Five things you need to know about the Volkswagen Tiguan
Winter is coming, as they say on that popular TV show everyone watches except me. For motorists, that could mean anything from putting pre de-icer on all the car windows while freezing in your pyjamas because you forgot until right before you were falling asleep to getting the winter tyres out of the garage.
For others out there, especially those whose leasing contract is coming to an end, it could mean looking at getting an SUV or crossover with four wheel or all-wheel drive. Enter the Volkswagen Tiguan for your consideration.
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Longer, wider and lower than the previous version – thereby making it more practical – the Tiguan comes to us at a time when practicality, performance, comfort and versatility are high on driver’s needs.
Having been impressed during our first drive review, here’s five things we discovered during our time with the Tiguan SEL 2.0 TDI:
It can actually go off-road
Yup, while SUVs remain on trend, accounting for 22.5% of the new car market in 2015, so many of them are toothless when it comes to driving on anything other than loose gravel. So while they have the chunky looks and high driving position motorists are drawn to, that’s where the similarity ends.
Not so with the Tiguan. When you couple the on demand four-wheel drive of the SEL spec with extra ground clearance, various driving modes, underbody protection and bigger approach and departure angles, you can really make the most of the car’s off-roading potential.
If you really want to put the Tiguan through its paces off-road, there’s an optional Outdoor Pack add-on which offers reworked bumpers to further improve the approach and departure angles as well as an additional front underbody protection and chrome door sill protectors. Just avoid treating it like a ten-year-old Land Rover Defender, especially if you’re leasing.
If you’re sensible about these things though and know for a fact you won’t be veering off the road at all, the Tiguan is also available in a two-wheel drive petrol edition.
Comfort is its big priority
While relatively compact inside, the Tiguan offers more space than a Qashqai and better refinement. Getting comfortable is easy, thanks to electric seat and steering wheel adjustment, and the layout of the dashboard is user-friendly and easy to navigate with all the switches and controls laid out logically and minimally.
The plush interiors are also thoroughly comfy, offering heated seats in the front and plenty of space in the back, while the driver and front passenger’s needs are looked after with plenty of cubbyholes for everything from your standard drinks holder to drawers under the seats for valuables.
Driving it is effortless
If you’re looking for thrills and unbridled excitement from your motor, you should probably look elsewhere. What the Tiguan offers drivers instead is effortless and ease when you’re behind the wheel.
In spending a week behind the wheel of the Tiguan I felt it handled a lot like a conventional hatchback, moreso than many of its stated rivals, and this is something that will certainly put drivers who are upgrading to the SUV at ease. The steering is light and precise, which makes the car easy to manoeuvre on the road, and there’s plenty of grip as you’d expect. However, the suspension is a bit firm and while it handles speed bumps and potholes well you’d be advised to take it easy going over them.
It has exceptional running costs
For a car this size, diesel makes the most sense when it comes to engine choice. Our two litre diesel seven-speed auto SEL model has an official combined mpg of 49.6, and our real world mpg figures weren’t far off at all.
These numbers are obviously helped by the stop/start engine, but at times it felt far too keen to kick in and cease power. This is in comparison to my recent outing in the Ford Edge where the stop/start tech seemed to give a grace period before shutting the engine off as opposed to the VW which stops the minute you break fully.
It’s an ideal lease
The Volkswagen Tiguan has come under a bit of stick for its on the road price of £21,725 for the basic S spec to £37,685 for the R-Line – positioning it alongside the likes of luxury models such as the BMW X1 at the higher end. This is despite the fact that VW has been marketing it as a challenger for volume makes and models such as the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga which offer comparative spec vehicles at a much lower price.
Current lease rates circumnavigate that, and there are some really enticing deals out there at the minute, making it a lot more reasonable lease deal than an outright purchase.