What is it?
Is the New Volkswagen Tiguan a better car than the outgoing model that it replaces? Yes, it is. But does it now come with the all-important sparkle that the old car lacked? No. And that’s a shame. Be in no doubt, however, that this is a competent, spacious and comfortable car that looks the business. But it’s not one that will make you feel special.
What’s it like?
This facelift brings a redesigned grille, revised rear lights and some new engines, including the 158bhp 1.4 TSI twincharger, a 2.0 TSI with 178bhp and the range-topping 207bhp variant of the same unit. There’s a new 109bhp diesel, too.
VW estimates that 90 per cent of Tiguan sales will go to the oil-burners – particularly the 2.0-litre with 138bhp – but it’s the more powerful 168bhp version with a six-speed manual gearbox that we opted to use for the 300-mile route from Munich to Austria’s Wörthersee via mountain roads, fast autobahn and more moderate traffic.
Gone is the gruff engine note, muted by better soundproofing that contributes to the 85kg that VW has added to the Tiguan’s weight. It now tips the scales at a hefty 1695kg.
Taller gearing, aimed at reducing CO2, means the Tiguan is best suited to long motorway hauls. On twisty roads you’ll find yourself making more use than you might expect of the manual ’box in order to get the most out of the SUV’s 258lb ft of torque, but at least it’s a slick-shifting unit. The light steering, meanwhile, is precise and the ride remains composed, ironing out bumps with ease.