Next time the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary choose to redefine the word ‘functional’ they could spare themselves a lot of time and effort by just showing a shot of the inside of the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The cabin is such style-lite zone it seems form has been made to follow function at such a distance it got lost on the way. And those who buy cars for what they do rather than what they say, wouldn’t have it any other way.

The fascia is pure Golf Plus, though no less neatly assembled

The driving position, for example, is technically perfect. The seat, wheel and pedals are all correctly aligned (you’d be amazed at how often manufacturers stil fail in this most simple regard, especially with right hand drive cars), and the seat has long runners and excellent height adjustment. Better, the steering wheel telescopes so far that if could you pulled it any closer to your chest you might be mistaken for a BTCC driver.

The switchgear massed around an easily read central screen is beyond serious complaint while the dials eschew all attempts at funkiness in favour of simply getting you the information you need as clearly and concisely as possible. Only the small bank of switches where you can switch off the stop/start system, activate ‘off road’ mode in Escape versions and disable the traction control looks like an after thought.

For the class the Tiguan is also quite spacious, albeit not to be mistaken for a mini-SUV. There is of course not even the option of third row seating, but the back seats do slide and recline individually while the centre seat or, we should say, perch, can be folded down to provide an armrest with a handy couple of drinks holders. Stowage space elsewhere on board is good, but not exceptional.

The boot however is quite large and easily accessed through the sensibly shaped tailgate. There’s no underfloor storage however, that area being allocated to a space-saving spare tyre


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