What is it?
This 237bhp 2.0-litre twin-turbo Volkswagen Tiguan is the fullest, fattest diesel you can have in the new car's range. It can be ordered either as a comfort-oriented SEL or a sportier R-line and it provides 4Motion all-wheel drive and a seven-speed DSG transmission as standard.
That 237bhp easily shades anything Land Rover can offer from its size-equivalent stable of Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque, besides outmuscling the most powerful 227bhp BMW X1 xDrive 25d, if not the 375bhp Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 and the 334bhp and 362bhp RS versions of the Audi Q3. We’re considering premium models, incidentally, because no SUV from a volume maker comes close to this Tiguan’s power output.
Of course, most SUVs aren’t bought to advance the horizon at a breathless rate and this Tiguan is more of an all-rounder than the performance models among this bunch. But that’s where this Tiguan’s projected £38,000 price positions it.
And its engine is as much about fuel economy as chasing sports cars, with its 44.1mpg combined and 167g/km easily improving on the figures of these premium rivals. Its injector pumps fuel it at a pressure of 2500 bar and the 200 bar combustion pressures call for a bespoke cylinder head and head gasket that can clamp it to the block without bursting. The block itself, though, is common to less potent 2.0-litre diesels. For this bi-turbo version, the turbos are sequential and integrated, with the larger one pumping early on and the smaller one force-feeding at high revs.
This latest phase of the Tiguan roll-out incorporates some connectivity upgrades and what VW calls security and safety features. Bundled under the Car-Net brand, these include the now mandatory ability of the car to contact the emergency services post-accident either via an occupant’s button press or, if they’re unable, by remotely determining the unfolding of an incident and its severity. Features previously the preserve of VW’s electric models – such as using your smartphone and an app to check its fuel level, confirming that the car is locked and triggering a breakdown call by pressing a button – are also provided.
The system monitors the car’s servicing and repair needs, too, and can transmit these to the owner’s preferred dealer ahead of the work. You can also remotely interrogate the car’s trip computer and check that its windows are shut and the lights are off.
Rather creepily, it can tell you whether the car has entered a particular area or exceeded a speed that you would prefer it didn’t, by pre-programming the navigation. That might be useful for admonishing offspring guilty of visiting a dubious club, perhaps, the car alerting you via your smartphone, but it’s more likely to be useful to rental companies readying themselves for the car’s return to base.