First introduced back in 2007, the compact crossover SUV Volkswagen Tiguan quickly gained popularity among families and individuals alike thanks to its stylish design, lots of technology, space, and efficiency. Subsequent generations followed, with the latest arriving in 2018, showcasing the brand’s commitment to technological advancement and user experience. The Tiguan has also been facelifted in 2020 and is soon to be replaced by a brand-new model.
Even though the Tiguan has been a smash hit for VW, it has had its fair share of transmission issues that potential buyers should most definitely be aware of. Both manual gearbox and Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG) systems have been subject to criticism. Common problems include erratic shifting, slipping gears, failure to engage gears, noisy operation, and even complete transmission failure.
These issues have led to recalls, customer complaints, and sometimes expensive repairs. Understanding the challenges tied to the VW Tiguan’s transmission can provide buyers with a more complete picture, enabling them to make a well-informed decision whether they are buying a new or a used Tiguan.
If you want to know more about these issues, what causes them, the symptoms, and how you can approach fixing them, be sure to read this article and find out!
Erratic shifting seems to be one of the most common transmission problems VW Tiguan owners have reported. Symptoms include (but aren’t limited to) abrupt gear changes, hesitation while accelerating, and difficulty in maintaining a consistent speed. Potential causes for erratic shifting usually include a malfunctioning transmission control module, worn-out clutch plates in manual versions, or software issues in the DSG system.
To fix this problem, you’ll first have to diagnose it properly which means taking it to the dealership or another experienced mechanic. Other solutions, especially for the manual version, could include clutch plate replacements.
Slipping Gears is a problem mostly associated with DSG models as manual transmission models don’t suffer from slipping gears. This problem creates a feeling that the vehicle is struggling to stay in gear or unexpectedly changing gears while driving. Symptoms typically include sudden changes in engine RPM, an inability to accelerate as expected, and a loss of power.
The causes can be attributed to low transmission fluid or overall wear of the transmission. To address this issue, a thorough diagnosis is crucial. Checking and adjusting transmission fluid levels might offer a quick fix in some cases. For more complex issues, software updates for DSG models or clutch replacements for manual versions might be necessary.
Failure to Engage Gears
This problem can affect both manual and DSG models of the Tiguan. In a manual transmission car, the transmission physically won’t let you move into gear while DSG models don’t allow you to lock into drive or reverse, constantly placing you back in neutral. For a manual box, the problem is likely due to clutch problems while DSG models can experience this problem due to mechatronic issues.
Once again, complete diagnostics is necessary and it would also be a good idea to update the software of your DSG unit. Manual transmission solutions typically include repairs to the clutch assembly, clutch plate replacements, or even complete overhauls.
A noisy transmission is something no owner wants to hear. Sadly, VW Tiguan owners sometimes do. Audible symptoms can include grinding, whining, or clattering sounds while shifting gears or even when driving in a specific gear. These noises are more than just irritating; they can sometimes signify serious issues within the transmission.
Issues such as worn-out bearings, low transmission fluid, and gear teeth problems are associated with manual transmissions while DSG units can experience this (rarely) due to mechatronic issues. The solution includes replacing worn-out components and refiling the transmission with fresh transmission fluid.
Transmission failure is the most severe issue that can happen to a VW Tiguan, basically rendering the vehicle immobile and requiring immediate attention. If this is the case, the vehicle is likely to refuse to go into any gear, or even if it does, it won’t move. Causes include a faulty manifold, severe wear and tear, a failed transmission control module, or catastrophic mechanical breakdowns in both manual and DSG systems.
Solutions for this issue are unfortunately not quick fixes. They often involve substantial repair work or even a full transmission replacement, which can be costly. A thorough diagnostic evaluation by a qualified mechanic is the first step in determining the extent of the issue and the most appropriate course of action.
Manual vs. Automatic VW Tiguan?
It depends on your personal preferences as some people prefer the chilled-out driving experience akin to an automatic while others prefer having more control while shifting a manual. Either way, an automatic Tiguan holds better value and is the preferred choice for most of the world. Manual transmissions were more common with earlier generations of the Tiguan.
As such, we can say that the automatic Tiguan is more popular, and for a good reason. It makes the driving experience easier and often more economical. However, if you want more control, you should go for a manual model.
When is the New VW Tiguan Coming Out?
It is said that the brand-new VW Tiguan is going to be revealed in September of 2023 while European sales are expected to start in Q1 of 2024. For the US market, sales are likely to start a few months later, maybe even in Q1 of 2025.
The new Tiguan is going to feature a lot more technology, even more efficient engines, likely some form of a full-EV powertrain, and a lot more hybridization.
Is the VW Tiguan a Good Family Car?
The VW Tiguan is indeed a really good family car due to its blend of safety features, comfort, technology, efficiency, and utility. Its spacious interior accommodates both passengers and cargo comfortably, making it ideal for family outings or road trips, no matter how long.
Most models come equipped with advanced safety features like lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and collision avoidance systems, which are key considerations for family use. The Tiguan also offers optional third-row seating with the AllSpace variant, a rarity in the compact SUV segment, allowing for greater flexibility when carrying passengers.