Volkswagen has taken its time with its assault on the compact SUV market...but it becomes clear why this has been when you seen that the Tiguan is clearly a well thought out vehicle.
Esthetique: A mini-Touareg
A sort of mini-Touareg or a more fun Touran, the Tiguan picks up SUV and MPV characteristics from within the VW range.
There are two versions of the Tiguan. On the left, the 18 degree city-dweller, and on the right, the 28 degree rough and ready version.
Inside, there is plenty of German quality...theres not a bad word to say about the finish or the quality of the materials. A new feature is the touch-screen GPS system, which is excellent. Only the space in the rear is slightly limited...we had hoped for a little more really. In contrast, you can get a completely flat loading space, which is very good.
Motorization: 1,4 Litres
Our test model was fitted with the 150bhp 1.4 litre Turbo FSI engine. It offers plenty of power and handles well. The steering is precise and efficient.
On the road: Off road or city dweller
Opt for the latter and you get a real off-road machine. Called the Track and Field, this version of the Tiguan is 30 milimetres longer. Just a single button press gives you a whole lot of additional power, complete with the new 4Motion system. Based on a Haldex clutch, this system shares the power 90% to the front and 10% to the rear under normal circumstances, but when necessary, nearly all the power can be transferred to the rear wheels. Its a safe bet both on tarmac and on rough ground...
As efficient as it might be off-road, the Tiguan is comfortable on road, too.
To put it to the test in urban conditions, VW invited us to Budapest. From the moment you take to the wheel, you realise that youre not sat nearly as high as in the Touareg...its more like the Touran. The Tiguan is not too wide either. Whats more, you can add as an option a rear camera or parking sensors, so itll cope with the school run, too, parking itself, almost!
The Tiguans road-holding is excellent. Roll is well-managed and the noise limitation is effective.
The Tiguan offers a compromise between comfort and efficiency. Even if the gearbox sticks a little, the driving experience lives up to the best in the segment.
Volkswagens Tiguan is a latecomer on the market, but we dont think it will take it long to catch up. VWs brand image will help, thats for sure, as will the price tag its cheaper than Toyotas Rav4 and Hondas CRV. Not bad for so much quality German