What is it?
The second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan is the first all-new model to emerge from the German car-making giant since it became embroiled in the diesel emissions scandal that has led to the recall of more than 11 million cars worldwide.
First revealed at the Frankfurt motor show last September, the neatly styled SUV represents a big break from its highly successful predecessor, not only terms of appearance and engineering but also positioning and ambition.
Having recorded a healthy 2.6 million sales worldwide with the first-generation model since its introduction back in 2007, Volkswagen has decided to expand the range second time around in a bid to extend the reach of the Tiguan into new and potentially lucrative market segments already occupied by various SUV competitors.
The standard five-seat model driven here is just one of three new Tiguan derivatives set to join the Volkswagen line-up in the next two years.
A seven-seat long-wheelbase variant as well and a more sportingly styled coupé are also under development and planned to reach showrooms in 2017 and 2018 respectively, although there remains a question mark over whether the seven-seater will make it to the UK. The Tiguan coupé, however, is a certainty.
The standard-wheelbase Tiguan has put on 60mm in length and 30mm in width, while in four-wheel-drive guise as driven here, it is a scant 22mm lower than before.
The new Volkswagen will be offered from the start of UK sales with the choice of two turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines, although others are planned to follow as production of the second-generation model is ramped up at Volkswagen’s main factory in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Included among the launch line-up, and tested here, is VW’s familiar 2.0 TSI petrol unit, delivering a peak of 178bhp along with 236lb ft between 1500 and 3950rpm.
As with the first-generation model, though, the majority of UK customers are likely to opt for Volkswagen’s widely used diesel engine, which will initially come in just one state of tune, producing 148bhp and 251lb ft in the 2.0 TDI SCR and 2.0 TDI SCR 4Motion.
As their model name suggests, all new diesel powered Tiguan models come fitted with a so-called selective catalytic reduction (SCR) filter to help rein in nitrous oxide emissions. It necessitates the inclusion of a 12-litre tank housing the AdBlue solution used in the exhaust gas filtration system mounted at the rear underneath the boot.
The initial petrol engine comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and comes with four-wheel drive as standard, while the diesel is available with either a standard six-speed manual gearbox or the seven-speed dual-clutch unit, along with the choice of either front or four-wheel drive.
In 2015, some three-quarters of all Tiguans sold in the UK were four-wheel drive, so it seems smart to offer both the petrol and diesel engine models with it as standard from the beginning.
Volkswagen says its fifth-generation four-wheel drive 4Motion system provides a faster apportioning of power to all four wheels via a process that provides pre-activation of the rear clutch and improved operation of the electronic differentials.
A glance over the specification reveals that the petrol model is the undisputed performance leader of the initial line-up, with a claimed 0-62mph time of 7.7sec and a 129mph top speed. The trade-off comes in economy, with the 2.0 TSI 4Motion having a claimed combined economy figure of 38.7mpg and average CO2 emissions of 168g/km.
By comparison, the initial range-topping diesel, the 2.0 TDI SCR 4Motion, has a 0-62mph time of 9.3sec and a 124mph top speed along with combined consumption of 42.0mpg and a CO2 rating of 147g/km.
Among the petrol powerplants set to be added to the line-up shortly after the new Tiguan’s introduction to the UK is an entry-level 1.4-litre unit with 123bhp and 147bhp and a more powerful version of the existing 2.0-litre engine developing 217bhp.
The diesel line-up will also be expanded to include a base 114bhp 2.0 TDI as well as 188bhp and 236bhp variants of the same unit.