Over the course of the long Memorial Day weekend, I kept looking at the Tiguan every time I walked out of my house, thinking, "Is it me, or is the front end kinda weird?" It seems like it's just a couple of inches too long in relation to the rest of the body. Overall, I think the design theme is sound, but there's something about that schnoz.
I like the fact that our test example was not larded up with every possible option, because at $30K, it's still not cheap. But it is nice. And I can do without a panoramic sunroof and a navigation system. The instrument panel is arguably more attractive without a nav screen, anyway. I really like the eight small circular symmetrical climate control vents: four for the front passenger, four for the driver. Very nicely done.
As Mike says, there's nothing about this that brings to mind the GTI. Yet if you shove the six-speed transmission into "S" for "Sport," the trusty VW 2.0-liter turbo four delivers smooth, strong, and satisfying acceleration, and you can bound down the road just about as fast as anyone is going want to in a crossover.