Take one Golf, raise it up, give it a roomier and more practical body and voilà: you’ve got a Tiguan. The SUV even shares many of the same engines with its hatchback sibling but optional four-wheel drive, called 4Motion, is available on most versions.
The point is, the reasons you might buy a Golf – its restrained good looks, quality build, comfortable driving experience, smooth and economical engines, good level of standard equipment and easy resale – are why you might also buy a Tiguan, plus a few more. They include extra space and a roomier boot with the possibility of sliding and folding the back seats to create a load space of up to 1655 litres.
The Mk2 Tiguan under the spotlight here was launched in 2016. Prices start at around £11,000 for a 2016-reg 2.0 TDI 150 SE with 96,000 miles, or make that £14,500 with 46,000 miles. With 148bhp on tap and at least 50mpg in everyday motoring, this model and the SE Nav version are plentiful on the used market. The standard six-speed gearbox is smooth but the DSG, a dual-clutch automatic, brings an extra level of refinement and is more economical.
Basic S trim is cheaper and still has air-con, alloy wheels and an 8.0in touchscreen but SE and SE Nav, which morphed into Match in 2018, add larger alloys, more driver aids, privacy glass and mirror linking for your phone. SE L spoons on climate control, a panoramic sunroof and a 12.3in TFT display, while top-spec R-Line adds a bodykit. You’d need to want all this stuff, though, because they’re considerably more expensive than SE versions. For instance, a 2016-reg 2.0 TDI 150 SE L with 78,000 miles comes in at £15,500.
These higher trims introduce more powerful but less economical engines in the shape of the 187bhp 2.0 TDI and 237bhp twin-turbocharged 2.0 BiTDI, both with 4Motion four-wheel drive. The lesser-powered unit gets our vote.