2016 Volkswagen Tiguan

By Jaedene Hudson on 01 November 2016
2016 Volkswagen Tiguan

Engine
Transmission
Fuel Economy
16.4 L/ 100km
Output
ANCAP rating

Not Tested

What is it?

Volkswagen Tiguan 132 TFSI Comfortline is the mid-spec model in the all-new Tiguan range. The Tiguan is Volkswagen's baby SUV, although the second generation has certainly grown up.

What are its rivals?

The larger Tiguan is now a genuine player in the SUV market. It competes with SUVs such as the Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4 and some smaller mid-sized SUVs such as the Mazda CX-5 and Ford's Kuga.

How much is it?

The Tiguan range starts from $31,990 but the 132TFSI Comfortline we tested is priced from $41,490 (+ORCs) but also came with the Driver Assistance Package for $2000 (adds Adaptive Cruise Control, Side Assist with Rear Traffic Alert, Active Info display, power folding door mirrors and area view) and metallic paint at $700 which pushed the price to $44,190 (plus on road costs).

What does it get?

Standard equipment includes: an eight- inch Composition Media infotainment system with App- Connect USB interface (includes Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link), park assist, automatic headlights and rain- sensing windscreen wipers, cruise control, a leather multi- function steering wheel, tri-zone climate control air conditioning, satellite navigation, colour multi-function display, folding table on front seat backrests, front fog lights, carpet floor mats, extended roof storage console, luggage floor net, chrome roof rails, chrome window surrounds and painted bumper inserts, LED taillights, 17- inch alloy wheels, 4MOTION Active Control and a drawer under the front seats.

Standard safety equipment on Comfortline models includes: Front Assist with City Emergency Brake, lane assist, park assist, rear view camera and a low tyre pressure indicator, low tyre pressure indicator. There is also a drive mode selector that allows you to choose from three pre-set modes – Eco, normal or sport. This changes the steering and acceleration of the car.

Comfortline models can be updated with a luxury package for $5000 that adds Vienna leather-appointed upholstery, electronically adjustable driver's seat with three-position memory, heated front seats, power folding door mirrors, keyless access, electronically-operated tailgate and a panoramic electric glass sunroof.
Comfortline and Highline models can also be optioned with a Driver Assistance package ($2000) that adds adaptive cruise control, Side Assist with Rear Traffic Alert, Active Info display, power folding door mirrors and area view.

What's changed from the previous model?

The new Tiguan is lower, wider and longer than its predecessor. The wheelbase was extended to 2,681mm – a gain of 76mm – and is 53kg lighter. The new Tiguan has had styling changes inside and out (see our launch story for full details across the range).

What's it like inside?

In a word, premium. The Tiguan has an 8" colour touch screen display that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto™ or MirrorLinkR. The dash ensign is sleek and stylish and the new digital dash display, borrowed from Audi adds a new level of quality feel to the class. Drivers can personalise the 12.3- inch Active Info

Display dash display in six different views for the 12.3- inch Active Info Display. New in the Tiguan is an offroad display profile with steering angle indicator and compass that was specially designed for the car. When navigation is activated the large central display can be selected, as in the Passat. Here, 3D navigation is shown directly in the Active Info Display in a large size in addition to the infotainment screen.

There's a good amount of oddment storage and we particularly like that the cup holders grips can be can be retracted to form one big storage compartment that has a sliding cover. The centre console is a little small as is the glovebox but there are two cup holders and bottle holders in both the front and rear. Comfortline models also have handy folding tables on front seat backrests.

 

The Tiguan is well packed inside with good head and leg room in the front and rear and decent boot space (the major gripe of the previous version). It also has a 12-volt power socket in the boot, levers to drop the rear seats and a light. When the rear bench is folded the cargo space, at 1,655 litres, is 145 litres larger than before.

We had a few issues in our test car, however, that put a question mark over the quality. Volkswagens are usually very well-built cars. While there have been reliability issues in the past, build quality is a VW strong point. This test car however had a panel gap on one side of the glovebox, the head unit (multi-media system) didn't sit flush in the centre dash and there was a rattle on the driver's side. This is not good for a car with only 2500kms on the clock.

How does it drive?

On the road, the Tiguan excels. The first generation was a good drive but the new model is definitely better. Under the bonnet of the 132TFSI Comfortline specification is a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that produces 132kW of power and 330Nm of torque matched to seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. Overall, acceleration is strong, gear changes are quick and smooth and the Tiguan is quiet. The engine does suffer turbo lag, however, when you want to accelerate quickly which is accentuated by the dual clutch gearbox. The hesitation tends to kick in when you least want it– ie: accelerating into a gap or turning across traffic at an intersection. It is more noticeable in Eco and Normal driving modes but, with the change in engine mapping in Sport mode, it's nowhere near as pronounced.

As mentioned above, there are four drive modes (as part of the 4MOTION system) – three of which are pre-set. In Eco gear changes are quick and the car revs low to conserve fuel. In Normal mode the engine revs a bit higher but it is still tuned towards efficiency, dropping into the lowest gear possible. In Sports mode, gear changes are snappier and hold for longer to match your driving. You can also chose the individual model where you can tailor these criteria to what you want.

The Tiguan is composed and refined with a smooth, comfortable ride. Over big bumps, however, the suspension crash and jars. Steering feel is direct and communicative in normal mode but you can feel the difference in Sports mode. The Tiguan sits flat and composed when cornering.

The Tiguan has 4MOTION Active Control which allows the option of changing off-road driving profiles using a rotary dial. There are four modes: Snow, On-road, Off-road (automatic configuration) and Off-road individual (variable settings). It has reasonable ground clearance of 210mm and the technological trickery means it's capable enough off the road. On the dirt, the Tiguan is surprisingly quiet but is not as composed as expected. It skips about and gets unsettled over ruts and corrugations, although our test car was shod with road biased wheels.

The Tiguan also has a strong 2500kg towing capacity for all versions with 4MOTION.

Claimed fuel consumption for the Tiguan is 7.5L/100km and our real world tests returned 8.9L/100km.

Should I consider one?

The all-new second generation improves on what was an already impressive model. This biggest issue of the previous model - the tiny boot - has been addressed and interior packaging is very clever in the new version. It's refined, has plenty of space, a good level of equipment and is at the top end of the class in terms of driving dynamics.

Unfortunately, question marks around VW's reliability were raised with the issues on our test car. However, the Tiguan is backed by a three-year, unlimited kilometre warranty should anything go awry. And, as noted above, this is unusual for VW in relation to build quality.

 

Specifications
Make Volkswagen
Model Tiguan 132TFSI Comfortline
Category Compact SUV
Year 2016
Body type SUV
Pros

Great dynamics
Improved luggage space
Overall premium feeling interior

Cons

Quality issues on test car
Manually adjustable seats on $42,000 car
Suspension can be crashy over large bumps

Country of manufacture Germany
Warranty 3yr/100,000km
Available from 1-Nov-16
Priced from $41,490
Engine
Number of cylinders 4
Engine size 2.0 L
Engine aspiration Turbo charged
Fuel PULP
Claimed max power (kW) 132 kW @ 3900-6000 rpm
Claimed max torque (Nm) 320 Nm @ 1500-3940 rpm
Transmission
Type 7-speed DSG
Wheels
Driving wheels AWD
Size 17 "
Tyres
Spare tyre type Space saver
Size 215/65 R17
Dimensions
Kerb weight 1600 kg
Length 4486 mm
Width (including mirrors) 1839 mm
Ground clearance 201 mm
Seating capacity 5
Fuel capacity 60 litres
Towing
Max towing capacity 2500 kg
Fuel Consumption
Claimed fuel consumption 7.5 L/100km
Average on test 8.9 L/100km

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