The least costly Tiguan, the 110TSI Trendline, has cloth-covered seats, 17-inch wheels, and drives only the front wheels. A manual gearbox is standard, with the auto an extra-cost option.
Spend more for any Tiguan Comfortline and auto transmission is standard. You also get satellite-navigation. Three-zone air-conditioning lets rear passengers too choose their temperature, and they can fold down little tables housed behind the front seats.
Choosing Comfortline also gives you access to the more powerful 132TSI petrol engine and the 110TDI diesel, both of which bring all-wheel drive (which Volkswagen calls 4Motion).
Those wanting more in a Comfortline can option the Luxury package for about $5000. It brings leather on the seats, heating for the front seats, power adjustment for the driver’s seat, and a memory for up to three drivers’ settings. Keyless Access lets you unlock the car and drive away without removing the key from your bag or pocket, and if you wave your foot under the tailgate it power-opens. There is a big sunroof, and the exterior mirrors fold against the body automatically when parked (which keeps them out of harm’s way).
The Comfortline can also be had with a Driver assistance pack. That brings you Adaptive cruise control (which can match the speed of a slower car in front on the highway, even bringing you automatically to a halt if that car stops). There is also an Active info display – which replaces your instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch customisable colour screen. And there is lane-change assistance (called Side Assist) and a rear cross-traffic alert (for more on these systems, please open the Safety section below).
An alternative path to dressing up a Tiguan Comfortline is to opt for a Tiguan Adventure. Available in 132TSI and 110TDI form, the Adventure has a stubbier front bumper, and some extra protection for sensitive areas under the car (both aimed at making it less vulnerable in rough going). And it cherry-picks some features from the Luxury package: heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, Keyless Access, and power-folding mirrors. (The sunroof is available at extra cost.) Seat trim is synthetic, and the headlights use very bright and long-lived LEDs. You can option the Driver assistance pack. Perhaps surprisingly given the off-road theme, wheel diameter grows to 18 inches, and tyres have a correspondingly shallower profile (changes that emphasise sealed-road performance).
Spend more again for a Tiguan Highline and you choose from the two most powerful engines, the 162TSI petrol and the 140TDI diesel, again both AWD autos.
Highline Tiguans come with LED headlights whose beams shine into corners, and LED tail-lights. Rear-cabin windows are tinted to keep out heat and glare, and a better multimedia unit allows voice control of the sat-nav. You get the Comfortline Luxury pack features as standard, and 18-inch wheels.
You can option a Highline with the Driver assistance pack. You can also add an R-Line pack, which brings you a small rear wing, other body add-ons, 20-inch wheels, trim changes inside, and Adaptive chassis control (which adjusts how the car rides automatically for the conditions, using electronically controlled suspension dampers).
Every AWD Tiguan has Driving profile selection with 4MOTION Active Control. This lets you adjust how lazily or immediately the car responds to your control inputs, and also to optimise it for snow or gravel-road driving. If your Tiguan Highline has Adaptive chassis control from the R-Line pack, you can also soften the suspension (for more comfort) or stiffen it (for sharper handling), while driving.