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.