IT’S ALL CHANGE FOR VOLKSWAGEN’S TIGUAN SUV - THE ALL-NEW MODEL IS BIGGER, BETTER-EQUIPPED, MORE POWERFUL, AND MORE FUEL EFFICIENT. And with prices starting from $31,990, the smart Tiguan challenges the value of its major German rivals.
But wait, there’s more...
In fact there will be five new Volkswagen SUVs debuting within the next 29 months, prominent among them a seven-seat version of the Tiguan and a new-generation Touareg.
Volkswagen is clearly in the SUV business like never before and expects the Tiguan to be the number two volume model in Australia (behind the Golf). After driving it, the inescapable impression is that this car is in another league altogether to the Tiguan it replaced.
Vehicle Style: Mid-Size SUV
Pricing (plus on-road costs for each):
110TSI Trendline 2WD $31,990;
110TSI Comfortline 2WD $36,990;
132TSI Comfortline AWD $41,490;
162TSI Highline AWD $48,490;
110TDI Comfortline AWD $42,990
140TDI Highline AWD $49,990
Engine/transmission:110kW/250Nm 1.4 litre 4cyl turbo petrol; 132kW/320Nm 2.0 litre 4cyl turbo petrol; 162kW/350Nm 2.0 litre 4cyl turbo petrol; 110kW/340Nm 2.0 litre 4cyl turbo diesel; 140kW/400Nm 2.0 litre 4cyl turbo diesel | 6sp manual, 6sp automatic, 7sp automatic
Fuel Economy Claimed: 110TSI FWD 6.0l/100kms (man); 110TSI FWD 6.3l/100kms (auto); 132TSI AWD 7.5l/100kms; 110TDI AWD 5.9l/100kms; 140TDI 5.9l/100kms | Tested: 110TDI AWD 6.7l/100kms; 140TDI AWD 6.6l/100kms; 110TSI FWD 6.4l/100kms; 132TSI AWD 5.7l/100kms
The all-new Volkswagen Tiguan is designed, engineered and made in Germany - in fact, against comparable rivals, it is the only German-produced mid-size SUV.
With a choice of five engines (the range-topping 162TSI doesn’t arrive until early 2017), three specification levels (and a sporty R-Line package), the second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan is certainly a step-up over its predecessor (and not just because of its increased interior dimensions).
Volkswagen is claiming the ANCAP 5-star rated Tiguan is the segment-best for its standard safety technologies (city emergency brake, and a pyrotechnic-driven pedestrian friendly ‘active’ bonnet among them).
On the outside, the all-new Volkswagen Tiguan looks much more purposeful than the first generation.
It's also larger (4486mm overall length), which translates into more interior space for people and cargo and sees the newcomer now officially a ‘mid-size’ SUV.
Over the entry-level Trendline grade, Comfortline adds features such as 4MOTION all-wheel-drive, front fog lights, satellite navigation, three-zone climate control air-conditioning, folding tables behind the front seats, an extended internal roof storage console and a luggage floor net.
Range-topping Highline scores LED headlights with dynamic cornering lights, LED tail-lights, Vienna leather seats (fronts heated sports seats), interior ambient lighting, LED reading lights, electronic folding door-mirrors, gearshift paddles.
The R-Line Package for the Highline model is the standout with sporty styling changes inside and out, 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive chassis control and progressive steering just some of the inclusions.
- Standard Features: Five seats, air-conditioning, cruise control, leather or cloth upholstery, silver or titanium-coloured trim highlights, leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel,
- Infotainment: 8.0-inch colour touchscreen with AM/FM, CD, SD card slot, App-Connect USB interface for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, AUX-in, Bluetooth
- Cargo Volume: 520-litres (rear seat in-place); 615-litres (rear seat slid forward by 180mm); 1655-litres (rear seat folded flat)
While typically conservative in design, the interior of the all-new Tiguan is nevertheless a much more stylish execution than 'generation one' and - as usual - exudes the quality materials and assembly which are hallmarks of the brand.
If you’re a current model Volkswagen Tiguan owner, you’ll immediately notice the more spacious interior – primarily that comes from 77mm worth of extra wheelbase length (at 4486mm in total we’re talking dimensions similar to the Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson - hence the re-classification into the mid-size segment).
Highline models are the pick thanks to fitment of the customizable 12.3-inch TFT instrument screen we know from various Audi models (for example you can configure a full-screen version of the satellite navigation map with the instruments -tachometer, speedometer etc - scaled-down and off to the sides).
In the centre-console is the 8.0-inch screen for satellite navigation and audio which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Seats are excellent (the R-Line sports seats are the best), the hallmark leather-wrapped Volkswagen steering wheel is sized just-right and there are plenty of storage bins including a new one on-top of the dashboard.
Rear-seat leg-room is among the best in this league and the backrest features an adjustable recline. The Tiguan is now an SUV for the family (and not just empty nesters), with room in the second row for long-shanked teens and room in the 'boot' for their clobber, or the Saturday megashop.
On the options list is a remote ‘soccer kick’ rear tailgate opening (provided the ignition key is within 1.5-metres of the vehicle). An auto remote closing function boosts the practicality of this feature.
ON THE ROAD
- Engine: 110kW/250Nm turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol; 132kW/320Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol; 162kW/350Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol; 110kW/340Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel; 140kW/400Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel
- Transmission: 6-sp manual; 6-sp DSG automatic; 7-sp DSG automatic
- Suspension: MacPherson strut (front)/ Four-link independent (rear)
- Brakes: Four-wheel discs (fronts ventilated)
During a full day on wet roads near Byron Bay in northern NSW, TMR got behind the wheel of four versions of the all-new Volkswagen Tiguan.
Unfortunately there were no 162TSI versions available - the Tiguan sharing its engine with the racy Golf GTi doesn’t hit these shores until early next year.
First-up we should mention the all-new Tiguan is the first Volkswagen SUV to sit on the MQB chassis architecture that underpins the Golf and Passat, so, despite its appreciated extra dimensions, the newcomer actually weighs-in 16kgs lighter than its predecessor.
The car we drove last was actually the best - a 132TSI Comfortline fitted with the sporty R-Line package.
Volkswagen’s latest 4Motion all-wheel-drive system has a deliberate rear bias, which, in conjunction with the R-Line’s 20-inch alloy wheels with 255/40 R20 Pirelli Scorpion tyres, translates into a sporty dynamic (especially with the extra sharpness inherent in the ‘Sport’ drive mode).
Plenty of ‘zip’ from the 132TSI engine left us eager to try the 162TSI when it arrives.
For fuel consumption, we averaged 5.7 l/100kms (admittedly mostly highway running) in the Tiguan 132TSI.
At the other end of the scale, we also tackled a longer drive route in a front-wheel-drive 110TSI Comfortline and saw average fuel consumption of 6.4 l/100kms. While all Tiguans impressed with their comfort, there’s no doubt the 2WD version, despite its 11mm lower ride height was a tad softer over road imperfections.
As for the diesels, we tried both the 110TDI and 140TDI (both averaged around 6.6 l/100kms) and were reminded about both the refinement and performance of Volkswagen’s latest turbo-diesels.
The extra grunt of the 140TDI comes courtesy of a larger turbocharged and new software. ‘Adblue’ technology enhances exhaust emissions to the extent the all-new Volkswagen Tiguan complies with EU6 standard which are not yet required in Australia. This one will have no trouble with a full load on board, and flattens hills effortlessly.
A special mention for Volkswagen’s updated DSG transmission which is now commendably smooth in both forward and reverse - shunting previous criticisms into the ‘delete’ folder.
ANCAP Rating: 5-stars
Safety Features: Nine airbags, Front Assist, City Emergency Brake, Lane Assist, Driver Fatigue Detection, Multi-Collision Brake, Park Assist, Rear-View Camera, pedestrian friendly ‘active’ bonnet, among a suite of active and passive safety technologies.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited kilometers
Servicing: 12 months/15,000kms/ capped-price servicing
RIVALS TO CONSIDER
Volkswagen was keen to highlight the all-new Tiguan sits in its own position – a bit more pricey than the big-selling Asian vehicles but with quality and technology to contend with the pricier Euros like the BMW X1 (from $49,500 plus charges).
But there’s no denying the mid-size SUV segment (the biggest SUV segment and now with FWD models racking-up 50 per-cent of the total sales) is dominated by the Mazda CX-5 which ranges from $27,190 to $50,610 (plus on-roads).
Hyundai’s all-new Tucson starts at $27,990 (plus on-roads) and tops-out at $45,490 (plus on-roads). Styling is easy on the eye and the new turbocharged 1.6-lire petrol engine is a beauty.
And we would definitely have Renault’s all-new Koleos (based on the Nissan X-Trail on our list of contenders). Renault’s styling changes inside and out have class and the X-Trail’s driveline is top-notch.
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
Volkswagen has certainly worked hard to ensure the second generation Tiguan makes significant advances over the vehicle it replaces.
While we think this is rock solid 'four-star' buy, we’ll have more to say across the range when we have some Tiguans in the TMR garage for a week and can put them through our usual test routine.
That said, first impressions count. And on our first impressions behind the wheel, the extra size, impressive technology, eager engines and enhanced fuel efficiency make this "a better Tiguan".
The improved styling and the 'premium' air it carries in the carpark also commands attention. In fact, Tiguan’s ‘premium-ness’ justifies its small price premium over the likes of CX-5 and Tucson.
With this vehicle and the all-new models in the pipeline Volkswagen is certainly making some clear statements about it SUV future.
MORE: Volkswagen News and Reviews
VISIT THE SHOWROOM: Volkswagen Tiguan - Price, Features, and Specifications