Given the injection pressures involved, this engine is pretty light on clatter, although there are less potent 2.0 diesels out there that pump more subtly. Refinement on this front is entirely acceptable, though. Slightly less impressive are the occasional stumbles of a DSG transmission whose gear-shuffling skills sometimes betray their shortcomings with a thump.
Still less pleasing is the Tiguan’s ride on optional 20in rims (19s are standard), which tackle under-tyre turbulence with the sophistication of a pedal car on pavé. These big wheels are very probably an option to avoid in Britain. Still, they deliver plenty of grip, allowing the Tiguan to corner with unobtrusive confidence. For keen drivers, though, that unobtrusiveness will border on the dull.
In other directions, the Tiguan impresses with vitals that include construction quality, roominess, convenience and detail finish, although you wouldn’t call its design inspirational, inside or out. That, of course, is what a lot of VW buyers like, this being a soberly designed machine that will serve few surprises, and plenty of satisfaction.
Should I buy one?
This top-end Tiguan delivers plenty of power for its price, better than average economy and all the rational features you’d expect of a VW, all in a tastefully high-quality wrapping. The sportier R-line styling looks good, too, but keen drivers should not expect a sporty drive despite this engine’s substantial grunt.
Much better to spend less on a Tiguan if it’s a classily functional SUV that you’re after, or to look beyond it for driver enjoyment.
Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 BiTDI 240 R-line 4Motion DSG
Location Munich; On sale August; Price £38,000 (est); Engine 4 cyls, 1968cc, twin-turbo, diesel; Power 237bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 369lb ft 1750-2500rpm; Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic; Kerb weight 1795kg; Top speed 142mph; 0-62mph 6.5sec; Economy 44.1mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 167g/km, 33% Rivals BMW X1 xDrive 25d, Mercedes GLC 250d