Buying review of the Volkswagen Tiguan (5N) 2007-2017 Common Issues Engines Inspection

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Hello and welcome at another car buyers review, today we review the Tiguan, the smaller version of the Touareg.


Introduced by Volkswagen in 2007, this is a compact crossover based on the Golf, the internal code for this car is 5N. This car competed with popular cars like the Nissan Qashqai en de Kia Sportage. The first facelift of the car was in 2011.

Facelift models are the ones to prefer since it made the car look more modern. At the end of 2016, the second generation Tiguan was introduced.

Since early 2017 the old Tiguan is not available any more in the showrooms.
In the beginning the Tiguan was only available with 4motion, or 4 wheel drive only. Later on cars where added with front wheel drive.

This being a Volkswagen, lots of engines where available.
The petrol engines ranged from 122 until 210 HP, and the diesels from 110 until 184 HP

Here an overview of engines.

What are some of the strong and weaker point of this particular car ?


  • The solidity of the Golf combined with the sitting position of an SUV.
  • This car is perfect for towing heavy items over the road.

Now on the some attention points that I need to point out.

  • There are some known issues with the 1.4 TSI engine. This engine also found its way to the Tiguan.
  • Pistons sometimes enter the cylinder wall and the timing chains are susceptible to stretching.
  • The 7 speed DSG gearbox had warranty extension in Russia and China since there where some issues with it.
  • The same gearboxes have been delivered in Europe, so far there has not been a extension of warranty or recall in Europe.
  • If you go for a test drive try to drive trough a city or even a traffic jam, this causes the gearbox to shift a lot from standstill.
  • The gearbox should do this without slipping. Also gear changes should be effortless, there should be no shock when shifting between gears when you drive.

Apparently the six speed DSG is more reliable.
If you google DSG problems online you will find a ton of horror stories.
This is partly because DSG gearboxes are used by many people, you can find them in Audi, Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda.
There are companies that specialise in DSG gearboxes only, so yes there are defeatedly some issues.

The dual mass fly wheel of the DSG is sensitive to overload, so if you pull a heavy trailer or caravan. This will reduce the longevity of the gearbox, keep that in mind.

Then the 2 litre diesel was part of diesel gate, so this engine should receive a fix from Volkswagen to meet emission standards. People who had there Volkswagen fixed complained of more engine noise, less power and a higher fuel consumption. Then the 2 litre petrol engine likes a sip of oil from time to time, especially there earlier production years of the car.
There are problems with the head gasket, these can leak and as a result of that the oil level will rise. Repairs should be done immediately.

Then the 19 inch rims of the Tiguan, these look terrific but will make the car considerably less comfortable.

Now about the interior, the pre facelift cars have lots of plastic nobs and switches that are prone for damage. They are not as solid as you would expect from a Volkswagen interior.

Then the exterior, this car has some offroad capacity, so make sure you check the bottom of the chassis for damage.


This car has a electrical handbrake that sometimes locks up, resulting in a overload of the gearbox.

So this car has quite some issues here and there, partly because this car is well documented.
These cars came from the era that saw quite some issues with its TSI engines and the DSG gearboxes.
Maintenance on these cars are important, aspecially when buying them second hand.

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