I started looking for another small SUV. I didn’t like any of the Asian or American models available, so that left the Germans. I found a 2011 VW Tiguan and thought it would work better than the Jeep, as some of the streets in San Miguel were very narrow (one with 2 inches on either side clearance in the Jeep), and it was hard to circulate with a large vehicle. The Tiguan had a turbocharged 4 banger. Now everybody was coming out with 4 cylinder engines to improve fuel consumption. It reminded me of the small 4 bangers we drove in Europe growing up. One had to drive differently. You had to conserve speed at all costs and anticipate every move. Once you braked, you lost that speed and it took a while to recover it. It seemed that I had come full circle. From 4 cylinder Seats to 12 cylinder Ferraris and back to 4 cylinder VWs.
By now I had become a volunteer “driver” for Feed the Hungry charity (http://feedthehungrysma.org/), where we serve 4,000 meals every day to young children in 29 surrounding villages that don’t have enough food to eat. One day I heard one of the drivers say that when he delivered food to one of the schools one day he overheard one of the kids ask the driver, “Is today the day I get to eat?”. Broke my heart.
I get to deliver food to villages that have no paved roads every Tuesday. It was then that I realized that the Tiguan, like most of it’s contemporaries, were made to move housewives from Target’s to the health club, not for real off roading. My Tiguan rattled like crazy after a couple of trips.
The diesel emissions scandal was on every newspaper those days. Although I had a gasoline engine, I was worried that the repercussions were going to affect the resale price of every VW. I’d had the Tiguan for about six months. I was also worried that it was going to fall apart any day. I started the familiar process of looking for my new car.