Volkswagen Magazine


Top of the Pile.

Volkswagen’s revamped Tiguan could just be the most important vehicle release of the year.

Words Jeffrey James

Good things are supposed to come in small packages. But Volkswagen’s new Tiguan reveals the opposite to be true. The second generation of the groundbreaking SUV is bigger than its predecessor in every sense and packs a mighty punch with its cutting-edge technology, refined driving dynamics and unabashed practicality.

Volkswagen broke the mould with its original Tiguan, a car that challenged what people thought was possible from an adventurous model based on the iconic Golf.

Customers around the world welcomed the original Tiguan into more than 2.8 million homes across 170 countries, establishing it as one of Volkswagen’s most important models and one of the best-selling compact SUVs on the road.

The all-new Tiguan builds on that legacy by introducing a level of technology and safety equipment not seen before in an SUV in this country. With its world-class cabin a match for any premium SUVs currently on the market, it’s sure to maintain its status as a favourite choice for adventure-ready drivers around the globe.

Impressions Count

Taking the Tiguan for a test drive in Berlin, Germany’s achingly cool capital city, presented Volkswagen Magazine with the chance to see the vehicle up close and personal for the first time.
Even with a cursory glance, it’s clear that the Tiguan heralds a new face for Volkswagen’s growing family of SUVs, adding a dash of rugged appeal to the cohesive style debuted by the latest Passat. Its grille and headlights flow across the front of the car under a chrome character line that serves as a determined brow. Whereas the previous Tiguan’s lines flowed gently, the overall effect now is one of chiselled strength.

A high waistline and seamless door handles add to the crisp look of a new model 60mm longer and 30mm wider than the outgoing car, with a 28mm reduction in height giving it a more crouched look. There is an extra 76mm in the wheelbase to lend better stability and interior space. And despite its larger body, some variants weigh significantly less than the previous model.
The extra room offered by the latest model is immediately apparent once nestled inside the cabin. Not only is there more legroom in the front and rear, there is an exceptional amount of space in the boot. The Tiguan’s 615L luggage area is the most roomy in its class—a significant point of difference for a vehicle bound to appeal to busy families.
Then there is Volkswagen’s legendary fit-and-finish, evident again in the Tiguan. Premium appointments throughout are topped off with 3-Zone Climate Control air-conditioning, which incorporates an air quality sensor and an anti-allergen filter for maintaining air quality.

Entertainment Central.

Volkswagen’s latest App-Connect system allows almost any smartphone to integrate seamlessly with the model’s 8-inch display. Key features from Apple and Android phones are neatly replicated on the screen, while other handsets can make use of MirrorLink functionality to extend infotainment software into the car. With optional Area View, vision can be displayed from fixed front, side and rear external cameras—great for negotiating tricky obstacles and handy when reversing with a trailer.

Spoilt for Choice.

Volkswagen Australia is set to offer customers the choice of three petrol engines (a 1.4-litre petrol engine with 110kW, and two 2.0-litre petrol motors with 132kW and 162kW) and a pair of 2.0-litre diesel units offering 110kW and 140kW.

Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system and a seven-speed automatic dual-clutch gearbox are standard in all but the entry-level 1.4-litre model, which drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual or DSG transmission.

The Tiguan will be available in Trendline, Comfortline and Highline trim lines with cloth seats in the first two levels. Opt for the top-end Highline specification and you can enjoy the supple comfort of Vienna leather appointed upholstery.

A Car for the Modern Age.

Technology is a key theme of the all-new Tiguan, which has plenty of features that can’t be found on $100,000 luxury models, let alone rival cars in the sub-$60,000 medium-size SUV space.

One of the most noticeable upgrades is the availability of an 12.3-inch Active Info Display. It didn’t take long for us to customise the digital dashboard to our liking and we were certainly in no danger of losing our way among Berlin streets that demanded to be explored.

The display has plenty of features that are unique to the Tiguan, such as a dedicated off-road mode with a compass and steering angle sensor. Full-LED headlights are also available in Highline trim, bringing a clearer, whiter beam and the ability to help drivers see around corners. Naturally, the Tiguan follows many models in the Volkswagen range by offering effortless smartphone connectivity via App-Connect. There are also clever touches such as optional Area View cameras that offer 360-degree confidence when parking in tight spots.

Berlin and Back

Take a drive around Berlin and you quickly realise that the city’s highways and byways are a damn sight better than our own. So smooth are the roads and so well-sighted are the bends that it’s easy to cruise around without really taxing a car’s hardware.

There were barely any imperfections on our test route but the Tiguan’s adaptive suspension and excellent body construction should make it a safe bet for Australia’s less-than-perfect tracks. The newest member of the Volkswagen family also felt rock-solid at speed on the autobahns, making it ideal for a cheeky weekend away.

It doesn’t take long for the Tiguan’s Adaptive Chassis Control (available in the R-Line package) to impress with its assured roadholding and driver-adjustable dynamics. And progressive speed-sensitive steering intuitively adjusts to the car’s surroundings to minimise driver effort at low speed.

Volkswagen’s latest Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system is an optional extra that can help take the frustration out of stop-start traffic. It works in league with an improved Lane Assist feature that can steer errant cars back onto the right path. The Tiguan also features a first for Volkswagen in that it has a pop-up bonnet that rises away from the motor during a crash—technology with the potential to protect pedestrians from serious injury.

Occupants are protected by a comprehensive safety suite of seven airbags, including driver’s knee protection, as well as class-leading features like Volkswagen’s Automatic Multi-Collision Brake System and Front Assist with emergency braking.

Off the Bitumen

An exacting offroad test would have to wait for another time, but we were able to take the Tiguan onto dirt by taking a detour to visit Berlin’s Mellowpark skating complex. Here enough proof was given that the Tiguan offers the precision and stability to handle any challenges put before it. The vehicle’s impressive 200mm of ground clearance proved useful on a tricky obstacle course that also put its Hill Descent Assist and 4x4 systems to the test. Variable drive modes with tarmac, off-road and slippery surface settings for the drivetrain and suspension also came in handy, giving the car an unfair advantage on tricky terrain.

While many cars claim to be all-new models, the Tiguan truly deserves that name. It’s more capable, luxurious and practical than before, giving drivers access to a host of features without having to spend six-figures on a top-end SUV. It’s a very good package indeed.

Volkswagen’s SUV boom.

The Tiguan represents the start of a global SUV product offensive for Volkswagen, one that will see the brand offer a competitive SUV in every segment.

In addition to the next-generation Touareg, Volkswagen Australia intends to release a production model based on the T-Roc Concept, a Golf-sized crossover set to be released in 2017.

There are also plans for the release of a Polo-sized SUV based on the T-Cross Breeze Concept (below) that Volkswagen Head of Design Klaus Bischoff says is a “teaser for the most compact sport utility vehicle that Volkswagen plans to make”. The barrage of new models will ensure the brand has a product to cater to every customer considering an SUV in coming years.