2016 Volkswagen Tiguan

The Volkswagen Tiguan is the worst small/compact crossover/CUV.

There are cars that are worse, but this is my car. My parent’s car. This is the car that I see every day when I walk out the door and pass by the shitty residential road.

Let me preface this: the Tiguan isn’t actually the worst in its category. I say these things because I’m outraged. I just feel like I’ve been cheated by something. Like I’ve got to take revenge into my own hands. But the only person that I can blame for this situation is myself. Not the dealership, not the salesman, and, to a degree, not even my parents. I was the final check; the last look-over. I was the final decision. I have no reason to crusade.

And yet, I am pissed.

I’ve been with this car for months. Riding in the passenger side, sometimes smirking at the cool breeze that brushed my face, as if to praise it silently for something that every single car knows how to do. I thought, in my innocent, ignorant mind, that somehow, it blew air “better.”

It doesn’t.

I thought that the full-leather interior was something to be in awe of.

It isn’t.

I believed that maybe we broke into luxury, and that the $40k CAD price tag meant something.

It didn’t.

And it won’t ever be, because the Volkswagen Tiguan is actually a hunk of shit – a mildly polished, “European” hunk of shit, but a hunk of shit nonetheless.

Subaru Forester.

Honda CR-V.

Toyota Rav4.

You’ve heard these names before.

The same category. The same function. “Small crossover.” But all 3 do it better than the Tiguan. I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it. But it’s all true. I spent an hour poring over every detail, every last digit of each number. The Tiguan was worse.

I can’t believe I realized this only half a year later. I couldn’t believe that I only bothered to research the car half a year later. I couldn’t believe that my parents didn’t bother researching in the first place.

I had to tell my mom. It was 1am on a Monday night.

“Why are you up so late?”

“I was researching how shit our car was.” I didn’t actually say ‘shit’ to my mom. No vulgarity in real life, as a personal rule. Maybe I should’ve said it, just for emphasis.

I told her about my research, and brought up the numbers.

When I asked her why we bought our car in the first place, she evaded the question and said: “Uh, well, we were looking at getting a Benz too!” In a chipper tone.

“Why?” I asked.

“We wanted a European car.” She answered., finally.

Silence. A pained expression. A slightly confused mom.

In every segment except horsepower, the Tiguan is worse. Pricing. Safety. Reliability. MPG. Comfort. Drivetrain. Everything is worse. Every single Japanese option would be better.

Even the Korean cars – even Hyundai does it better. Even Kia does it better, for goodness’ sake. Even Jeep…


‘We wanted a European car…’

The Mazda CX-5 is the best compact crossover.


I’m angry about this. We’re not a rich family, but that’s not the problem. The fact that the Tiguan is so mediocre is only part of the problem. The real problem that I have with this situation is the fact that it could’ve been avoided.

‘It could’ve been avoided.’

Every time somebody dies from a DUI, there always comes a point when you have to think that “It could’ve been avoided,” among other obvious statements. “She shouldn’t have texted while driving.” “He shouldn’t have driven without a seat belt.”

You know these things, but you keep reminding yourself. Just so it doesn’t happen to you. It’s a good thing to think about these things.

When somebody jumps off a bridge, you think about all the ways it could’ve been prevented. A safety net. A metaphorical safety net. A psychiatrist. A friend. Somebody to catch them. You think about how they probably would’ve found another way anyways.

When I think about this shitty car, I think about how my purchase could’ve been prevented, and how it’s depreciating by the second. A fully loaded, low-mileage Tiguan goes for $22k CAD in British Columbia. We have a fully loaded Tiguan. It’s low mileage. In a year, it depreciated $18 thousand dollars.

I know it’s already happened. I can’t change the past.

But I dwell. I fester, like a piece of bread that’s been left under the evergreens for too long.

The word “SUV” may as well be an afterthought, because the meaning is no longer what it used to be. It’s just a glorified minivan. It’s just a “family car.” That’s what it is. It’s diluted. It’s worthless.

Everything is an SUV. Everything is a crossover.

‘They all do the same thing in the end. It’s just a car.’

You could say that about a lot of different things, couldn’t you?

‘It’s just a keyboard.’

‘It’s just a computer.’

‘They’re just clothes.’

There’s a reason you don’t see this shitty car on the road. It’s a very simple reason, just one word. It’s underrated, like I once thought. No, it’s just… Shit.

The Tiguan is shit.

It’s not underrated, it’s just shit.

It’s like seeing me and my high school band. We’re not underrated. We’re just shit, ok? I get it. Most of us get it, but we don’t say it, because we don’t need to bring everyone down and point out something that we all already know. “Underrated” is just one of the many sweet nothings that our muses whisper to us at night. We all know we’d be better if we practiced. Our band teacher wanted us to do great things.

We wanted ourselves to do great things. But our egos were as fragile as the conductor’s baton. Everyone’s excited to be working as part of a team for about the first day. But then you start to look at each other a little closer. You’re able to, because you’re forced to. You see every freckle on their face – every mole and every imperfection that there is.

Your heart flutters a little as you laugh as your own mistakes. Then you try again. Then you move past, and you make another mistake. Another mistake. Another. Another.

Maybe you made the mistake. Maybe you didn’t do anything wrong, and the teacher’s just wasting time. Or maybe the other guys are the ones wasting time.

And you mull over it.

You come back the next day, and you’re ready to play the piece again. But you get stuck.


And you come back the next day. The same thing happens. You keep practicing.

You come back again. The same thing happens. You stop practicing.

“One break”, you say to yourself. But it wasn’t one break. It was pretty much forever. You just resigned yourself to mediocrity, because if you didn’t play louder than them, nobody would hear you anyways.

Fuck the x5. Fuck the “Sport SUV.” Fuck the Cayenne. Fuck ride height. Fuck the grocery-getter-mobiles. Fuck double parkers. Fuck texting while driving. Fuck the legacy. Fuck the enthusiasts. Fuck mediocrity. Fuck broadening your market. Fuck safety. Fuck making money. Fuck compromises.

Fuck my life. Just kill me. Just, like – just – I’ll go sit in the Tiguan, and you can just crash into me. 4 star safety rating. Every other crossover has a 5 star rating. They all look the exact same, and yet, somehow – somehow, through german magic, there’s one star missing (insert misplaced WW2 joke).

Look, I get it. The Tiguan is an alright car for what you get. I like Volkswagen. They’ve made – they make – some OK cars.  But the Tiguan is not an OK car. It’s shit. It’s the most mediocre compact crossover that there is. It’s not the worst. But it’s not good enough. It’s in the middle. I don’t like being in the middle. It makes me feel weird in my stomach. Like I’ve – I’ve… I got to take a dump.



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