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Volkswagen Tiguan
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Overall: There’s a replacement in the works for Volkswagen’s compact wagon, so the current Tiguan is adding value and dropping prices in its final year.

Drivetrain: A 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a six-speed automatic transmission, even for the base model; all-wheel-drive is optional on all grades.

Volkswagen’s Tiguan compact wagon is getting a little familiar — and a bit stale — and remains a bit of a tough sell given the variety of new competitors starting in the low-$20,000 range. For its final year in this body style, VW is cutting prices by about $1,400 to help clear them out. With solid performance and optional 4Motion all-wheel drive, VW’s junior multi-tasker still enjoys a small, but loyal following. The Tiguan (the splicing of the words tiger and iguana) competes in the same category as the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape and Kia Sportage, to name just a few. The Tiguan is as equally appealing on the inside as its handsome sheetmetal is on the outside, including a high-end-style dash, cleanly tailored seats and premium carpeting. Rear-seat passengers will appreciate the six inches of fore/aft travel as well as the reclining 60/40 split seat back. For more cargo space, the rear seat back, as well as the front passenger bucket, can fold flat. Tiguan is powered by a 200-horse 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. There are four trim levels, although they’ve been mixed around some in its final year. The previous range-topping R-Line drops between the base S and SE, leaving the SEL as the new top dog. There’s plenty of base equipment of the air/cruise/power variety, including an electronic parking brake. Along with all-wheel-drive, the options list includes rear-seat side-impact airbags, a 300-watt premium audio package, touch-screen navigation system, rear-view park assist, bigger wheels and an oversized moonroof. The SEL now includes unique 19-inch wheels, sport suspension, power front leather seats with lumbar support and rain-sensing wipers. All Tiguans get a version of VW’s new MIB II infotainment system with USB support, with R-Line and up getting a 6.3-inch touch-screen too.