Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace review
The Allspace is a longer and more practical version of the standard Volkswagen Tiguan, and even comes with the option of seven seats
Launched in 2007, the original Volkswagen Tiguan was a well-timed entry to the mid-size SUV party. The Tiguan hit the ground running, cementing itself as one of the world’s most popular cars in the segment.
UK sales began in February 2008, with the Tiguan soon becoming Volkswagen’s third best-selling car behind the Golf and Polo. It wasn’t particularly interesting to look at, but buyers grew to love its Golf-like usability, classy interior and SUV practicality.
By the time the new Tiguan arrived in 2016, a replacement was long overdue. The new car is a significant upgrade on the original, with more interior space, improved technology, and segment-leading levels of refinement.
The new Allspace is Volkswagen’s attempt to leverage more from the Tiguan name, with – as the name would suggest – a greater focus on interior space. It’s longer than the standard model and is available with the option of two extra seats. Another nail in the coffin of the MPV, perhaps?
The Tiguan Allspace is 215mm longer than the standard car, with 109mm of that in the wheelbase. As a result, an Allspace in five-seat configuration offers a massive 760 litres of luggage space, a full 145 litres more than the regular Tiguan. Opt for the seven-seat version and this drops to 230 litres behind the rear-most seats, or 700 litres with the third row folded away.
Volkswagen claims the Allspace is designed for families who had previously relied on an MPV because of the space required, and is pitching it between the standard Tiguan and the Touareg.
As a result, Volkswagen has ditched the two entry level versions of the Tiguan, with the mid-spec SE Nav acting as the Allspace entry model. Standard equipment includes three-zone climate control, cruise control, 18-inch alloy wheels, touchscreen infotainment system, and automatic lights and wipers.
Front and four-wheel drive versions are available, with a full range of petrol and diesel engines. Rivals include the Skoda Kodiaq, Nissan X-Trail and Toyota RAV4, as well as MPVs like the Renault Grand Scenic.
On paper, the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace makes a great deal of sense, offering the choice of either a larger boot or the option of seven seats. For us, a 5+2 Allspace a compelling offer, in fact, as it creates a more practical and flexible alternative to the regular Tiguan.
Well chosen cosmetic upgrades give it subtle new look over the standard car, while a generous level of standard kit and a quality cabin create the feeling of a premium product, edging it closer to the Touareg and away from the standard Tiguan.
Engines, performance and drive
If you’re used to the standard Tiguan, you probably won’t notice any difference with the Allspace. In either front or four-wheel drive guise, it’s comfortable and competent on the road, with a high driving position and great visibility.
The 148bhp 2.0 TDI is available with a six-speed manual or an impressively smooth seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. This engine is slightly noisy when cold and at idle, but the Allspace keeps wind and tyre noise to a minimum once on the move.
A 2.0-litre twin-turbo BiTDI diesel with 237bhp sits at the top of the Tiguan Allspace range, bringing with it punchy performance and decent economy - albeit for a relatively elevated asking price.
If anything, we found that the longer-wheelbase contributed to a little more composure and stability when cornering compared to the standard Tiguan, while the adjustable suspension offers a noticeable difference between Comfort and Sport settings. A drive in a US-spec petrol car didn't reveal much else, so we’ll wait for a UK drive before delivering more detailed driving impressions on petrol Allspace variants.
The Allspace is offered with a choice of five petrol and diesel engines, with the vast majority of customers expected to opt for the entry-level 148bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel. It’s more than up to the task of carrying out school run duties and shopping trips, but a more powerful version would be better suited for longer trips, especially when carrying a full quota of seven people.
A punchy 237bhp sits at the top of the diesel range, but the best all-rounder is likely to be the 187bhp 2.0 TDI. Petrol power comes courtesy of 1.4 and 2.0 TSI versions, with outputs of 148bhp and 177bhp.
Whether your Tiguan comes with two or four-wheel drive depends on engine choice. The 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol is front-wheel drive only, while the 177bhp 2.0-litre petrol is 4x4 by default.
The 2.0-litre diesel can be had either as a two or four-wheel drive model, while the two more powerful diesel options are paired exclusively with VW's 4MOTION 4x4 setup.
MPG, CO2 and Running Costs
Our 148bhp 2.0 TDI test car offered fuel economy of 55.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 132g/km, which equates to a first-year VED rate of £200, followed by £140 from year two. Note if you push the Allspace's price up to or past the £40,000 mark by specifying enough options or choosing one of the more upmarket engine/trim combinations, you'll pay a £310 road tax surcharge from years two to six of the car's life.
The Tiguan Allspace starts in insrurance group 16 out of 50 for the entry-level 1.4-litre petrol model in SE Navigation guise. The 177bhp petrol is in group 22, while the diesels range from groups 17 to 29, with the BiTDI being the most expensive to insure.
The standard Tiguan offers competitive residuals, although its high prices mean that in relative terms it will lose more money than its rivals. If anything, we’d expect the extra space offered by the Allspace to lead to stronger residuals, with the seven-seat version becoming a used car hero.
Interior, design and technology
The Tiguan and Tiguan Allspace were developed at the same time, and if anything, the new version is the better looking of the two. That it has a hint of the US-market VW Atlas about it should come as no surprise, as the Allspace was designed to appeal to our American cousins. In fact, US buyers don’t get the standard car - only the long-wheelbase version tested here.
Volkswagen could have simply extended the length of the body and leave it at that, but instead it has worked hard to give it a personality of its own, enabling the Allspace to occupy the space between the Tiguan and the Touareg.
The changes are subtle, but effective, from the longer rear doors, to the higher bonnet, through to the tweaked side window line, individual radiator grille and chrome strip that stretches across the entire front end.
This front section can be ordered in on-road and off-road versions, with the latter including a special off-road package, which improves the approach angle by seven degrees. Roof rails come as standard, and a are complemented by structural lines which you won’t find on the regular Tiguan.
Inside, the Allspace offers few surprises, with a sense of quality and refinement that isn’t a given in this segment. In common with other Volkswagens, it’s a sombre affair, but there’s no doubting the high-end fit and finish.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
Some Allspace models are available with Volkswagen’s next-generation Discover Pro infotainment system, which includes an eight-inch touchscreen display, 3D mapping, DAB digital radio and gesture control.
Other tech includes the Active Info Display – basically a screen in place of traditional instrumentation – while DAB digital radio and Bluetooth are standard on all models.
Practicality, comfort and boot space
The Tiguan Allspace works great as a five-seater, offering a huge boot and more space for rear seat passengers. The availability of a third row of seats will present a useful option, but these are best reserved for small children. Annoyingly, however, the third row seats do not feature ISOFIX points, limiting the types of child seats that can be placed in them.
Whether or not the Allspace represents true value for money over the regular Tiguan will remain unclear until Volkswagen has released pricing details for the UK market. We’d expect a like-for-like premium of £2,000 for the Allspace, creating a starting price around £25,000. However, it could be far more - as some seven-seat rivals boast eye-watering list prices.
The Tiguan Allspace is 4,701mm long, making it 215mm longer than the regular Tiguan and 4mm longer than the Skoda Kodiaq. Weirdly, however, a Kodiaq feels like a bigger car on the road.
Predictability, the Allspace is the same width as the standard Tiguan (2,099mm including door mirrors), with the standard-fit roof rails increasing the height to 1,674mm.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
Thanks to the extended wheelbase, the Allspace offers an additional 54mm of knee room and 60mm more legroom for second row passengers, making it more of a genuine rival for the Kodiaq. Space in the third row is very poor, though, and adult passengers will have to sit with their knees around their ears.
Volkswagen told us that it expects most customers to opt for the five-seat Allspace, which is hardly surprising given the size of the boot. A huge 760 litres is on offer, which is 145 litres more than you’d find in the regular model.
Opt for the 5+2 version and the luggage capacity drops to 700 litres with the seats folded up, or 230 litres with the seats folded away.
In five-seat guise, with the second row of seats folded away using the standard remote unlatching function, the Tiguan offers a van-like 1,920 litres of storage. In seven-seat configuration, this drops to 1,775 litres.
Reliability and Safety
The previous Volkswagen Tiguan was hardly a byword for reliability in our Driver Power surveys, but the current model had a decent showing in our 2018 poll, coming 29th out of 75 cars. That result was largely down to decent scores for practicality, interior comfort and infotainment though, with less impressive ratings for reliability and build quality.
At least Volkswagen as a company did well, coming fifth out of 26 manufacturers in our 2018 Driver Power brand survey.
Positive news is also to be found when turning to matters of safety: the standard Tiguan was awarded a maximum five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP, with an impressive 96 per cent for adult occupant protection. The other scores were 84 per cent for child safety, 72 per cent for pedestrian safety, and 68 per cent for safety assist technologies. We expect the Allspace version to perform just as well.
Standard safety kit includes lane-keeping assist, post-collision brake assist, pedestrian monitoring and emergency braking, as well as a host of airbags and stability and traction control systems.
The Tiguan Allspace is covered by Volkswagen’s standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty. You can also choose to extend the manufacturer’s warranty to four years/75,000 miles, or five years/90,000 miles at extra cost.
Service intervals are flexible, but Volkswagen recommends that the Tiguan is serviced every 12 months or between 10,000 and 18,000 miles.