Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good The Volkswagen Tiguan was launched in Australia June 2008 and received a facelift in October 2011. Drawing from Volkswagen’s design DNA, the new Tiguan features horizontal 'chrome look' lines on the front grille. At the rear, new two-part light clusters give the Tiguan its distinct appearance. Attractive styling - unlike some SUV’s the Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t look like it’s eaten one too many apple strudels; its relatively compact dimensions combined with short overhangs and modern conservative lines ensures it never feels or looks too big in traffic. There are high-tech engines on offer and they're environmentally friendly (for an SUV at least).
Not so good It’s designed more for on-road and gravel roads so best not to negotiate rough river crossings or serious waist deep mud - think of it as a slightly larger, higher riding Golf.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good Stylish interior dash design is taken from the Volkswagen Golf and given its own successful flavour; it feels more premium than almost all similar-priced rivals. There's plenty of second row legroom for rear passengers and the rear seats adjust forwards and backwards and also recline so you shouldn’t have any problem getting comfortable (plus, they're positioned higher than the front seats so front visibility is also good).
Not so good At the expense of the smart rear-end styling (no big rear overhang) comes cargo space - when the second row seats are in use the rear cargo capacity is smaller than the segment average.
Performance

Performance

Good There are four engines available across the Tiguan range; three petrol engines and one diesel engine. The entry-level 118TSI features a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, produces 118kW of power and 240Nm of torque. The 118 TSI is only available in two-wheel drive while the rest of the range (103TDI, 132TSI, 155TSI) feature Volkswagen’s innovative 4MOTION all-wheel drive as standard. Next up is the 103TDI featuring a 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine providing 103kW of power and 320Nm of torque. The 132TSI and 155TSI both come equipped with a 2.0-litre TSI turbocharged petrol engine that produces 132kW of power and 280Nm of torque. The Tiguan 118TSI is matched with a 6-speed manual transmission, whilst the 103TDI can be equipped with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG transmission. The Tiguan 132TSI is paired with both 6-speed manual and 7-speed DSG transmissions, while the 155TSI Tiguan is available with a 7-speed DSG transmission only. Both the 103TDI and the 118TSI comes with BlueMotion Technology that includes Start/Stop system, Brake Energy Recuperation and Coasting Function (on 103TDI DSG only). The entry-level 118TSI is a smooth engine and the sleek six-speed manual offers up quick gear changes. However, there is some noticeable lag down.
Not so good For customers wanting the added versatility and the option to venture off-road, you'll have to pay a premium to get into the higher grades as the entry level is only available in two-wheel drive.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good By far the best handling Compact SUV on sale in Australia. The body roll is kept to a minimum (it really does ride similar to Volkswagen's award winning Golf), combine that with the natural communicative steering and the excellent braking feel and you've got a lovely SUV to drive.
Not so good With the excellent handling comes a firmish ride - and not everyone will be a fan of that. The Volkswagen Tiguan 155TSI comes standard with the larger 17-inch alloys wheels so ride is that little bit firmer again.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good The 118TSI grade is our current favourite Tiguan – we thinks it offers the best value for money. Featuring daytime driving lights, six airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Auto Hold function, Brake Assist and Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD). All Tiguan models (expect for the 155TSI) come standard with 16-inch alloy wheels and air conditioning, AM/FM security coded radio with MP3 compatible CD player, Bluetooth phone connectivity as well as Media Device Interface (MDI) which is fitted in the centre console and supplied with USB connection cable.
Not so good Questionable whether it’s the best choice for a young family (who might require less rear legroom and a greater rear cargo space for carrying pushers etc). The engines prefer the more expensive 98 octane rating fuel. Plus the more advanced engine technology means higher servicing costs.