Volkswagen has officially launched their new Tiguan line-up. The manufacturer has high hopes for this machine. We question whether or not the lack of flair in the last Tiguan will make this a tough job for the new machine?
Volkswagen has their eye on families. The crossover market is growing at a rapid pace. It's super-competitive and it's a welcome change to see more effort and time being spent on the Tiguan. It was never a terrible car, but it lacked in terms of excitement, and while it drove nicely, it just didn’t have that “ooh-la-la” factor.
The Tiguan has a mountain to climb. First off is the global reputation of VW after dieselgate. They have plenty to deal with here. In Ireland however, they appear to be holding their own, especially if SIMI's most recent registration figures are anything to go by. As it stands they are the second most registered manufacturer in the country for 2016.
We know that VW has families in their sights, and this is the second leg of that uphill climb. Right now, the Tucson and the Qashqai own the crossover market. Peugeot has just entered a very attractive new 3008 and there are some other nice choices out there too. What the Tiguan has on its side is a very good build quality. German precision is playing its part. With a starting price point of €30,000, there might be enough build quality for VW to steal some of the mid to high-trim Hyundai and Nissan customers. Volkswagen has seen the success of the Tucson and Qashqai, and they now want some of that pie.
The new Tiguan is a lot more refined than before. It's longer and more spacious, it's better looking, and there's even talk of a seven seat (with a longer wheelbase) and a GTE version in the future - which means plenty of choice for customers who have the higher money to spend. Another nice touch is that the Tiguan looks more like the Touareg than ever before - and in my eyes, that's a very good thing.
Inside is a better proposition too. Row two is on rails, and five adults would fit comfortably - although two boosters is as far as I'd go if I had to pack young kids in the back.
The infotainment has been improved and they have taken a page straight out of Audi's virtual cockpit. The bad news is that this digital centre is only available as standard with the highest trim - highline. Otherwise, you have to pay for it as an extra.
The engine line-up is no major surprise. At the moment they have made the 1.4 petrol and the 2.0 TDI 150 available. Soon we'll also welcome the 2.0 TDI 115hp. There is also a choice between 6 speed manual and 7 speed DSG transmissions. As already mentioned, there is talk of a GTE in the future, and we look forward to seeing how that works in the Tiguan. We imagine that the diesel 150 hp option will definitely be the big seller.
Yes the Tiguan is well-built. It's so much better than before, but it needs to be more exciting to become the Golf of the crossover world. Will it be enough to steal customers from Hyundai and Nissan? Watch this space. We will bring a full review of this vehicle when we get a longer test drive.