Based on the hugely successful VW Golf, the Tiguan is one of the best crossovers on the market. Although more smart than stylish, it is extremely versatile and the BlueMotion models offer diesel engines with greater fuel economy.
The VW Tiguan 2.0 TDI BlueMotion tech model is the most energy efficient due to its regenerative breaking, longer gearing, and start stop technology, giving an average mpg of 53+, and CO2 emissions of 139g/km-providing a good balance between efficiency and powerful performance. Obviously, by adding aspects such as four wheel drive and an automatic gearbox, these energy ratings become less impressive.
Although not as sleek and stylish as other options on the market, the Tiguan is faithful to its Volkswagen roots by being compact and well organised, with solid, high quality construction. The re-furbished 2011 version brings it up to date with current trends by including LED taillights, daytime running lights, a new-look front bumper and a more pronounced two-bar grille. Inside the cabin, it is organised logically, in a typical VW manner. The basic level offers air-con, four electric windows, alloys, AUX inputs and a digital radio. More advanced versions add Bluetooth, touch screen display, dual-zone climate control and USB sockets amongst other things. The off-road Escape model naturally includes a fortified under body for more protection on rough or unpredictable terrain.
Control and manoeuvrability
One of the aspects developed from the VW Golf is the manoeuvrability, which is surprisingly good when taking into account of the Tiguan`s size. The steering wheel and driver’s seat are fully adjustable and their high position gives more control and comfort to drivers of any size. The Tiguan does feel a lot more comfortable on the road than off it, but the Escape model will offer hill descent control and a specially designed front end for more control and grip in any terrain. The diesel version handles smoothly and quietly meaning that very little engine noise is heard. The firm suspension does however mean that it can be a little shaky going over pot holes and bumpy roads. Rear visibility can also be a problem due to obstruction and a small rear screen, but a rear-view parking camera can be bought as an add-on to rectify this problem.
When tested in 2009, the VW Tiguan won a 5 star Euro NCAP rating, mainly due to its standard electronic stability control, along with driver and passenger seatbelt reminders, six airbags, electronic brake assist and traction control. All models also come fitted with deadlocks and an alarm to help protect from theft.
The spacious Tiguan can easily fit four full-sized adults – five at a push, but far less comfortable for longer journeys! There is plenty of head and leg room both in the front and back, with the rear seats being easily folded down to create more storage space in the boot. The high load lip to the boot means that it is not so easy to load heavy items, but the high boot floor does help. The front passenger seat also folds down making it easier to load long items.
The VW Tiguan isn`t the cheapest car in the showroom, but once purchased (especially the diesel and two wheel drive versions) it is relatively cheap to run. It is priced competitively compared to its rivals and Volkswagen vehicles generally hold their value well. Currently, prospective buyers can benefit from deposit contributions and free UK delivery on the Tiguan at JCB Volkswagen showrooms in Kent, as well as fixed price servicing to ensure costs are kept as low as possible throughout the year.