Volkswagen has had so many sales up and downs that from the outside it would appear to be a carmaker in need of a mood stabilizer. Sales can be booming for four years and then tank to near catastrophic levels so much so that VW has on more than one occasion considered leaving the North American market. Thankfully, however, Volkswagen isn’t French and has always persevered with 2012 sales booming. Clearly they are more committed to success here than ever what with a very expensive new manufacturing facility opened up in Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Passat.
There are rumors that the full-sized German sedan won't be the only VW model produced in Tennessee, however, and after having toured the facility we can guarantee you that there is certainly plenty of room. The model most often mentioned for future North American manufacture is the next generation Tiguan compact SUV which is currently assembled in Volkswagen’s world famous Wolfsburg, Germany factory.
Being that we are not Dionne Warwick and don’t have a network of psychic friends, it is impossible to say what the future holds for VW and its Tiguan. What we can tell you is that for the 2012 model year the Tiguan underwent a little nip and tuck to keep things fresh, and now features the stoic and Germanic front headlamp and grille design as well as slightly altered tail lamps. Bi-Xenon headlamps and LED tail lamps are now standard on top of the line SEL variants as well, but more important are the changes made to the six-speed automatic which now carries an EPA rating of 27mpg highway compared to 25mpg highway in 2011.
But considering the fierce competition among compact SUVs in this country, especially from the recently introduced and much less expensive 2012 Honda CR-V and 2012 Mazda CX-5, is the somewhat pricey 2012 VW Tiguan really worth your money? And is it really the family friendly GTI hot hatch alternative that Volkswagen would like us to believe it is? Read on and we’ll tell you everything we learned after living with this rather posh compact SUV from an occasionally bipolar automaker.