Whenever we take the wheel of a Volkswagen, we are always deeply impressed by the quality they are built, the mechanical perfection and refinement which is achieved time and again. The new Tiguan is no exception. It is brand new, and it already feels like it has been built for years, as it is already honed to perfection. This fine tuning of production quality, bringing it to very high levels indeed is one of the hallmarks of this Tiguan.
But this is of course only one of the many good qualities of the new Tiguan. The new compact SUV from VW looks stunningly good and “just right” from any angle, displaying a timelessly angular and clean styling language. And there is more. It has also many good driving qualities, which we all experienced during our test. Just read further…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Stepping into the Tiguan one is literally engulfed by the spacious cabin, and the New Tiguan is a very roomy car indeed.
There is ample space, also for the rear passengers. In the front, the amounts of head, shoulder and legroom are truly regal.
An excellent seating position is soon found, and a word of praise is fitting here for the quality of the ergonomic “ergoActive” front seats, which have not less than 14 positions to choose from. The leather covered steering wheel fits like the proverbial glove in your hands, and was even heated in our test car, a nice touch with winter being around the corner.
As soon as one starts the smooth 150 HP diesel engine, a head-up display rises in our line of sight, and it is one of the most clearly readable units we have ever come across. It is of course wise to use the speed control when travelling longer stretches at low urban speed limits, as the engine is eager to pull you into higher speeds.
Having said this, this Diesel unit is vibrationless and super smooth even at close to idling speeds, and will happily cruise along at 30 km/h in third gear at say 1100 rpm or so, which helps fuel economy. It will also happily pull away at these speeds, thanks to the very good torque produced by this unit. Indeed, torque is abundant with 340 Nm being available between 1750 and 3000 rpm.
Performance is therefore everything you could possibly wish for. 0 to 100 is absolved in 9,3 seconds, and in gear accelerations are quite lively, with 80 to 100 km being reached in 7,5 seconds in fourth, and 10 seconds in fifth gear.
Economy is and remains one of the very strong points of VW Diesels, and we have seldom come across any diesels which, given the size and weight, are doing substantially better. Driving quite briskly and often in urban traffic and/or short hauls, we reached an average fuel consumption of 5,7 liters 100 km. The manufacturer quotes 4,7-4,8 liters as overall average for the EC cycle.
The Tiguan is of course an excellent long distance cruiser. High speed performance and stamina is of German mettle, with a top speed of 204 km/h and high speed effortlessness and stability to match.
The superbly smooth drivetrain is also very well at home in slow speed/urban conditions, as we said. Our test car came with the ACC adaptative distance/cruise control, and VW’s unit has proven its worth already many times over. It is smooth, intelligent and a “must have” in present day traffic conditions.
The Tiguan offers genuine driving pleasure thanks also to the state of the art balance and precision of its chassis and suspension. It remains perfectly stable in all weather and road conditions, and can be driven with spirit in utter confidence.
The visibility is also quite good, with of course parking assist features and rear view camera thrown in. Our test car also came with the emergence brake function in town. What we also appreciated very much in night driving was the light assist, which is a standard feature in the Comfortline equipment version we drove.
Last but not least there is the comfortable and thankfully draft free heating/ventilation, adding to the overall feeling of well being in this Tiguan. The three-zone climatronic system is standard on the Comfortline. A remarkable story goes around about the preference of the genial former VW group boss Ferdinand Piëch: he was very sensible to any drafts, and therefore wore quite often a scarf whenever the weather circumstances were not near perfect. Therefore much attention is paid to draft-free ventilation in all VW group products…
Superb finish and style, along with practicality
We like very much the styling language of VW, being more angular lately, having always very well balanced proportions which will stand the test of time. The VW stylists have also succeeded to retain in all their products, with the Tiguan being no exception, this typical VW styling language, which makes a VW have an unmistakable formal identity and stand out from the rest.
Practicality abounds, with of course easily convertible load space, which is quite ample too. Based on VDA measurement standards, the luggage volume is 615 liters, with the rear backrests fully folded down up to 1655 liters.
A well made car, utterly harmonious and well balanced, timelessly styled, practical, reliable, and mechanically very refined and frugal. This car embodies all the good virtues of what a VW should be, and what the brand is indeed famous for. Last but not least, as we said earlier, the know-how they have acquired to achieve superb build quality and finish in combination with (high) volume production. A car made to accompany you for many years indeed, and make you enjoy to drive and use it day in day out…
Hans Knol ten Bensel