2019 Volkswagen Tiguan earns Top Safety Pick Plus, but safety comes at a cost

Buyers need to add on a lot of optional equipment to drive off in a model that earns the safety award.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan

A safe crossover... for a price.


Good news, those shopping a 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan. The crossover SUV is now a Top Safety Pick Plus award winner, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said on Monday.

The bad news, however, is that it will take a lot of extra coin on the potential owner's part to drive off in a Tiguan model that earns the honorable safety designation. Let's get through the easy part first, though. The Tiguan aced each of the IIHS' crash tests with a "Good" rating, which is required to be considered for a Top Safety Pick Plus. Good there, then.

Moving right along, the safety body then tests front-crash prevention technology, and the crossover scored the top mark of "Superior." Here, the technology is not standard, though. Those looking at a Tiguan S, the base model that starts at $25,290, does not boast the equipment. Right off the bat, buyers will need to look at an SE model that starts at $27,690. The front-braking assist is standard on the SE trim and higher.

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So, now we know we're looking at a $27,690 crossover. Ah, but there's more the Tiguan needs to mirror the model the IIHS tested. The final area a vehicle needs to perform well in to earn a Top Safety Pick or add the coveted "Plus" designation is headlights. Here, the Tiguan offers two systems, and only one scored the required "Good" rating to help the crossover earn the safety award.

Not shockingly, it's an LED projector system that's only offered on the SEL Premium trim, and it includes a curve-adaptive and high-beam assist function.

Suddenly, the safety award only applies to the range-topping Tiguan that costs $38,190, or $9,200 more than the base model. That's a lot of extra dough to fork over for the IIHS accolade. For those wondering, the other system present on every single other trim rates "Poor," and discounts the crossover from any award.

At least with the top-of-the-line model, all-wheel drive is standard. But, now you have the scoop the next time Volkswagen takes this IIHS award and uses it as a blanket statement.

Watch this: 5 things to know about the larger 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan