It’s the new and much improved Volkswagen Tiguan, which is a medium-sized SUV that rivals the hugely popular Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson. It’s one of the most important models Volkswagen will launch in Australia this year and offers improved space, polished dynamics and one of the best interiors in its class.
- Size and practicality. The original Tiguan, which was based on the Volkswagen Golf, had a tight interior and a small boot, but this new model is larger in every dimension and rides on a 77mm longer wheelbase. This has improved passenger space and comfort, and boosted the Tiguan’s boot to one of the largest in class. It measures 615L with the sliding second row all the way forward.
- Dynamics. The new Tiguan’s handling is among the best of any mid-size SUV and boasts smooth steering, predictable and precise dynamics and a nicely-judged ride on rough roads. A new performance-orientated 162TSI model will join the line-up in early 2017 and will use the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine as the iconic Golf GTI hot-hatch that produces 162kW/350Nm.
- Interior quality and design. Tiguan might be slightly more expensive than its Asian rivals (more on this below) but its interior is class-leading and every variant scores a beautiful leather steering wheel, comfortable seats and excellent vision. A rich mix of high-quality materials enhances the premium feel, and there’s plenty of standard equipment too, like a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen, cruise control, rear air vents and auto wipers and headlights. Safety gear is also top notch and every Tiguan scores Autonomous Emergency Braking as standard.
- High starting price. Unlike some of its Asian rivals, which have starting prices below $30,000, the Tiguan range starts at $31,990 and stretches to $49,990. This could deter some buyers initially, however the Tiguan’s refinement, strong dynamics and class-leading levels of equipment ensure it’s still good value.
- Snoozy design. While top-spec models look handsome and stylish thanks to larger wheels and sportier body kits, entry-level versions can look boxy and appliance like, especially when rolling on 17-inch wheels.
ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER?
The Tiguan lands in the middle of one of Australia’s most popular categories and faces some stiff competition. Mazda’s CX-5 dominates this part of the market, and offers a cheaper starting price, well-judged dynamics, oodles of equipment and a striking exterior design. The Hyundai Tucson is also cheaper than the Tiguan and has decent handling, though its interior isn’t up to the Volkswagen’s standard. Other mid-sized SUVs worth considering are the new Renault Koleos, Subaru Forester, Ford Kuga and Nissan X-Trail.
Click here to read the full review on the Volkswagen Tiguan range.