The 110TSI is the entry-level variant of the new-generation Tiguan medium SUV, and a significant improvement on the previous-generation model.
Retailing at $31,990 for the manual and $34,490 for the DSG automatic, the base-spec Tiguan sits in the same ballpark as mid-spec Japanese and Korean SUVs and comes with a good range of standard features including autonomous emergency braking, superb on-road performance and a high-quality interior.
- The 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine provides more than enough power for a car this size, including when overtaking.
- The six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission provides smooth, effortless gear changes, especially when driving spiritedly.
- The Tiguan’s steering is as poised and tactile as its Golf stablemate, and neatly meshes with the slick powertrain to create an enjoyable driving experience.
- Handles is exceptional, with good body control around corners courtesy of a firmer-than-average suspension tune.
- Being a base model, the German-designed interior is a little austere but still has a crisp upmarket appearance with quality materials and intuitive ergonomics.
- The cabin feels airy with excellent vision from all five seats though a generous glasshouse.
- For $2000 you can add a driver assistance package that includes automatic park assist, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and rear traffic alert.
- The rear seats recline and slide back and forth to increase either legroom or rear cargo space. Comfort for your backseat passengers is excellent as a result.
- The rear seats have their own air vents to help passengers cool, and a 12v socket for plugging in a phone charger or USB charge point.
- The front seats have ‘infinite reclining’ settings which are controlled by a dial for gradual movement as opposed to the stepped positions with seats controlled by a lever.
- The chilled glove box has a chill function directs cool air from the air-conditioning system to help keep your lunch cool. It’s by no means a fridge, but it’ll ensure your sandwiches remain palatable even after a long drive.
- The ride is not as quiet or refined as you’d expect from a Volkswagen.
- The suspension is quite firm and can be jarring over bumps, particularly for rear-seat passengers.
- Rear storage is minimal, with no map pockets or a centre arm rest to house cupholders. It is the base model, after all.
ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER
The medium SUV segment is full attractively-priced and well-specced contenders, especially in the low-$30k price range. These include the all-new Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport, Subaru Forester 2.5i-L, Kia Sportage SLi, Toyota RAV4 GXL, Hyundai Tucson Active X and Ford Escape Trend.