Used Volkswagen Tiguan (Mk1, 2008-2016) - What should you look for?

Don’t let the premium badge fool you, because the Tiguan has its fair share of problems

It’s not the most reliable family SUV you can buy. If you’re after something dependable, it’d be worth looking at a Honda CR-V or a Toyota RAV4. Some of the earliest examples will have 150,000+ miles on the clock, so approach with caution.

Common used Volkswagen Tiguan problems


The power steering can fail, especially in sub-zero temperatures. A control unit failure is usually to blame, but it can be the steering rack itself. 

Parking brake

The electronic parking brake can refuse to release. This can be because the driver’s seatbelt isn’t latched, or the clutch isn’t fully depressed. 

Electrical woes

Faulty electrics can be down to damaged fuse boxes, which have been known to melt because of the high currents being passed through them.


Check that the air-conditioning or climate control works properly. If not, it may be due to switchgear failure rather than the compressor. 


The Tiguan has been recalled four times. The first, in July 2008, related to an electrical short circuit in the auxiliary cabin heater on diesels. Then, in December 2011, 2.0 TDIs built from 2009-11 were recalled over a potential fuel leak.

Failure of the child door lock mechanism on Tiguans produced between November 2015 and April 2016 led to a further recall in June 2016. VW has also called back examples built from August to October 2016 because of the risk of the front seat backs failing in the event of a collision. On top of this, check that 2.0 TDI models have had the diesel emissions fix.

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