Wednesday 24 May 2017
The new Tiguan marks the start of Volkswagen’s SUV offensive, in which it looks to include a model in each market segment by 2020.
It’s the first time that a VW SUV has sat on the company’s new ‘MQB’ platform. This is shared throughout the range with the likes of the Golf and Passat, and the German manufacturer has said that it allows the cars to be longer and wider in design and therefore offer better cabin space.
Volkswagen’s ethos has always been to provide customers with a fuss free design that affords them with plenty of practicality, and the same can be said of the Tiguan. The blocky exterior certaintly isn’t the most awe-inspiring, but it’s a solid design that looks good on the road.
Inside, the cloth seats aren’t the most comfortable, but they provide plenty of support – ideal for those taking on longer journeys. Again, the cabin is rather uninspiring, but everything feels solidly build and all the controls are laid out in a logical fashion.
Thanks to the previously mentioned platform, the Tiguan has a lot more space to offer than the car it replaces. Volkswagen says there’s more headroom, legroom and luggage space – ideal for families. With the rear bench folded down there’s 1,650 litres of storage space – which is right up there with the best in the class.
There’s also a huge amount of safety equipment on board the Tiguan. Various collision avoidance systems are fitted, as well as post-collision braking and lane-keep assist. The car’s NCAP safety score is aided by an active bonnet, that can help reduce pedestrian injuries should they collide with the vehicle.
One of the best things about the Tiguan’s driving position is that you feel slightly lower down the cabin than you’d expect. For many drivers, the high-riding SUV driving position is a selling point, but the Tiguan makes a good compromise, giving an excellent view of the road ahead while allowing you to feel cocooned in the cabin.
The Tiguan certainly feels more at home on the motorway than it does around town. It’s a great cruiser, thanks to a refined engine and good levels of sound deadening, but is let down by a sluggish gearbox which can be especially annoying when driving in stop-start traffic.
The main disappointment associated with the Tiguan is that it simply doesn’t feel all that premium inside. At this price range, it has rivals such as the Volvo XC60 to contend with, and the truth is that it simply doesn’t feel as special as the Swedish SUV.
Standard equipment includes a 12.3-inch high-definition display, panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control and LED headlights.
The Volkswagen Tiguan is ideal for those families after a solid, safe and no-nonsense SUV. The excellent build quality means that it should hold up well against family life, while a decent range of efficient engines should keep running costs down, too.
Model: Volkswagen Tiguan SEL
Price as tested: £40,860
Engine: 2.0-litre diesel
Max speed: 142mph
0-60mph: 6.3 seconds
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