Road test: Volkswagen Tiguan

Posted on August 18th, 2016 by James Luckhurst

The new Tiguan is a refined and capable all-rounder.

Road test: Volkswagen Tiguan

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What is it?

The new Volkswagen Tiguan is a rival for the likes of the Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-5. It’s bigger than the old Tiguan with a broader choice of engines.

How safe is it?

Very safe, according to Euro NCAP. The car has a five-star rating overall, and scored 96 per cent for adult occupant protection.There are lots of high-tech safety aids, too.

Who should buy one?
If you want a five-seat SUV that drives well and has plenty of space, the Tiguan is well worth consideration. It is more expensive than many rivals, though.

Road test by David Motton 18 August 2016

 

 

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
Road test: Volkswagen Tiguan

The old Tiguan sold in far greater numbers at the end of its life than the beginning, a sign of the model’s enduring appeal and the huge growth in SUV sales. There’s every reason to think the new Tiguan will be even more popular than its predecessor.
It certainly drives well. The steering is light but precise and the suspension keeps any body roll to a minimum on twisty roads. Perhaps it’s not as much fun as a Mazda CX-5 but it’s very competent.
The ride is on the firm side, and gets firmer still if you choose larger-than-standard alloy wheels. But it’s not excessively stiff, and becomes smoother at higher speeds.
We’ve driven both two-wheel-drive and 4Motion four-wheel-drive versions. Volkswagen expects three-quarters of buyers to choose a 4×4. The 4Motion system reacts to any loss of traction by sending power to the wheels with the most grip. For extra off-road ability, there’s the Outdoor pack, which has different front bodywork to improve the car’s approach angle for steep gradients.
Few Tiguans are likely to be used for serious off-roading, but we spent an hour or so driving the VW on muddy tracks, and found the car very capable for a road-biased SUV. You’ll need to try very hard to get into trouble the Tiguan can’t get out of.
All but one of the Tiguan’s engines can be matched to a four-wheel-drive transmission, including the engine which Volkswagen expects to prove most popular – the 150PS (148bhp) 2.0 TDI.
We can see why VW thinks more buyers will choose this engine than any other. It’s powerful enough for lively performance, but less expensive to buy than the more powerful diesel options. It’s reasonably quiet, too. In fact, other than some road noise over coarse surfaces this is a very refined car.
The other diesels are all 2.0 TDI engines, with 115PS (113bhp), 190PS (187bhp) or 240PS (237bhp). Prefer petrol power? There’s a 125PS (123bhp) 1.4 TSI and a 180PS 2.0 TSI.

SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Road test: Volkswagen Tiguan

It’s in the cabin that the Tiguan has most obviously been improved, with more space and a better finish. Aside from some hard plastics on the lower doors, there’s an upmarket solidity to the Tiguan’s cabin which marks a definite step-up in quality compared with the old car.
The driver and front-seat passenger have plenty of space, and thanks to a broad range of adjustment for the seat and steering wheel, most drivers should find an ache-free position.
There’s lots of room in the back of the car, as VW has made good use of a 77mm increase in the wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels). A tall adult can now sit comfortably behind a lanky driver. The seats recline and slide back and forth to trade some rear legroom for more boot space.
With the seats fully rearward, there’s 520 litres for bags. That increases to 620 litres with the seats all the way forward. Fold the rear bench, and the capacity rises to 1655 litres.

SAFETY
Road test: Volkswagen Tiguan

The Tiguan’s windscreen pillars aren’t excessively thick so the driver has a good view out. That should help avoid an accident, but if the worst happens there’s the reassurance of a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. All cars have seven airbags, including one for the driver’s knees. Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring is standard, and uses radar and a camera to detect obstacles and apply brakes if required.

EQUIPMENT
Road test: Volkswagen Tiguan

The most basic S-spec includes 17-inch alloys, roof rails, 40:20:40 split rear seats, an eight-inch colour touchscreen, a DAB radio, air conditioning and electric windows front and rear. At the other end of the range, R-Line cars have 20-inch wheels, sports suspension, a styling pack (including different bumpers, black wheelarch extensions and chrome trim), stainless steel pedals and LED headlights.

COSTS

Road test: Volkswagen Tiguan

The Tiguan is expensive to buy, but should prove cheap to run. Prices start from £22,510, while a mid-spec 2.0 TDI 150PS 4Motion SE Navigation manual will cost £29,745. You could have a more powerful Ford Kuga for the same money. However, fuel bills should be affordable, especially for the two-wheel-drive versions. The 115PS diesel manual achieves 60.1mpg on the combined cycle.

WE SAY
The new Tiguan is a refined and capable all-rounder.

AT A GLANCE:
Price: £29,745 as tested
Performance: 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds
Economy: 62.8mpg combined
Insurance: Group 19E
Tax: Band F (£145)

Figures for the Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 150PS 4Motion SE Navigation manual