From £21,155
Too expensive, and lacking in refinement and low-down torque

Our Verdict

The Tiguan is based on the Golf platform

Does the Volkswagen Tiguan blend a hint of SUV bad-weather confidence with decent on-road dynamics?

What’s new?

Volkswagen obviously thinks that the crowded soft-roader segment can bear at least one more entrant, with the new Golf-based Tiguan now touching down in right-hand drive form.

Underneath, it shares the same underpinnings as the current Volkswagen Golf, including a development of its “4Motion” four-wheel drive system, so don’t expect stellar performance off-road. We opted to test it with the still-novel 1.4-litre TSI 'twincharger' petrol engine, which uses both a turbocharger and a supercharger to deliver 148bhp and 177lb ft of torque.

What’s it like?

The ride is good, the soft-ish suspension settings are capable of easily absorbing potholes and speed bumps while keeping body roll under control. The Tiguan also handles quite tidily, though turn-in is poor for such a road-biased car. Wind and tyre noise are, however, impressively muted.

Sadly, that’s where the good news ends. We've noticed that the twincharger engine struggles to deliver on its performance claims before, but the heavy Tiguan pretty much overwhelms it.

Not only is the motor as vocal as most modern diesels, but it also suffers from a perplexing lack of low-down torque. Below 2000rpm it felt as though a kitchen blender would have given the test car’s engine a run for its money.

Nor does the TSI pay for itself at the pumps. Volkswagen claims a combined fuel economy figure of just 33.6mpg for the car - which is hardly saving the planet - but even under gentle use we struggled to better 28mpg. The CO2 figure of 199 g/km is nothing special, either.

The Tiguan looks expensive compared to obvious rivals. Our test car weighted in at £19,370 in entry level "S" trim, and the quality of the cabin trim feels a bit insubstantial by Volkswagen's normally high standards.

Should I buy one?

No. You’d be better off with a Skoda Octavia Scout. It’s as quick, more economical, handles better and has comparable ability off the beaten track.

Join the debate

Comments
32

26 February 2008

What is the point of this car?

26 February 2008

The advertising campaign for this car just about sums up the pointlessness of it: "At home in the city". Das Auto? Das waste of time!

26 February 2008

It's a good job you Brits don't make anything any more. You'd go bust overnight.

First the Autocar hotshot journos declare the new Tiguan is crap at launch because of its hopelessly outdated and noisy pump-düse diesel engine - er, it's got a brand new common rail TDI bozos(the 'roadtest' ed. obviously never drove it or lifted the bonnet before writing the report) - and now they follow up with a demolition job on the petrol.

The Tiguan is already No.1 seller in its class in Germany since launch, way ahead of LR Freelander and even the BMW X3. Go to any comparable German car mag website and read its roadtest reports yourself. They all without exception have the Tiguan coming out top for overall performance and value for money.The latest from AutoBild is linked below. It pits the 'crap, underpowered, noisy' 1.4 TSI against the BMW X3 2.0i. Again it comes top by a clear margin. The 'tollen'(fantastic) TSI engine is picked out for particular praise! British Automotive journalism - you couldn't make it up. No wonder the Brits specialize in the finance sector - apparently? Northen Rock anyone? Oh yeah, the high price you reckon - £19 grand a bit - get used to higher prices thanks to your weak pound sterling. The same spec vehicle sells for €27,000 in Germany, which is £20,300 at €1=75p currently. So you're getting a bargain too. Get in there quick before the pound falls further and VW UK are forced into raising their prices!

http://www.autobild.de/artikel/bmw-x3-2.0i_-jeep-patriot-2.4-sport_-vw-tiguan-1.4-tsi_574696.html

26 February 2008

Just to reiterate Niall's earlier post; "What is the point of this car?"

If you must have a medium sized Volkswagen (and I suppose some people must), why not buy a Golf? Exactly what does it offer over a Golf that offsets the increased bulk?

27 February 2008

Kee Law,

no, watch zip TV, especially adverts. However, the new C5 looks great. Great job by the designers, making something look so fresh.

27 February 2008

Your comment on the VW Tiguan amazes me highly. I get a strong feeling that Autocar is either not an independent medium or you are just very biased against products of VW and Audi. The VW Tiguan is an extremely popular car in Europe in the medium SUV segment, it won "the best SUV of the year price" awarded by the readers of "Off-Road" a popular car magazine in Europe. It won all comparison tests with a wide margin which I red sofar in several car magazines of different European countries. The car offers very good driving capacities for an SUV with an enonomical and strong engine, it has a very practical, roomy and comfortable body. The 1.4 TSI engine is very economical in daily use, not when pushed hard like people will probably do in roadtests. The cars that came closest in the comparisontests are the Rover Freelander and the BMW X-3; the latter got only 4 stars though in the NCAP-crashtest. The Tiguan got 5. The offroad capacities are also very good for this type of car, though the Freelander might even be slightly better in this respect. The Honda CR-V,Toyota RAV4 and Mitsubishi Outlander are no match for the Tiguan in European car magazines. I expect the Renault Koleos will be a disappointment like the last Laguna and the Ford Kuga might be the only one to come close.

The sense of this car is it appeal as a roomy all-purpose car, suitable for shopping but also for towing heavy loads. It has all the other advantages of an SUV but it is not too big for the city.

My comment goes also for the Audi A4; this car wins all comparison test in European car magazines and is seen as the standard for a premium midsize sedan or estate. Sorry for all the Ford fans of Autocar, but the Mondeo is regarded in Europe as a good car but in majority of the comparison tests it cannot beat a Audi A4 or a VW Passat. The body finish and engines lack premium quality.

Ritsaart

R.Jeroen

27 February 2008

[quote Ritsaart]

Your comment on the VW Tiguan amazes me highly. I get a strong feeling that Autocar is either not an independent medium or you are just very biased against products of VW and Audi. The VW Tiguan is an extremely popular car in Europe in the medium SUV segment, it won "the best SUV of the year price" awarded by the readers of "Off-Road" a popular car magazine in Europe. It won all comparison tests with a wide margin which I red sofar in several car magazines of different European countries. The car offers very good driving capacities for an SUV with an enonomical and strong engine, it has a very practical, roomy and comfortable body. The 1.4 TSI engine is very economical in daily use, not when pushed hard like people will probably do in roadtests. The cars that came closest in the comparisontests are the Rover Freelander and the BMW X-3; the latter got only 4 stars though in the NCAP-crashtest. The Tiguan got 5. The offroad capacities are also very good for this type of car, though the Freelander might even be slightly better in this respect. The Honda CR-V,Toyota RAV4 and Mitsubishi Outlander are no match for the Tiguan in European car magazines. I expect the Renault Koleos will be a disappointment like the last Laguna and the Ford Kuga might be the only one to come close.

The sense of this car is it appeal as a roomy all-purpose car, suitable for shopping but also for towing heavy loads. It has all the other advantages of an SUV but it is not too big for the city.

My comment goes also for the Audi A4; this car wins all comparison test in European car magazines and is seen as the standard for a premium midsize sedan or estate. Sorry for all the Ford fans of Autocar, but the Mondeo is regarded in Europe as a good car but in majority of the comparison tests it cannot beat a Audi A4 or a VW Passat. The body finish and engines lack premium quality.

Ritsaart

[/quote]

Do you work for VW group?

Apart from the first 2 sentences and the last paragraph, your post reads like a press release for the Tiguan.

27 February 2008

No I do not work for the VW group, I am a car enthusiast, and I like independent and objective tests, based on bare facts and not on subjective feelings.

R.Jeroen

27 February 2008

[quote loather]

It's a good job you Brits don't make anything any more. You'd go bust overnight.

First the Autocar hotshot journos declare the new Tiguan is crap at launch because of its hopelessly outdated and noisy pump-düse diesel engine - er, it's got a brand new common rail TDI bozos(the 'roadtest' ed. obviously never drove it or lifted the bonnet before writing the report) - and now they follow up with a demolition job on the petrol.

The Tiguan is already No.1 seller in its class in Germany since launch, way ahead of LR Freelander and even the BMW X3. Go to any comparable German car mag website and read its roadtest reports yourself. They all without exception have the Tiguan coming out top for overall performance and value for money.The latest from AutoBild is linked below. It pits the 'crap, underpowered, noisy' 1.4 TSI against the BMW X3 2.0i. Again it comes top by a clear margin. The 'tollen'(fantastic) TSI engine is picked out for particular praise! British Automotive journalism - you couldn't make it up. No wonder the Brits specialize in the finance sector - apparently? Northen Rock anyone? Oh yeah, the high price you reckon - £19 grand a bit - get used to higher prices thanks to your weak pound sterling. The same spec vehicle sells for €27,000 in Germany, which is £20,300 at €1=75p currently. So you're getting a bargain too. Get in there quick before the pound falls further and VW UK are forced into raising their prices!

http://www.autobild.de/artikel/bmw-x3-2.0i_-jeep-patriot-2.4-sport_-vw-tiguan-1.4-tsi_574696.html

[/quote]

Nice to see another continental European generalising about an entire nation on the Autocar Forums. Grow up.

27 February 2008

[quote Ritsaart]No I do not work for the VW group, I am a car enthusiast, and I like independent and objective tests, based on bare facts and not on subjective feelings.[/quote]

All car choices are made subjectively. I've never met anyone who has made a car choice without their feelings coming into it. Where would be the fun in that? And as for bare facts, I defer to a famous Englishman who said something about "lies, damned lies and statistics". Tastes in cars vary from person to person, country to country and magazine to magazine; doesn't mean that the conclusions they draw aren't valid. Cool down, fella!

PS I have just noticed that I am today's top poster (glances in mirror, horrified) ...oh my God, I have become JJ!

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