As it often does with its cars, Volkswagen is offering a wide range of engines in the Tiguan – three petrol and four diesel – as well as a choice of manual or dual-clutch automatic gearboxes, front or four-wheel drive and regular, lowered sports or jacked-up ‘Outdoor’ suspension set-ups.
Our test car is a 148bhp 2.0 TDI in SE Navigation trim, a combination of powertrain and trim that is predicted to be the most popular in the UK.
Volkswagen Tiguan: at a glance
The basic Tiguan S trim is your starting point, boasting air-con, alloy wheels and an 8.0in touchscreen. SE and SE Nav, which morphed into Vokswagen Tiguan 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 VW Tiguan R-Line adds a bodykit. You’d need to want all this stuff, though, because they’re considerably more expensive than SE versions.
These higher trims introduce more powerful but less economical engines in the shape of the 187bhp 2.0 TDI and 237bhp twin-turbocharged VW Tiguan 2.0 BiTDI, both with 4Motion four-wheel drive. The lesser-powered unit gets our vote.
The most powerful petrol-engined versions at this level are the 2.0 TSI 190 and 230 4Motion DSG. The 190 can do 0-62mph in 7.7sec but don’t expect much more than 35mpg. Neither is numerous on the used market and prices are stiff.
Lower down the power chain are the 123bhp and punchier 148bhp 1.4 TSI petrols. They’re reasonably plentiful, with the 148bhp model being a good choice if you live near a city threatening a diesel ban. In 2019, these petrol models were replaced by slightly more economical 1.5 TSI Evo engines. Later the same year, the low-power and extremely rare 113bhp 2.0 TDI 115 was ditched in favour of a 113bhp 1.6 TDI.
Us? We’d go for a 2016-reg 2.0 TDI 150 or 1.4 TSI 150 in SE Nav trim and enjoy the Golf life with a better view and a bigger boot but about the same fuel economy.
Volkswagen Tiguan FAQs
Is the Volkswagen Tiguan available as a plug-in hybrid or electric?
Volkswagen has been at the forefront of the recent electric revolution, so while there’s no EV version of its Tiguan SUV there is a plug-in hybrid. Badged the eHybrid, it uses a similar petrol-electric set-up that’s available in the Golf and Arteon. Badged eHybrid, it uses a 1.4-litre petrol with an electric motor to deliver a total power output of 242bhp and an all-electric range of 28 miles. With CO2 emissions of just 39g/km, it makes a great company car choice.