Volkswagen Tiguan review
The facelifted VW Tiguan includes a sharp new look and the latest on-board tech, while it remains smooth and effortless to drive
Since its introduction in 2007, the Tiguan hasn't proved itself to be a very exciting car to drive, but then neither have many of its closest crossover rivals. However, this facelifted model is good at many of the things that matter in its class. There’s lots of room inside for a growing family, the cabin is very well built and, although it remains a little dull inside, it’s now crammed full of the latest tech. Overall, this is an extremely well rounded package, and while it lacks personality, the Tiguan ticks a lot of boxes.
It’s not cheap compared to the Mazda CX-5 and Ford Kuga, though, as VW has priced the Tiguan more towards the likes of the BMW X3. It almost makes sense as a premium SUV, but not quite - and that means the SEAT Ateca and Peugeot 3008 put it to shame for value, while coming close in terms of quality.
Although the Tiguan is similar in size to cars like the Skoda Karoq and Nissan Qashqai, its prices are similar to the larger Skoda Kodiaq. If you consider the VW as an alternative to models like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, then it looks better value, but for some people VW still isn't a brand that can match the perceived premium image of these models. Still, if you take the plunge, you shouldn't be disappointed with the quality and kit on offer, even if you can buy more spacious models for a similar price.
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The second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan arrived in 2016, and it built on the appeal of the original with extra kit, more technology and a premium image inspired by the seventh-generation Golf hatchback. The facelifted model offers a fresh new exterior, updated tech and a revised range of engines - including a plug-in hybrid due in 2021. If you're after increased practicality, the Tiguan comes in two body styles - the standard five-seat model and the extended, seven-seat Tiguan Allspace.
The model range kicks off with the entry-level Tiguan version, then moves to Life, Elegance and R-Line variants. There are clear differences between the four core trims, and if you parked a basic Tiguan next to a sporty R-Line car, you could easily tell which one is on sale for a lot more than the other.
Prices range from around £25,000 to almost £40,000, although the plug-in hybrid and hot R versions will be more expensive. You need to be careful adding kit from the options list, particularly with higher-spec cars, as this will quickly push the price up over the £40,000 mark and incur a higher rate of tax.
Volkswagen has kept the engine range fairly simple - a 1.5-litre TSI petrol unit is available with either 128bhp or 148bhp, while there's a 2.0-litre diesel engine in 148bhp or 197bhp guise. Petrol cars are front-wheel-drive only, although the lower-powered diesel is offered as a two- or four-wheel-drive version. The top-of-the-range 2.0-litre TDI car only comes with Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard for lower- to medium-spec versions, with a seven-speed DSG auto available thereafter.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe facelifted VW Tiguan includes a sharp new look and the latest on-board tech, while it remains smooth and effortless to drive
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Tiguan is a capable cruiser, and will benefit from new plug-in hybrid power, semi-autonomous tech and cleaner diesel engines.
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsVolkswagen offers petrol and diesel power for the Tiguan, with plug-in hybrid power soon to join the range.
- 4Interior, design and technologySolid design is functional rather than stylish, although the Tiguan now features a smart new look and the latest on-board tech.
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceBuyers will appreciate the Tiguan's larger boot and increased passenger space compared to rivals
- 6Reliability and SafetySafety is good, but VW will be hoping the Tiguan improves reliability reputation