vehicle that’s not worth getting.
In other words, since these have very few problems, we feel comfortable recommending a 2014 – 2015 Tiguan (if you’re set on a first-generation one). The same can be said for the 2016 – 2017 Tiguan or the 2019 – present-day one.
Volkswagen Tiguan Maintenance Schedule
If you want to own one of these, it’s important to know the maintenance schedule to ensure that your Tiguan remains healthy for a longer period of time because if you are unaware of that, your precious compact SUV is going to suffer and, in the end, will go to heaven.
On/Before Every 10,000 Miles
- Change engine oil
- Change oil filter
- Check the brakes, both front, and rear
On/Before Every 20,000 Miles
- Check the brake fluid
- Check the battery
- Make sure the coolant level is up to the mark
- Check the engine bay for any leaks or damage to any component
- Check the electronics
- Thoroughly inspect the air conditioning system
- Inspect the tires
- Have the wiper blades in the service position, and make sure that there is no damage
On/Before Every 40,000 Miles
- Replace the pollen and dust filter
- Inspect the suspension components
- Check for any corrosion damage
- Check the fluid levels
- Lubricate hood latch
- Check the ribbed belt condition
- Lubricate the sunroof
- Check for any wiring harness damage
- Visually inspect the windshield for any damage
On/Before Every 80,000
- Replace the spark plugs
- Change the transmission fluid
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!