Volkswagen Tiguan Review
Volkswagen Tiguan now in it's second generation is looking sharper, and is loaded with kit.
- Sharper looks
- Enhanced interior space in the rear
- Good mix of engines
- Pricey to buy
- Servicing costs pricey when compared against mainstream rivals
- Rear tray tables could be better quality
Volkswagen has launched its second iteration of the popular Tiguan. The first car was a big hit for the German maker selling more than 2.8 million models worldwide while more than 100,000 found their way on to UK driveways.
An important model for Volkswagen, the Tiguan is now the third most popular model on the range after the Golf and Polo.
This second iteration has been enhanced in every way while this car is the first SUV from VW to be built on the familiar MQB platform which means this car will benefit from the very latest technology and shares its underpinnings with the new Golf, Passat and Touran.
The new Tiguan certainly looks sharper than before and this design is the new look for VW’s SUVs. It looks much more rugged, however the front face gives it a much more rounded face while the new tail lights give the car more on road presence. The design is largely conservative, much in line with the bulk of VW’s range but the Tiguan is peppered with subtle touches such as the grille bars and the pronounced lines that run from the front to the rear of the car on the side profile.
Given the competition in this sector, this burst of styling and fresh lines is very welcome. The new Tiguan not only goes up against mainstream cars including the Ford Kuga, Hyundai’s Tucson, Kia’s Sportage, the Renault Kadjar and the popular Nissan Qashqai while it is also up against premium offerings in the guise of the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.
On the Road
Volkswagen is offering a good mix of petrol and diesel engines on the Tiguan range. The entry-level engine on the diesel front is the 115bhp 2.0-litre TDI with 320Nm of torque and this model is mated to a six speed manual gearbox and comes with 2WD. It will complete the benchmark sprint in 10.9 seconds and has a top speed of 115mph.
The most popular engine on the Tiguan range is likely to be the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel unit. It is a smooth unit whether in 2WD or using 4Motion technology. In 2WD guise this model can complete the benchmark sprint time in 9.3 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 127mph whereas the 4Motion technology model will cover the benchmark sprint in an identical time of 9.3 seconds but the top speed is less, the 4Motion mated to a six-speed manual tops out at 125mph while the model mated to the DSG ‘box tops out at 124mph.
There’s a more powerful engine, the 187bhp 2.0-litre TDI with 4Motion technology while the flagship model has a whopping 236bhp from the 2.0-litre BiTurbo unit, which also comes with 4Motion technology and is mated to a DSG gearbox.
Built on the same platform as the new Golf, the Tiguan may not set too many fires burning with its driving dynamics, however, for an SUV it feels agile but it’s not sporty. It’s a bit like a standard Golf, albeit with the advantage of an elevated driving position.
The steering has a decent amount of weighting while the feedback could be better, although it is direct. Optional dampers are available to enhance the ride comfort.
Refinement is very good in new Tiguan. Engine, road and tyre roar are minimal making the cabin a pleasant place to spend time in. Families will be pleased, you’ll not need to shout from the front to be heard in the rear, this car’s acoustics are very well set-up for family motoring. Our advice, to achieve the best possible ride is to opt for the smallest wheels, we found the best ride on the 2WD model as it had the smallest wheels of all the test cars we tried.
In the car
The Tiguan’s interior has improved but some of the plastics are a little out of place, such as the tray tables in the rear, they seem a tad ‘cheap’ in comparison to the rest of the fittings on the car. Otherwise, the interior, although a little drab, is fitted out nicely with soft-touch plastics and a good level of materials on the dash and around the central console.
Five trims are offered in the UK, S, SE, SE Navigation, SEL and R-Line.
S comes with 17-inch alloys, an eight-inch Composition media system which includes Bluetooth, DAB radio, CD player and eight speakers, manual aircon, electric front and rear windows, rain sensing wipers auto dimming rear view mirror, cruise control, daytime running lights with low beam assist.
Move up to SE and this adds 18-inch alloys, tinted windows, leather trimmed three spoke steering wheel, reading lights, parking sensors, 3Zone aircon.
As you might have guessed, SE Navigation does exactly what it says on the tin and adds Nav.
Opt for the SEL trim and this adds 19-inch alloys, LED headlights with LED daytime running lights and trapezoid exhausts, a panoramic sunroof, and a 12.3-inch screen with the entertainment system.
Fancy the flagship R-Line trim and it adds 20-inch alloys, sports suspension, body-coloured spoiler and R-Line styling pack.
More spacious than ever before, the Tiguan has grown-up. It has an increased overall length and wheelbase, up 60mm and 77mm, respectively while there has been a 33mm reduction in height making the Tiguan feel much more dynamic when driving.
The larger dimensions means that there is more interior space for rear passengers while the boot space offers 615 litres with the seats in place and this expands to 1,655 litres of luggage space - an increase of 145 litres over the previous model.
To enhance loading and unloading, Volkswagen has redesigned the opening making it larger and also lowering the boot floor. Little things but so important when you have awkward items to stow.
You can take the Tiguan off-road and it performs really well. If you fancy more than driving over a muddy lane or onto a grass verge then you should opt for the Outdoor pack as it adds underbody protection and plastic cladding for the wheel arches and bumpers. It also adds a new front bumper, which is angled for off-road driving.
Our pick on the Tiguan line-up is the, 2WD 150bhp 2.0-litre diesel unit. It mixes good performance to a frugal engine giving you the best of both worlds. It averages 60.1mpg and 123g/km of CO2 when mated to the manual six-speed box.
Volkswagen is world renowned for its build quality and good reliability records. The previous iteration of the Tiguan performed well in customer satisfaction surveys and there is no reason to doubt this new model. The mechanicals are well proven whether it be the engines or gearboxes.
Building the Tiguan on the MQB platform has allowed Volkswagen to integrate even more active and passive safety systems on to the car. Front assist has been included as standard across the range, it initiates a two-stage reaction if a pedestrian is detected on the road. First the system gives a warning to the driver and then if no action is taken then the smart kit activates the braking.
Other innovative systems on the Tiguan include driver and emergency alert system, side scan, and active bonnet. We expect this new car to achieve five stars when it’s tested by the boffins at Euro NCAP.