With a new model coming in mid 2016, the current Volkswagen Tiguan is still a stylish and attractive compact SUV that offers family versatility, a nice cabin and a comfortable ride.
The Volkswagen Tiguan is available with just one diesel engine option with two varying power outputs. This is the 2.0TDI with a choice of 110 or 150bhp (two-wheel-drive) mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. Depending on your choice of trim level, this engine also comes with the option of 4-Motion technology or a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission. The 110 feels more than ample for a compact SUV of the Tiguan’s size and is obviously the more economical choice. The 150bhp variant however packs 340Nm of torque in case you plan on using it to tow anything.
Despite its tall SUV styling, the Tiguan is a surprisingly enjoyable compact SUV to drive. Its ride is comfortable but stiff enough helping the Tiguan to perform well in the corners with very little body lean evident. The steering has good feel too and if you opt for one of the higher trim levels with 4-Motion all-wheel-drive, confidence in the bends is further enhanced. Unless you’re planning to take the Tiguan off-road at any stage, the front wheel drive version is an impressive daily SUV.
The Tiguan is available with a choice of three trim levels. These are Life & Leisure, Sport & Style and Edition-R. The entry level Life and Leisure tends to feel a little short on interior specification when compared to the higher trim levels. Moving up to Sport & Style however and you benefit from features like a leather multi-function steering wheel and gear knob, climate control and a 5.8 inch touch screen controlling the infotainment. Edition-R brings with it a sporty body kit and 18 inch alloy wheels complete with sports suspension.
As is usual with the finish in any modern Volkswagen in their model range, the build quality is excellent. There is a wide use of soft-touch materials across the dashboard and centre console. The dashboard design does not quite ooze the classiness or appeal of the design found in the Golf or Passat, but it still looks and feels like a premium product. All of the switchgear feel solid to the touch while the seats and rest of the cabin feel like they will stand the test of time of family wear and tear. It probably features more buttons on the dashboard than any modern Volkswagen but there is a replacement coming in 2016.
The Tiguan achieved the full five star rating in Euro NCAP crash testing making it a very safe car in its time. Rules have since been made more stringent so we are expecting big things from the new model coming in 2016. The current Tiguan packs a decent level of standard safety equipment that includes a full set of six airbags, ISO-FIX, electronic stability control, hill hold and emergency brake assist. Further optional tech includes lane keep assist and high beam assistance that senses when another car is approaching and automatically dips the beams.
The Tiguan goes up against rivals like the Nissan Qashqai and more recently the new Renault Kadjar to name a few, so it needs to prove its positon in the market against huge competition. The Tiguan does however pack some impressive space. Front seats passenger benefit from a slightly elevated ride height with good head and legroom. Rear passengers have the advantage of sliding the rear bench forward or backward to create more legroom or boot space. Head room in the rear is also more than ample. Storage throughout the cabin is impressive with good size door pockets, a glovebox and a deep central cubby. Boot space is big at 470 litres beating the Qashqai and Skoda Yeti cousin while the rear seats also fold forward to create an impressive 1510 litres of space.