The Volkswagen Tiguan range has been fleshed out further with the arrival of the 162TSI Highline in local showrooms which joins the 110TSI, 110TDI, 132TSI and 140TDI that launched late last year. And though the 162TSI’s name doesn’t sound particularly exciting, the reality is that it’s perhaps the sportiest medium SUV from a mainstream brand since, well, ever.

Powered by the same 162kW 2.0-litre turbocharged inline four as the Volkswagen Golf GTI hot hatch, the Tiguan 162TSI retails from $48,490. Here are some facts about VW’s most powerful Tiguan ever to get you rubbing your chin.

  • The 162TSI isn’t the first GTI-engined Tiguan to be sold out of a Volkswagen showroom. The previous-generation Tiguan 155TSI generated 155kW and 280Nm, and while that’s only 7kW less power than the new 162TSI, it’s a whopping 70Nm less torque. The difference in acceleration is massive – the 155TSI hit 100km/h in 7.3 seconds, but the 162TSI does the same trick in a brisker 6.5 seconds.
Volkswagen Tiguan
  • Speaking of zero-to-hundred times, that 6.5-second stat happens to be identical to the much smaller and lighter Volkswagen Golf GTI. How does the Tiguan 162TSI achieve that? By using its all-wheel-drive driveline (the GTI is front-wheel drive only) to give it a traction advantage that helps compensate for its weight penalty.

  • All Tiguan 162TSIs are strictly automatic-only, but mechanically speaking the Tiguan’s ‘automatic’ actually has more in common with a conventional manual gearbox. Odd-numbered gears are actuated by a computer-controlled clutch, while another clutch is connected to the even-numbered gears. The switch between each clutch is so fast that there’s no manual-style jolting, and it’s all handled without any driver intervention needed – unless you want to select your own gears via the steering wheel-mounted paddles.

  • While the Golf GTI’s automatic option has six forward gears, the Tiguan 162TSI benefits from an extra seventh ratio – another reason why it’s able to keep up with its hot hatch little brother in a drag race.
2017 Volkswagen Tiguan 162TSI Highline
  • All 2017 Tiguan models ride atop Volkswagen’s modular MQB platform, a new vehicle architecture that allows cars of widely varying sizes – from the Golf hatch to the Atlas large SUV – to share components. That means Volkswagen can save money on development and manufacturing, thus allowing them to include more equipment and better materials.

  • The new Tiguan 162TSI is 30mm longer and 60mm wider than the previous model. There’s also 76mm more space between the front and rear axles, liberating more space for the rear passengers.

  • All Tiguan 162TSIs are Highline grade, which means they’re the best-equipped models in the Tiguan range. That said, you’ll still need to spend on option packs if you want cool cutting-edge features like a reconfigurable electronic instrument panel or a more comfortable adaptive suspension set up.