The Volkswagen Tiguan emerges as an elegantly designed off-roader. This impressive 4x4 sports stellar engine performance that’s complemented by a spacious, comfortable and well-built cabin. And even with its off-road performance, the Tiguan still delivers when tested on the road. Despite its small size, this model can be considered one of the best handlers among other SUVs.
The Tiguan delivers classic features from Volkswagen in its interiors. The driving position is readily adjustable according to your comfort. Its default stance is an upright position that works in most roadway settings. The interior also features added swag such as a brand new infotainment system that’s easy to navigate via its touchscreen interface. The rear seat area offers more than enough space and can be split 60/40. You can add more boot space by either sliding the rear seats forwards or backwards. The boot itself doesn’t disappoint: handy new upgrades such as a vertical luggage net below the parcel shelf and a tow bar release handle behind the bumper add more function to the said space. There’s also a flat floor to accommodate more luggage.
You can opt for three petrol engines or any of the 2.0-litre diesel engines. Each vary according to power: the petrols come at 177, 158, or 208bhp, while the diesel engine comes at a standard 138bhp or is also available at either 168 or 109bhp. All these engines are turbocharged and they are also all common-rail engines. Even running on an old TDI engine of 138bhp, the Tiguan impressed at its 10.3seconds arrival to 60mph from standstill. At top gear, it went from 50 to 70mph in just 9.9 seconds.
All brakes perform accordingly and can cut down your speed even in the slightest interruption. You might want to look into the DSG dual-clutch auto as another option, but the six-speed manual gearshift performs positively.
The more powerful engines do have a downside. The cabin experienced some noise despite its soundproof attempts; some rattle and rug was heard and sounded much louder than the diesel of a Land Rover Freelander or a Honda CR-V. We recommend the lower-powered diesels for less noise and better performance—particularly the 138bhp. There’s also a much smoother ride as you accelerate with the less powerful petrol engines. Expect some wind noise at one point, but it’s negligible compared to the more powerful engines.
Although the Tiguan performs well on the road as an SUV, it performs inconsistently as an off-roader. We would recommend getting the two-wheel drivers over the four-wheelers for a more consistent performance.
In terms of body control, agility, and steering responsiveness, however, the Tiguan delivers. Although the Tiguan disappoints off the road, every other important feature lets you ignore this setback. Dry and wet handing circuits were handled well thanks to the vehicle’s deftness while turning and steering; traction was easily found when the car went through wet areas.
Don’t expect the same efficiency, however, for the Tiguan as it stiffens the ride on Sport form. The 50-profile tyres also tend to make the ride fidgety on motorway speeds.
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