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Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

This section often opens by describing exactly how much a new model has grown upwards, outwards or between the axles. Mostly we detail fairly small dimensional changes – but not so the Tiguan’s.

Next to the outgoing car, the new model’s roof is 33mm lower, its wheel arches extend 30mm farther outwards and it is 60mm longer overall and 77mm longer in the wheelbase.

The primary controls all have the same weight; the secondary ones are exactly where you expect to find them. You could drive it with your eyes shut — probably

The combined effect is to make the car appear wider, more planted and much less lofty and upright, something to which a higher waistline for the car’s bodysides contribute tellingly.

Bold radiator grille and headlight styling boosts the impression of width and solidity up front, while the sharply cut shoulder lines and bonnet creases and crisp details speak of the kind of technical precision that motivates so many of us to buy German. It’s a convincing redesign.

Here, the VW Group’s MQB platform gets its first outing on an SUV. Its steel construction confers a front transverse engine layout and all-independent suspension via struts at the front and multi-links at the rear – which is predominantly how the first Tiguan was configured

A redesign of the underbody has increased static torsional rigidity at the same time as increasing overall length and enlarging the hatchback opening – and that’s no mean feat.

The technical specification is equally impressive. As well as choosing between front and Haldex-type clutch-based four-wheel drive, you can option up Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive damping and a ‘progressive’ variable-rate steering rack.

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There’s an Outdoor suspension set-up, which raises ride height and ground clearance by around 15mm, or passive sports suspension, which lowers it by the same margin.

The engine range includes a 178bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol unit and a 237bhp twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel, driving through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox in both cases.

Want premium-brand levels of power and mechanical variety from your downsized SUV? You got it.

Volkswagen also claims to have taken up to 53kg out of the kerb weight, old model for new. That seems entirely believable when the car weighed 1610kg on our scales – lighter, even, than VW’s claim.