Practical Performer — VW Tiguan


What it lacks in performance finesse, the Volkswagen Tiguan makes up for in other ways.

With its sharp design, accentuated by long lines, many acting perpendicular to each other,  and subtly pressed to deliver an overall pacy look, the Tiguan is easy on the eye.

Heave the heavy door open and climb in, and that feeling of being in a welcoming and pleasant place is reinforced. The familiar VW look and feel is in place, with ample legroom and headroom. If you’re really tall, you’ll appreciate the panoramic roof which lets you feel a little closer to the heavens.

The ease with which everything functions is a distinct advantage. The active information display and the head up display make their debut in the Tiguan. The latter is always handy,  so you keep your hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road. Only problem is, the position of the information is fixed, and isn’t height adjustable.

The options to switch between displays on the digital dials lets you find a good balance of information for your needs. While most of the required information can be accessed via the multifunction steering wheel, there are some that take a few more steps.

Der neue Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line

The 400-watt Dynaudio sound system delivers quite a performance, especially in the additional space on offer in the Tiguan. But to adjust the levels, requires a few steps, and once you lock into a type of sound, you should have a songlist that is suitable. But with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity, it’s not such a chore.

Versatile Engine

It gets from 0-100kmh in under seven seconds, but it makes it known the effort required to do this. The two-litre engine that is found on the Golf GTi to great effect, has to cope with a lot more metal, weight, aerodynamic resistance. Although it is 50kg lighter and 33cm lower than its predecessor, it’s still quite a bit taller than the nippy Golf.

That said, it does offer a fuel efficient ride that is 24% better than its predecessor, courtesy of a turbocharger, direct injection, the annoying start-stop system and battery regeneration.


As a people carrier, the Tiguan is an excellent transporter. Once you’ve kicked the large rear boot lid open — try not to get your head knocked off when you’re kicking under the centre of the rear bumper to activate the auto door (any Riverdance training would be handy to help you skip out of the way with packages in hand) — there’s a vast expanse of space to lay your bundles down.

The sense of space is abundantly evident in the front, with lots of glass around to give you a good view of what’s outside. And if you’re in a parking spot, the aerial view is very handy, indeed. It’s not often you see a quarter light in cars these days, but the little rectangle following the A pillar gives that comforting sense of visibility.

If you’re in need of a car with more than decent looks and a willingness to please the Tiguan would probably fit your bill.


Styling: 7/10

Interior: 6.5/10

Ride: 5.5/10

Handling: 5.5/10

Power: 5.5/10

Overall: 6.5/10


Engine: 4 cylinder 16 valves TSI turbocharged

Capacity: 1,984cc

Max Power: 162kW@4,500–6,200rpm

Max Torque: 350Nm@1,500–4,400rpm

Transmission: 7-speed

Efficiency: 8L/100km

CO2: 183g/km

0-100kmh: 6.5 seconds

Top Speed: 220kmh

Retail price: *$192,400

Please reconfirm price with dealer.

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