Volkswagen Tiguan review
The VW Tiguan is a popular alternative to the Skoda Yeti, with smart styling and a wide range of engines
The Volkswagen Tiguan is definitely one of the best compact crossover SUVs you can buy in the UK. It provides the high quality appeal of the Golf with the versatility of an SUV - a concoction which has proved popular with UK buyers.
The Tiguan is extremely spacious inside, and boasts a comfortable ride too. As well as a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, buyers can choose from four different spec levels, including entry-level S, Match, Escape and R-Line.
Every model in the range can be had in either front or four-wheel drive, while BlueMotion diesel models are extremely efficient.
Our choice: Tiguan 2.0 TDI 140 SE BlueMotion Tech 4MOTION
The Volkswagen Tiguan may not stand out as much as premium rivals like the Range Rover Evoque or Porsche Macan, but a 2011 facelift did at least bring it inline with the latest VW look. It introduced a sleeker front bumper, a more intricate headlight design with daytime running lights and LED taillights.
The Volkswagen Tiguan comes in four main specifications, including the entry-level S model, Match, Escape and top-of-the-range R-Line versions.
Volkswagen Tiguan S models are a bit sparse, so we'd opt for Match versions, which get a colour touchscreen sat-nav, climate control and front and rear parking sensors as standard.
Escape models come with underbody protection for those wanting to make the most of the off-roading experience. Range-topping R-Line cars get bi-xenon headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, sportier front and rear bumpers plus two-tone sport seats.
The Volkswagen Tiguan comes in four-wheel and front-wheel drive versions, both being comfortable and enjoyable to drive. Thanks to great adjustability in the driver's seat and steering wheel, visibility is great and it's easy to find the ideal driving position.
In terms of engines, the diesels make the most sense as they're more refined and offer the best mix of economy and performance.
The highlight of the engine range includes the 2.0-litre TDI Match with BlueMotion technology - this manages 53.3mpg making it the most efficient in the range, too.
There's also a high-powered 2.0-litre TSI - with 4MOTION four-wheel-drive system this can reach 0-60mph in 7.9 seconds which is borderline hot hatch pace.
The Volkswagen Tiguan feels more comfortable on-road than off, but Escape versions do come with a higher front bumper and hill descent control for maximum traction over challenging terrain.
The Volkswagen Tiguan finished 57th in our 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. Volkswagen, on the other hand, finished 16th out of 32 in our annual manufacturer ratings survey.
All parts are tried and tested, and the Volkswagen Tiguan even shares components with the reliable Volkswagen Golf.
On top of this, the Volkswagen Tiguan received the full five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests, with a score of 87 per cent for adult occupant protection and 71 per cent in the safety assist category.
The Volkswagen Tiguan comes with traction control, electronic brake assist and six airbags as standard.
If that isn't enough, the rear seats slide and recline, allowing more space for extra luggage or legroom as required. You can even fold the rear seats flat, creating a total load area of 1,510 litres. A high loading lip does let it down a little, though.
Inside, there's plenty of room for five adults to sit in comfort, with generous headroom and legroom throughout. Escape versions even come with underbody protection and a different front end - so you don't need to worry if you fancy taking it off-road.
We'd definitely opt for the 2.0-litre TDI Diesel BlueMotion model - this produces 109bhp, returns 53.3mpg and emits just 139g/km of CO2, meaning road tax payments will be minimal. Meanwhile, the BlueMotion Tech pack adds stop-start and regenerative braking.
As you'd probably expect, if you opt for four-wheel drive or an automatic gearbox you'll see a significant impact on running costs. The 2.0-litre TSI 4Motion petrol in particular manages just 33.2mpg and emits CO2 emissions of 199g/km of CO2.
Rivals such as the Skoda Yeti and Mazda CX-5 definitely offer more in terms of efficiency and economy. But Volkswagen does provide a range of fixed-price servicing deals and all Tiguans come with a three-year, 60,000 -mile warranty.