Earlier this month, VW Ireland hosted the Irish launch of their latest mid-sized SUV offering – the new Tiguan. First off it’s worth noting that this is the first Volkswagen Group SUV to be based on the MQB platform. And what does that mean I hear you wonder? Well it means the new model is lighter, more efficient, and more spacious and comes with a more dramatic drive system. It’s also longer, lower and wider than the model it replaces. The new Tiguan marks the beginning of the arrival of a whole range of new SUVs in the Volkswagen range – with the SEAT Ateca and a Skoda sibling to follow shortly. The Tiguan however is very much the group’s premium offering. From the front, the V-shaped bonnet lines mirror the shape of the lower front bumper. The horizontal lines of the grille blend seamlessly into the LED highlights. High shoulder lines continue back along the Tiguan’s profile until to meet up with the sharply sculptured rear. This new Tiguan is a very smart looker and dressed up in the R-line spec it looks even better!
Open the door and you’re immediately hit by the quality and refinement of the Tiguan. You won’t find big chunks of that hideous glossy, black plastic that dogs so many new cars. The materials ooze quality and are so well put together. Make no mistakes about it because when it comes to putting together solid, well-built and comfortable cabins; VW are miles ahead of the competition. The traditional specification grades for Volkswagen are used with new Tiguan, starting with Trendline and moving through Comfortline, up to the highest specification – Highline. Each level comes with lots of kit and the Active Info Display which comes as standard on the Highline models is quite brilliant. It’s a high-resolution display which replaces the conventional speedometer and presents all the required data and information about the vehicle. It can be tailored to five different views depending on the driver’s requirements or personal preference. With the new Tiguan you’ll also get more headroom and rear seat legroom than the out-going model had, however it’s in terms of luggage capacity where its competitors will cringing. Time and time again I’ve heard people use “space” as the reasoning behind their move up to an SUV. Well boot capacity in the Tiguan is nearly 200 litres more than that of the ever popular Qashqai and it is also 127 litres more than the best-selling car in its class – the Tucson. A larger tailgate than that of its predecessor further emphasises just how practical this Tiguan is.
On the road the Tiguan drives really well, the 150bhp 2.0L TDI of the test isn’t overly powerful but it is responsive. It handles well on country roads and makes for a very comfortable journey. Some might prefer a slightly softer ride but the suspension set up of the new Tiguan along with its fractionally lower ride height really minimalizes body roll. I thought it was really refined drive. The Tiguan will start from €29,720 in petrol form, with a 1.4-litre TSI engine putting out 125bhp and starts at €33,765 for a 2.0-litre TDI engine putting out 150bhp. There is one diesel engine size available initially, a 2.0-litre unit, putting out 150bhp with a choice of two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, with 4Motion All-Wheel Drive available in diesel engines from 150bhp upwards. An entry-level 2.0-litre diesel, putting out 115bhp will be available in early 2017, as well as 2.0-litre diesel engines with 190- and 240 bhp – pricing has yet to be finalised for these models.
It might be a bit pricier than some of its competitors but VW are leaving its SEAT and Skoda siblings look after that. The premium feel of this new Tiguan really does set it apart from the competition.