Volkswagen Tiguan 2017 review

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

VW Tiguan

Volkswagen Tiguan 110tdi Comfortline

Price: $42,990 + ORC
Engine: 2.0L 4cyl turbo-diesel engine
Safety: ESC, ABS, 7 airbags, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitor
Economy: 6.5L/100km (RACV test)
Value: ****1/2

Volkswagen’s Tiguan has long been regarded as a benchmark in the increasingly popular mid-size SUV market. It exudes good design, from its solid cabin structure and build quality to space utilisation and cabin practicality … in essence, the fundamental reasons for having a family SUV.

This second-generation Tiguan is slightly larger, its mildly stretched proportions adding to occupant space and comfort along with practical gains in luggage capacity and versatility. Thankfully it doesn’t feel any larger on the road and continues to provide good vision and easy parking manoeuvrability.

The new line-up offers three petrol (TSI) engines and two diesels (TDI) across seven variants. The entry level is the front-wheel-drive six-speed manual Trendline, with a 1.4-litre petrol engine, from $31,990 plus on-road costs (or with a six-speed DSG auto from $34,490). The manual Trendline costs significantly less than the first Tiguan almost 10 years ago, yet it carries significantly more safety equipment.

VW Tiguan

The next step up is to a better-equipped 1.4-litre DSG Comfortline model from $36,990, but the smart money should go to the 2.0-litre models with seven-speed DSG and all-wheel-drive in Comfortline and Highline variants. In addition to the superior driveline, the Comfortline in­cludes a driving profile selector, three-zone climate control, satellite navi­gation, colour multi-function display and fog lights. The 132TSI (for 132kW) starts at $41,490 while our test car, the 110TDI, is listed from $42,990. Highline models get significantly more powerful engines; the 162TSI and 140TDI are from $48,490 and $49,900 respectively. They come with LED dynamic cornering headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless access, electronic tailgate, Pro satellite navigation, heated and electric adjustable sports seats with memory positions, gearshift paddles and leather-appointed trim. Our test 110TDI can be optioned with several of these features.

Everyday practicality

Tiguan is notable for the everyday practicality provided by a well-thought-out cabin. Access and seating comfort are particularly good, from short doors with multiple holding positions that avoid banging a wall or the adjacent car, to their wide-opening access and hip-high seats with long, supportive cushions. A full range of manual seating adjustment, including lumbar and seat height, is provided for both driver and front passenger, although the height-­adjusting levers are crude in their operation. Drivers also have steering reach control. There are many appealing touches such as multi-adjustable headrests, multiple storage compartments, a cooler box and an Audi-style navigation screen in front of the driver.

Head and leg space all round is particularly good, with the rear seats having travel adjustment, and the trim presentation looks smart and durable right through to the tailgate. The rear seat passengers get temperature-controlled air vents, seatback tables, childseat anchorages on the seatback and well-positioned lighting, pockets and power outlets. The regular luggage space is impressive and complemented by firm square walls, and 40/20/40 split-fold seats provide plenty of versatility. In the notably long load area, there are handy lighting and power outlets, a non-lipped floor and even a grab handle on a tailgate you can stand under in bad weather. The narrow space-saver spare wheel isn’t ideal, but it at least has the same rolling radius as the road wheels.

VW Tiguan

Tiguan’s overall dash presentation is typically high-end and there’s a great depth of detailed information available, although somewhat buried in multiple digital menus, and with some duplication between the driver’s display and the large centre screen.

Easy-flowing performance

The 110kW/340Nm 2.0-litre diesel engine delivers an easy-flowing style of performance and is particularly flexible in everyday driving conditions rather than recording outstanding outright acceleration times. The combination of the diesel’s maximum torque (or pulling power) delivered from just 1750rpm, and the multiple gearing of the seven-speed DSG, ensures this Tiguan feels dynamic in any situation, if not blisteringly fast. For that you would need to choose either the 162TSI or 140TDI Highline models.

The efficiency of this auto-shifting manual DSG gearbox combined with the diesel’s low-speed pulling power ensured excellent fuel economy in all situations. Our overall figure for two weeks was just 6.5L/100km. How­ever, petrol models are now achieving competitive fuel economy, and if you’re not giving your diesel model a regular highway run to purge the particulates filter then a petrol model is recommended.

Volkswagen’s latest DSG also proved seamless in shift quality, and linked to hill-hold there’s no rollback at the traffic lights. Tiguan always felt solid and tight in body structure over all manner of roads and delivered a reassuring, well-planted feeling. Ride and handling refinement are excellent, it sits flat through sweeping corners and with crisp turn-in from the electric power steering and yet there’s good isolation from bumps. Despite its practical family SUV nature, there’s a responsive, dynamic character and road feel that will engage drivers.

The verdict

Volkswagen Tiguan continues to be a benchmark mid-size SUV, principally for its build and finish quality, intelligent design and its comfort and practicality in everyday use.

VW TIGUAN 110TDI COMFORTLINE

Price

$42,990 + $4525 (est) ORC. Premium paint $700. Model range $31,990-$49,990.

Safety

ESC. ABS. 7 airbags. Autonomous emergency braking. Driver alert/fatigue warning. Blind-spot system. Reversing camera. Front/rear park sensors. Tyre pressure monitor. Auto lights/wipers. ISOFIX fittings.

Connectivity

8” touch-screen. Sat-nav. Apple CarPlay. Android Auto.

Vehicle features

Tri-zone climate. Cloth trim.

Driver features

Fully adjustable steering wheel. Parking assistant. Selectable driving modes.

Specifications

Drivetrain: 1968cc, 4cyl diesel engine. All-wheel-drive. 7spd DSG. 110kW@ 3500rpm, 340Nm@1750rpm.
Performance: 0-60km/h, 4.7sec.
0-80, 7.2 sec. 0-100, 10.7 sec. 50-80, 4.9 sec. 60-100, 6.4 sec. 0-400m, 17.6 sec. Stopping from 80km/h, 21.5m.
Fuel: 6.5L/100km (RACV test); 5.9L/100km (govt test). 60L tank.
Wheels: 17” alloy, 215/65 R17 tyres. Space-saver spare. Towing limits: 2500kg (100kg towball load).
Environment: 155g/km CO2.

Service/Repairs

12-month/15,000km services.
3yr/unlimited km warranty.

RACV rating

****1/2

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Written by Ernest Litera
April 12, 2017