LARGER, smarter and more dynamically appealing than its now faded predecessor, Volkswagen’s second-gen Tiguan brings Golf-like polish and refinement to the cut-throat, and booming, mid-size SUV segment.
Oozing a new-found confidence and showroom appeal, the Tiguan impressed even before it turned a wheel at Car of the Year. As the first SUV to switch to VW’s modular transverse MQB architecture, Tiguan V2.0’s most obvious improvement is the boost in comfort and practicality gleaned from increased dimensions all round, including a wheelbase stretched by 77mm. It has officially grown from a small into a medium-sized SUV, though significantly, weight is actually down in almost every variant (by up to 53kg).
The packaging is clever too, ensuring the Tiguan makes the most of its new space, with a plethora of useful storage cubbies (with damped lids!) and a “fabulous second row”, as one judge described it, that reclines and slides fore-and-aft to increase boot space to a vast 615 litres when pushed all the way forward.
It’s not all barebones practicality and utility, either. The Tiguan’s cabin ambience, even in base 110TSI guise, is a highlight, with an airy (if unimaginative) design, quality materials, and a keen attention to detail that stretches to flocked door pockets, a rich mix of textures, and rear air vents.
There’s also oodles of worthwhile equipment. All variants score an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing camera and auto wipers and headlights, plus MQB’s plethora of active-safety systems, headlined by standard AEB, lane-departure warning, seven airbags and a pedestrian-protecting active bonnet.
Offered with a convincing suite of five turbo engines, every Tiguan provides a zest and dynamic verve uncommon for this category of SUV. The accurate and well-weighted steering deserves particular praise and contributes to handling that is fluid, poised, and at times even fun, regardless of whether you’re in the base front-driver or the all-wheel-drive $50K Vokswagen Tiguan 140TDI Highline flagship.