Well suited to occasional off-road adventures. Even without the Outdoor pack, this Tiguan's on-demand four-wheel drive, useful extra ground clearance, off-road driving modes and a stout, accessible torque band from below 2000rpm make hacking across tough terrain easy work.
Add this off-road package to the mix and the Tiguan becomes yet more capable away from the Tarmac. The lifted approach and departure angles mean you’re less likely to get caught out with a scrape or bump on mildly lumpy terrain for your family car purchase, rather than a necessity.
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.