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VW Tiguan MK2 Best Mods & Upgrades

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Table of Contents


The Volkswagen Tiguan MK2, introduced in 2016, represents the second generation of Volkswagen’s popular SUV.

The Tiguan MK2 features an upgraded design with sharper lines and more aggressive styling elements, giving it a modern and sophisticated look.

There are several engine choices for the Volkswagen Tiguan MK2, catering to different driving needs and preferences.

These include both petrol and diesel options.

On the petrol side, we have the 1.5 TSI and 2.0 TSI.

The 1.5 TSI variant offers between 130hp or 150hp while the 2.0 TSI offers 230hp for a more performance orientated driving experience. 

On the diesel side, there is the 2.0 TDI engine with varying power outputs between 115hp and 240hp.

Alongside the different engine variations, the MK2 Tiguan also came in varying trim levels including the S, SE, SEL, R-Line and Allspace. 

Regardless of what version or engine your Tiguan has, we’ll cover all the best mods to get the most out of it and enhance your driving experience. 

Exhaust Upgrades

Upgrading the exhaust system on the VW Tiguan brings both performance enhancements and audible benefits.

Improving exhaust flow is instrumental in increasing horsepower and torque and gaining extra power throughout the rev range. It’s a great way to unlock some extra overtaking power.

In terms of audible advantages, a high-quality exhaust system imparts a more aggressive and pleasing tone to your Tiguan.

While there are different exhaust systems available for the different models, the petrol engines tend to produce the best exhaust notes however performance boosts apply to all engines. 

What section of the exhaust you upgrade will depend on your goals.

For most people, they are after increased sound as a priority with a little performance gain. If this sounds like you then an aftermarket backbox is what you want. This section is also referred to as the “cat-back”.

Upgrading this section will unlock extra sound and produce a deeper growl from the tailpipes.

If performance is your number one priority, then you will ideally want to replace the entire exhaust with a more free flowing aftermarket one. This will include upgrading the downpipe, catalytic converter section as well as the cat-back for maximum gains. 

Front Splitter

An aftermarket front splitter is both a subtle and striking visual mod that can really make the front end of the Tiguan pop.

Fitted perfectly along the front end of the vehicle, the splitter works dynamically with the outstanding lines of the car, giving it a sharper and more aggressive look.

It’s sharp design aids in highlighting the Tiguan’s sharp features, particularly in the lower region, contributing to a strong, ground-hugging visual effect. 

A splitter also has the functional benefit of enhancing the aerodynamics of the car, providing additional downforce at the front by redirecting airflow. While the effects for this are minimal, every little helps in terms of performance!

You can check out the Maxton splitters below which are designed specifically for the MK2 Tiguan and looks fantastic!

Maxton Front Splitter

VW Tiguan 2015-2020

Maxton Front Splitter

VW Tiguan R-Line 2015+

Rear Spoiler Extension

Adding a rear spoiler extension shapes and changes the Tiguan’s form, giving the car a sleek, sporty silhouette that sets it apart from many of the standard models.

This subtle little upgrade can really add a layer of elegance to the rear and also (very marginally!) help fuel economy and the car’s aerodynamics.

Some models of the Tiguan already come with a rear spoiler from the factory such as the R-Line. If you own one of these models then you may be happy with this, although you an also get a spoiler extension for this which makes it even more prominent and striking.

This gives your Tiguan a really sporty look and uses adhesive to stick to the car so doesn’t require any drilling or modification of the body panels.

The best quality rear spoilers for the Tiguan are designed by Maxton which you can check out below.

Rear Spoiler Extension

VW Tiguan MK2 2015-2020

Rear Spoiler For R-Line Models

VW Tiguan Mk2 R-Line 2015-2019


If you are simply after more power, then look no further than a remap. 

A remap is definitely the best value performance mod available for the Tiguan’s.

The power gains you can expect will depend on what model you have and if you have any other performance upgrades already fitted like an intake or sports exhaust.

For example, on the 2.0TDI which produces 237bhp as standard, you can achieve gains of over 50bhp which will make a massive noticeable difference to the driveability of the car. 

For the lowered powered variant of the 2.0TDI which makes 113bhp you can achieve over 40bhp from a remap.

It’s important to ensure your Tiguan is in healthy order before getting it remapped. Get it in for a service and ensure it is performing optimally as a remap will expose any weak points in the engine.

Ideally aim to have it tuned on a rolling road/dyno by a reputable tuner as opposed to a generic flash tune which aren’t bespoke to the individual car. 

Lowering Springs

Lowering springs are often overlooked as a potential upgrade for vehicles like the VW Tiguan, mainly due to its nature as an SUV.

However, despite its unconventional pairing, installing lowering springs can enhance the Tiguan’s visual appeal and performance characteristics.

Upgrading the Tiguan with lowering springs brings the car’s body closer to the ground, reducing its wheel arch gap and giving it a meaner stance. 

Lowering the ride height of the Tiguan also reduces its center of gravity, which in turn enhances its handling capabilities. This modification allows for more stable and responsive cornering, as well as reduced body roll in the corners. 

If you are considering lowering the Tiguan, opt for a high quality set of springs such as H&R or Eibach. You can check out the various options available on eBay.

While cheaper springs can still give you the lowered ride height you desire, it often comes at the cost of comfort. Poor quality stiffer springs transmit more road imperfections to the cabin, potentially diminishing ride quality which the Tiguan is known for.

Painted Brake Calipers

Painting the brake calipers on your Tiguan is a simple way to add a layer of elegance to the exterior.

You can go for something subtle like silver or you can go for something more sporty and bold like red or blue to really make them pop through the alloys.

This is a mod that can be done on the cheap and you don’t need any mechanical knowledge to do it aside from jacking the car up safely and removing the wheel.

Regardless of what colour you go for, you will need to purchase brake caliper paint that is resistant to high temperatures. Normal paint simply won’t work at all. 

Red brake caliper paint

Gloss Red Brake Caliper Paint

Gloss Yellow Brake Caliper Paint

Aftermarket Intake

Upgrading the air intake system with an aftermarket variant can further enhance your Tiguan’s driveability, sound, and engine bay aesthetics.

The most immediate and noticeable difference on most aftermarket intakes is the improved induction sound.

Aftermarket air intake systems allow air to flow into the engine with less restriction, resulting in a more pronounced and aggressive engine note. Upgrading to an aftermarket air intake can give your Tiguan a deeper, throatier growl, adding a new level of excitement to your driving experience.

After fitting an aftermarket air intake, you are likely to notice an improved throttle response, resulting in a more direct and responsive acceleration.

Your intake options will depend on what engine and model you have.

The VW Tiguan R with the 2.0 EA888 engine has some good options like the MST Performance Intake that offer respectable power gains (+10bhp).

You can also get an MST Intake for the 2.0TDI engines as well!

MST Intake (Diesel)

VW Tiguan 2.0TDI Models

MST Intake (Petrol)

VW Tiguan 2.0 EA888 Models

Wheel Upgrades

Putting a new set of shoes on your Tiguan MK2 is one of the simplest and most effective ways to transform the exterior.

OEM wheels tend to range between 17 inches and 20 inches. If you are looking to give the car a more sporty and bold look, upsizing wheels to a larger OEM set is a popular option.

The main thing to keep in mind when upsizing is the effect on ride quality and comfort.

Larger diameter wheels require a lower profile tyre, which can lead to a firmer and stiffer ride. This may or not be an issue for you depending on the environment you drive in and how many bumps and potholes your roads have. 

18 and 19 inch wheels on these cars tend to be a good compromise between looking good while still retaining a comfortable ride. 

Aside from OEM wheels, you also have the option of aftermarket wheels if you want something a bit different.

When shopping around for aftermarket wheels, it’s important to keep in mind factors like offset, PCD (bolt pattern) and diameter of the wheel.

Website like Alloywheels allow you to see a variety of aftermarket alloys that match up directly with your Tiguan to make the process easier. 

Another upgrade you can do to your wheels is to add spacers. This applies to both the OEM wheels and aftermarket options.

Wheel spacers push the wheels out more making them sit in line with the body of the car which gives the Tiguan a smoother and more aggressive stance. 

20mm on the front and 15mm on the rear are common spacer sizes. 

15mm Wheel Spacers

For the Tiguan MK2

Interior Mods

The Tiguan’s interior is undoubtedly modern, comfortable and very slick. 

However, some subtle interior customisation can go a long way in making the car feel more like your own. 

For example, a set of high quality floor mats can make a massive difference. 

Replacing the OEM floor mats with all-weather custom mats can prolong the cleanliness and lifespan of your Tiguan’s interior. These mats are easy to clean and designed to trap dirt, mud, water, and snow, protecting the car’s flooring.

Carbon fibre trim is another popular interior modification. These can be installed on the dashboard, door panels, and center console for a sportier, premium feel. You can buy carbon fiber wrap online and wrap the interior trim elements yourself. 

These are just a handful of suggested interior modifications for the Tiguan, there are plenty more out there if you get creative too!

Carbon Fibre Wrap

Fits the MK2 Tiguan

Tailored Floor Mats

For the MK2 Tiguan

Finishing Thoughts

While there are many exciting ways to modify and enhance the Tiguan, there are some considerations you should make before diving right in. 

Whether you are looking for increased better performance or enhanced aesthetics, keep your end goal in mind. Planning your mods ahead of time can save you money in the long run in case you have a change of mind or change of direction with your modding plans. 

If your Tiguan is still under warranty, then some modifications can nullify this. Check the terms of your warranty and see what modifications are permissible if any.

Depending on the modifications you make, there may be an impact on your insurance rates. Some insurers may increase premiums or even decline coverage for heavily modified vehicles so check ahead of fitting the mods.

Happy modding!