Sure, if the majority of your driving is done on-road you’re probably best off with the lighter-footed, two-wheel-drive model. But for some, the fact that four-wheel drive also gets you a 2500kg towing limit - compared with the 2000kg offered by the two-wheel-drive version - will count. A swiveling towbar with an electric release (£715) is likely to be a popular pairing, too.
On the road, the Tiguan is a well-mannered SUV that doesn’t set your pulse racing but goes about its business in a safe, predictable manner. The only slight grievance is that this AWD model's ride comfort isn't perfect. Most of the time it’s supple enough, but a particularly uneven road will unsettle it.
The DSG gearbox is slick and responsive, although we prefer it in its standard driving mode rather than flicking it into Sport; Sport holds on to gears, forcing the engine into its uncomfortably gruff top-end. Otherwise, when kept in its sweet spot, the diesel motor remains pretty refined.
Sport has a similarly negative impact on the steering, making it feel unnaturally weighty. Even in standard drive mode it's not particularly engaging, but it's weighted more consistently to deliver more confidence.
The Outdoor pack is mostly cosmetic, so inside this model it’s business as usual. There’s very good space for four adults and the Tiguan's dashboard materials are high quality. VW’s excellent larger 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system – which is one of the best systems out there for ease of use and equipment – comes as standard on SEL trim, too.
Should I buy one?
The Tiguan is an excellent family SUV. It’s not exciting, but it's plush, spacious, well-specced, decently refined and more satisfying to drive than rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai.
Whether this Outdoor pack is worth it depends on personal circumstance. If you live out in the sticks and traverse off-road dirt tracks to and from your house year-round, £350 seems pretty good value in return for added capability and protection. Yet for the vast majority buying a Tiguan for its out-and-out family-friendly practicality, they’ll be fine without.
Of course, if you’re genuinely in need of a durable off-road family SUV, this Tiguan falls into a price bracket that also includes the Land Rover Discovery Sport - a markedly more talented SUV in terms of its mud-plugging ability.
Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 150 4Motion DSG SEL
Location Surrey; On sale Now; Price £33,160 (incl. £350 Outdoor pack); Engine 4 cyls, 1968cc, diesel; Power 148bhp at 3500-4500rpm; Torque 251lb ft at 1750-3000rpm; Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic; Kerb weight 1856kg; 0-62mph 9.3sec; Top speed 124mph; Economy 49.6mpg (combined); CO2 rating/BIK tax band 149g/km, 29%