Best SUV under $40,000

Last year’s winner, the Volkswagen Tiguan, has just received a mid-life refresh and price reduction, which builds on a solid foundation and further strengthens its hold on the Australia’s Best Cars crown.

Despite still being one of the more expensive vehicles in what is the largest and most hotly contested best cars category, the 103 TDI Tiguan’s quality engineering, comfort and all-round ability, both on and off the bitumen, far outweigh the premium purchase price.

The 103 TDI is the well-proven, 2.0-litre, turbo-diesel engine that can be found in a variety of strong-performing vehicles across the Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda family. Teamed with a seven-speed DSG transmission, which combines the convenience of a conventional automatic with the efficiency of a manual transmission, the 103 TDI delivers a pleasing blend of performance and fuel economy.

Fuel consumption, according to the official ADR test cycle, is a low 6.2 litres/100 km, while the Euro 5 compliant engine features a particulate filter to ensure clean burning and low emissions.

It is also one of the better cars in the class for smoothness and quietness. Much of the credit for this can be attributed to the refined suspension that delivers a well insulated, comfortable ride, together with class leading handling.

It is the Tiguan’s strong, all-round ability that keeps it ahead of the pack.

Australia's Best Cars Best SUV under $40,000 VW Tiguan 103 TDI

Manufacturer’s List Price: $34,490

Criteria out of 10 – VW Tiguan 103 TDI


Value for Money   Rating 
Pricing  1C
Depreciation  3M
Running Costs  8H
Fuel Consumption  9C
Warranty and dealer access   5M
Insurance  3L
Standard Features  7M

Design and Function   Rating 
Safety  10C
Environment  7C
Comfort  9H
Space  6M
Practicality  7H
Ergonomics  9H
Build and Finish  9H

On the Road   Rating 
Performance  8M
Ride  9M
Handling  9H
Braking  8H
Smoothness and Quietness   8L
Off-road ability   7M

Note: Level of weighting importance for each score: L = Low, M = Medium, H = High, C = Critical.