From £21,155
More powerful diesel boosts Tiguan's appeal

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Tiguan
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 is it?

Volkswagen has fitted the Tiguan with the higher-powered version of its familiar 2.0-litre common-rail TDI diesel motor.

The vital stats are promising enough, with 168bhp and 258lb of torque - 30bhp and 28lb ft more go than the existing TDI 140.

Happily, the more powerful engine offers near-identical 40mpg fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

What’s it like?

The hotter engine’s extra horsepower adds a useful surge of urgency between 40- and 70mph, which the TDI 140 lacks.

This Tiguan can achieve 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds but, at urban speeds, the engine’s relatively narrow powerband means that you’re still aware of a surprising slothfulness when trying to press on amongst stop-start traffic.

No complaints about the standard manual gearbox though, which works well with this engine and feels typically accurate and well weighted.

The steering is fine too (there’s a button to lighten the weight of the wheel for parking) and the Tiguan’s composed handling is one of its strongest assets.

We also like the spacious cabin, which is cosseting and inviting compared with class rivals, while appearing well made and cleverly thought-out.

True, much of the interior is nicked from the Golf Plus, but neat touches like a felt-lined cubbyhole that’s the perfect sized for a mobile phone, dials that are tastefully backlit and clear, plus the option of a first rate satnav system are all impressive.

Should I buy one?

There’s very little to dislike about the Tiguan TDI 170, but we’d like to think there’s room for a faster halo model to top the range and take advantage of the Tiguan’s decent chassis and handling.

But for now, the TDI 170 offers a more satisfying drive than the less powerful TDI 140. Impressive fuel economy also means you won’t pay a penalty in running costs.

In fact, the 170 isn’t even all that much more expensive to buy than the lesser 140. That means it’ll probably be a no-brain choice for many customers – the upgraded engine certainly bolsters the Tiguan’s already substantial appeal.

Will Powell

Join the debate

Comments
10

14 October 2008

[quote Autocar]

The vital stats are promising enough, with 168bhp and 258lb of torque - 30bhp and 28lb ft more go than the existing TDI 140.

[/quote]

Erm, not according to Volkswagen(vw.co.uk):

TDI 140 236 lb-ft, TDI 170 258 lb-ft, 22 lb-ft more not 28.

Quote: "There’s very little to dislike about the Tiguan TDI 170, but we’d like to think there’s room for a faster halo model to top the range and take advantage of the Tiguan’s decent chassis and handling."

A halo model? What about the 2.0 TSI 200(the Golf GTI engine) version? Or even the 2.0 TSI 170? - 0-60mph 8.5 secs, 125mph top speed, equal to the TDI 170.

Quote: "In fact, the 170 isn’t even all that much more expensive to buy than the lesser 140. That means it’ll probably be a no-brain choice for many customers "

'isn't even all that much more expensive'? £2,200? (£20,495 v £22,695) Twenty-two hundred notes may be a 'no-brain choice' to you, Mr Powell, but not to most I warrant, particularly for a modest 28bhp and 22 lb-ft increase. Surely a 'chip' firm would give more bang for buck from chipping, presuming the internals of the 140/170 TDI engines are the same.

14 October 2008

Re. the £2,200 extra for the TDI 170 over the 140, just looked up ABT Tuning in Germany(who have a UK distribution place in Slough). They charge around €1,500 for chipping the 140PS motor to 170PS:

http://www.abt-sportsline.de/tuning/shop/VW-Tiguan-5N-Motortechnik_379_378_4/produkt/ABT-Leistungssteigerung-906/

ABT are approved by VW I believe. So, it would be possible, at least using German prices as a guide, to save a few hundred quid.

14 October 2008

Very interesting that in VW's home market the extra for the TDI 170 over the 140 is around €1,200 or less than half the £2,200 charged in UK. Amazing!

http://www.volkswagen.de/vwcms_publish/etc/medialib/vwcms/virtualmaster/de/Models/tiguan/media.Par.0011.File.pdf

I would bet that the vastly lower on-cost in Germany/vastly higher on-cost in UK is connected to the high availability and knowledge amongst potential German(performance obsessed) Tiguan buyers of the likes of ABT Tuning, whereas in UK those buying Tiguans - women? - would be unlikely to weigh up the alternative of chipping their cheaper '140'. Very interesting, and shows where serious dosh can be made.

15 October 2008

[quote horseandcart]

Re. the £2,200 extra for the TDI 170 over the 140, just looked up ABT Tuning in Germany(who have a UK distribution place in Slough). They charge around €1,500 for chipping the 140PS motor to 170PS:

[/quote]

Er, and void your warranty. You can't blame Autocar for not exhaustively investigating whether every car can be chip-tuned for less than the cost of the next most powerful engine. Which is a reductive argument that would lead to road-testing some of those '300bhp, 300 miles engine life' Renault 5 Turbos from the early 1990s...

15 October 2008

[quote ESP deactivated]Er, and void your warranty[/quote]

Not so, in practice. Having read ABT's information, they say that they take over the manufacturer(VW)'s guarantee and are able to offer an extended warranty for up to eight years if required. They are not a backstreet, fly-by-night outfit. They are already approved service centre operators for VW/Audi and have longstanding, close technical cooperation with VW.

http://www.abt-sportsline.de/en/abt-tv/

I don't know what you're on about with 'reductive arguments' etc.. Way above my head.

Regardless of third party tuners discussion I still think it noteworthy that VW in Germany charge around a thousand euros - which scotches any need to seek out third party tuners who will charge more for the same thing - for the higher power TDI engine whilst VW in UK feels able to charge well over twice that. That was my main, last point.

15 October 2008

Hmm, good luck getting the UK importer of an aftermarket chip to pay for a freshly eaten gearbox... <br>

It's fine to talk about chipping - I've done it myself on older cars - but I still think its pointless to expect anyone reviewing a new car to look into the myriad different options for chipping it. Surely they have to be tested on a level playing field - as the manufacturers produce them.

16 October 2008

The car's a waste of time anyway. Just get a Golf or Golf Plus, sit on a couple of cushions and hey presto, you have all the benefits of the Tiguan without the premium.

16 October 2008

A word of caution for anyone wishing to chip a diesel VW group product. I have done two now, both from relatively new (10k miles) and both have suffered clutch issues. Checking various forums I don't seem to be the only one to have suffered this problem.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

16 October 2008

[quote julianphillips] The car's a waste of time anyway. Just get a Golf or Golf Plus, sit on a couple of cushions and hey presto, you have all the benefits of the Tiguan without the premium[/quote]

Julian, thank god you don't work for VW's product planning dept. The Tiguan is sold out for a year ahead, at least in Germany, and is number one in sales of smaller class SUVs, barely a year after launch. It's an absolute money-spinner for VW and of course Porsche, who by the way are just about to announce record dosh-making, again, no doubt not unconnected with the Tiguan's wild success and much less with collapsing Porsche sales,

I know this is a petrol-heads' forum but we must recognise outstanding commercial success, especially in hard times. The customer is King!

By the way the Golf Plus is hideous looking.

16 October 2008

I know, I was just being tongue in cheek. I agree, the Golf Plus is hideous. But the Tiguan is no beauty! Its not often that I would prefer a Ford to a VW, but I think I would go for the Kuga over the Tiguan. Incidentally, I have worked in forecasting for a motor manufacturer!!

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