In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Tiguan review - Interior, design and technology

Solid design is functional and tech is user-friendly, but the Tiguan could do with a style boost

The old Volkswagen Tiguan was beginning to look its age alongside more modern opposition such as the Range Rover Evoque and Renault Kadjar, but this model will appeal to a very style-conscious market, especially in higher-spec trims. It brings a sleeker front bumper, a more intricate headlight design with daytime running lights, and LED tail-lights. 

Overall, the design is much squarer, taking inspiration from the Golf and larger Touran MPV, with its sharp creases and solid surfaces.

The Volkswagen Tiguan comes in four main specifications, including the entry-level S model, Match, SEL and top-of-the-range R-Line Tech versions. Equipment levels in Volkswagen Tiguan S models are a bit sparse, but you do get air con, 17-inch alloy wheels, a touchscreen infotainment system, automatic lights and lane-keeping assistance.  

Step up to Match trim and VW will throw in larger 19-inch alloys, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, chrome exterior trim, sat-nav, keyless entry and a number of active driving aids.

SEL trim adds LED headlights, automatic headlights, dual-zone climate control, and a panoramic sunroof. R-Line Tech gets more or less the same upgrades but adds a sportier look to the car’s exterior, including a comprehensive body kit and 20-inch alloys.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The dashboard and infotainment system in the Tiguan will be very familiar to those who have driven a Golf or Passat. The design is more sensible than stylish, but everything is very logically laid out and simple to get along with.  

S models get the eight-inch infotainment system that made its debut in the new Mk7.5 Golf, so there’s a smart-looking glossy screen flanked by touch-sensitive hot keys to navigate to the main areas of the infotainment system.

Also standard is the Car-Net App Connect set-up, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone connectivity, making services such as music streaming easier to use. VW’s Think Blue Trainer helps to boost your efficiency, plus you get Bluetooth, DAB and real-time traffic services.

You can upgrade to the Discover Nav Pro system, with a larger 9.2-inch screen which is backed by a 64GB SSD hard drive that means it calculates routes and updates much more quickly. There’s also a speed limit display, as well as the option to overlay Google Earth imagery on to the mapping, while gesture control is also included.

However, this is a bit of a gimmick; we’d save our money and spend it on the hi-tech 10.3-inch Active Info Display. This shows the sat-nav map in front of the driver as part of different customisable screens. It’s not cheap, but it’s a great feature that really sets the VW apart. SEL and R-Line Tech models get this as standard.

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