- Larger than its class suggests
- Big boot
- Comfortable and refined
- Can be quite expensive
- Low spec models are not great
- Rivals offer better value
What's the VW Tiguan like?
There's no shortage of contenders in the medium SUV class these days – in fact there are too many for anyone to look at them all! But close to the top of the list must be the Volkswagen Tiguan, which justifies higher showroom prices with good reliability and excellent build quality.
The Tiguan is based on the same running gear and engines as the Golf and Passat and is the same in ethos too, giving a very relaxed and very comfortable ride along with enjoyable manners on the road.
Refinement on the move is brilliant, with either petrol or diesel engines, and in the latest models from 2016, interior space is plenty big enough for a family of five. If your need is for even more passengers, there's even the oddly named Allspace, which comes with seats for seven.
There was a facelift in 2020 that gave it a look borrowed from the bigger Touareg, reorganized trim levels and the introduction of plug-in hybrid and hot ‘R’ models.
Over the four years of production there have been a wide range of engines and power outputs, plus no less than 13 different trims. And even the lowest powered models offer decent performance, covering the 0 to 60mph sprint in about 10.5 seconds.
The majority of cars on the used car market will be diesels, but the petrols are also well worth a look. Those diesels are either the 1.6-litre with 115bhp, or 2.0-litre with 147bhp or 197bhp, and like all the rest, they're available with 6-speed manual or DSG automatic gearboxes.
The 1.6-litre gets to 60mph from rest in around 10.6 seconds and is the economy king of the range managing a government best of 49mpg. The 2.0-litre models cover the sprint in 9.1 or an excellent 7.3 seconds respectively, and have best economy of 48mpg and 42mpg.
Petrol power comes courtesy of VW’s well known 1.4, 1.5, and 2.0-litre TSI turbos. Power in the smaller engines ranges from 120bhp to 150bhp. The 0 to 60mph sprint takes about 10.2 seconds in the lower power versions and 8.9 seconds with the higher. Both can do about 45mpg.
There are also two 2.0-litre TSI units on offer with either 190bhp or 230bhp. These are the performance champions of the range, covering the 0 to 60mph sprint in 7.3 and 6.1 seconds, and yet both are rated at about 38mpg.
While most are fairly quick and responsive, most of the others, as you can see from the figures, also have good acceleration when needed.
Many on the roads are front-wheel drive of course because four-wheel drive adds weight and friction, causing a drop in economy. So don’t bother with them unless you regularly need the extra traction.
Comfort is very good but the handling is also right up with the best in class, helped tremendously by the excellent VW power steering.
Practicality and Equipment
Inside all is well–designed and high quality, with well-shaped seats and a driving position good for all sizes thanks to excellent seat and column adjustment.
Equipment in the mid-range R-Line models includes sat nav, climate, traction control, alarm, heated electric mirrors, loads of airbags, parking sensors and heated seats with lumbar support.
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If you're in the market for a quality family SUV that offers fine build quality and refinement, whilst offering lots of space and practicality, then you'll want to seriously consider the VW Tiguan.