More powerful diesel boosts Tiguan's appeal

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

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julianphillips 16 October 2008

Re: Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 170

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!!

TegTypeR 16 October 2008

Re: Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 170

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.