Monday, February 19, 2018
Business

The Daily Drivers: The 2012 VW Tiguan's got good pickup and a Euro feel

Everything about Volkswagen's small crossover, the Tiguan, is understated except its name. Unlike the popular VW models being cranked out in Tennessee, the Tiguan still is built in Germany, which may account for its more Euro look (and boost in the price tag).

Appearance: At first blush, the Tiguan's design appears fairly vanilla, but let it sit in your driveway for a week and you begin to appreciate its Euro understatement. Even though the 2012 model has been refreshed, it still carries a dated styling cue — rocker-panel cladding, anyone? Our tester's chrome window trim and 18-inch alloy wheels highlighted the deep-blue paint. Up front, the VW's simple horizontal grille is framed by wide-set headlights. We detect an Audi influence in the daylight running lights that frame the headlamps. Sharp.

Performance: We were both impressed with the Tiguan's feisty 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that puts out 200 horsepower. The motor responds well to being pushed hard, and that's when the Tiguan is fun to drive. The downside: It's noisy and takes premium gas. Peter found the 6-speed automatic too busy in city driving — it always seems to be fishing for a gear, which may help the 22/27 mpg. We found the ride to be on the firm side, though not unforgiving. The 2,200-pound towing capacity is also decent for the class. Our tester was front-wheel drive — VW's well-regarded AWD system is also available — and cornered adequately, but with some body lean.

Interior: VW has done a good job of making the interior look upscale, using a nice mix of hard- and soft-touch materials for the dash and other surfaces, such as the "leatherette" seats. (The exception: flimsy seat-adjustment levers.) The controls and gauges are well laid out and almost simple to a fault (except for the onscreen radio controls), and we liked the round, retro air vents. Our tester had the optional sunroof, which stretches from front seats to back and brightens the cabin. But its cover, an electronically controlled mesh shade, doesn't seem enough to keep out the Florida summer heat. That said, the opening is probably among the biggest we've seen, and all passengers can enjoy the view. There is adequate room in the back for adults — as long as you push the sliding seats all the way back. The seats are a 40/20/40 split, and fold with an easy pull of a lever. With rear seats folded down flat, there's 56.1 cubic feet of cargo space, which doesn't measure up to some of the competition. (With the rear seats up, there's not enough room for a big grocery run.)

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Steering wheel: Thick, leather-wrapped and grippy.

Floor mats: Our tester had heavy-duty rubber floor mats — great for the summer rainy season.

Color: The Night Blue Metallic is classy.

Lyra Solochek

Torque: Lots of pick-up-and-go for an SUV.

Sunroof: Long and wide opening brings in lots of light for both front and rear passengers.

Rear seats: Slide forward and back. Plus you can lean back and watch the view.

The bottom line: The Volkswagen Tiguan is a small crossover SUV that's more for those whose priority is style and not cargo capacity.

     
     
Comments
Sting nets arrests of more than 20 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors in Pinellas

Sting nets arrests of more than 20 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors in Pinellas

DUNEDIN –– The unlicensed contractors answered calls to perform electrical, plumbing and other types of work at a home since Saturday. But the workers had no idea that Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies posed as homeowners.Since Saturday, deputies ar...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Report: Winn-Dixie parent company could close 200 stores

Report: Winn-Dixie parent company could close 200 stores

Bi-Lo LLC, a subsidiary of the same Jacksonville company that owns Winn-Dixie, could file for bankruptcy as soon as next month, according to a Bloomberg report.Parent company Southeastern Grocer is planning to shut down nearly 200 stores either befor...
Updated: 1 hour ago
New bus routes, times to start on Sunday in Hillsborough

New bus routes, times to start on Sunday in Hillsborough

TAMPA — More than a dozen bus routes in Hillsborough County will have new times, paths and stops starting Sunday. The changes come almost four months after the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority rolled out an entirely new bus network, scrap...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The small gun shop that sold the weapon to the alleged high school shooter ‘closes indefinitely.’

The small gun shop that sold the weapon to the alleged high school shooter ‘closes indefinitely.’

The aftermath of the horrific mass shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has led to the closure of one small business.According to the Miami Herald, the owners of Sunrise Tactical Supply, the Coral Springs, Florida shop that auth...
Updated: 3 hours ago
St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman is set to announce that the city’s main library will be renamed after former President Barack Obama.The announcement that the facility will be renamed after the nation’s first African-American president has been t...
Updated: 3 hours ago
On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

TAMPA — Columbia Restaurant owner Richard Gonzmart says he’s ready to put his checkbook where his heart is when it comes to supporting a Tampa Bay Rays move to Ybor City.So is the investment fund for the founding family of Ashley Furniture. So, it ap...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Next phase for the Tampa Armature Works: co-working office space

Next phase for the Tampa Armature Works: co-working office space

TAMPA — The mixed-use rebirth of the old Tampa Armature Works warehouse is proceeding in stages. First up: last month’s debut of the new ballroom, followed closely by the opening of more than a dozen vendors in the Heights Public Market food hall.YEA...
Published: 02/19/18

Open-mic night at Pilars is a hot spot for Disney talent

WINTER GARDEN — At the end of the day, when the tourists are gone, Disney performers head out to their favorite spot to keep on singing after their shifts are over. Every Thursday, they perform at open-mic night at Pilars, a Winter Garden martini bar...
Published: 02/18/18
Here’s how to separate the fund raisers from frauds among gofundme pages

Here’s how to separate the fund raisers from frauds among gofundme pages

Gofundme.com pages proliferated almost as soon as cops took Nikolas Cruz into custody after Wednesday’s 17-death massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Donors must parse the funding pages from the fraudulent.Read More: 17 dead,...
Published: 02/18/18
Suffolk tops off Manor Riverwalk project

Suffolk tops off Manor Riverwalk project

Building contractor Suffolk topped off the north tower of its Manor Riverwalk project on Friday.The luxury rental community will replace the old Tampa Tribune building at 202 S Parker Street. Once complete, the project will include an eight-story wat...
Published: 02/16/18
Updated: 02/18/18