Lower-powered diesel still offers decent performance and delivers great economy

What is it?

We recently drove the 138bhp, 4WD diesel variant of the new Volkswagen Tiguan in the UK for the first time and were impressed by its car-like road manners and pleasing fuel economy. This time around we’re sampling the more modestly powered 109bhp, front-drive SUV.

What's it like

Despite its reduced output, the 2.0-litre oil-burner feels more than willing – thanks in part to a weight reduction of 112kg compared with its heavier four-wheel-drive counterparts. There’s also enough torque available to cope easily with everyday traffic.

Driving briskly along B-roads, with only the front wheels doing the legwork, this Tiguan doesn’t feel as composed or confident in the corners as its all-wheel-drive relative, with the front end scrabbling for grip when pushed. At more sedate speeds, however, the car corners surprisingly smoothly and with little body roll. The Tiguan’s accomplished suspension and damping do well to iron out most lumps and bumps, too, aided by some conservative 16-inch alloys.

Should the occasion call for it, the 2WD VW can even take the odd grass verge in its stride, making it enough of an off-roader to cope with 95 per cent of slightly stickier school runs.

It looks rugged enough for the job, too. Externally there’s nothing to differentiate this model from its dearer siblings, and it’s the same story in the neatly presented cabin, bar some missing steering wheel controls and lower-spec trim.

Should I buy one?

For extra security and the legs for longer journeys, the 138bhp four-wheel-drive Tiguan strikes a better balance between usability and performance, but you can’t argue with the economics of the cheaper, more frugal version. Overall, the front-drive model is an above-average package.

Alex Kertsen

VW Tiguan 2.0 TDI 110

Price: £21,730; Top speed: 109mph; 0-62mph: 11.9sec; Economy: 53.3mpg (combined); CO2: 139g/km; Kerb weight: 1543kg; Engine type, size: 4 cal, turbodiesel, 1968cc; Power: 109bhp at 2750-4200rpm; Torque: 207lb ft at 1750-2500rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

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audiolab 24 September 2011

Re: Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 110

spoolio wrote:
Skoda Yeti Greenline 2 1.6 CR TDI 105 Elegance, the badge is a mouthfull but its less money to buy (£20,350) and it's still 4WD

Not according to Skoda website, only available as 2WD.

I would settle for the Yeti, but the Tiguan feels slightly more spacious especially in width.

Overdrive 23 September 2011

Re: Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 110

Fidji wrote:

Overdrive wrote:
Fidji wrote:

Overdrive wrote:
Yes, the Skoda is a good car and better value, but the Tiguan is better built, better appointed, more refined and a better drive too

It's the same damn car.

If you want the cheapest of them, then buy the Yeti. If you want the posh one, buy the Q3. If you are an image conscious snob who can't afford the Q3, then by all means, by a Tiguan.

The two cars share a lot components, but there are also differences. The VW is built from better materials. It is more refined and drives better. Based on the various reports I've read its suspension has better damping and control.

I'm not interested in buying either car, but if you are obsessed about "badge snobs", like so many others on this forum, then knock yourself out and keep moaning about them.

As I've already stated, in the majority of cases, I would choose a VW over a Skoda; I own a VW for goodness sake. I'm just saying that in this instance, the Skoda, in my opinion, is a superior car for less money. Not that it's better because it's a Skoda, not a VW.

Alright, that's fair comment. I also think the Skoda is better value (and said so in my very first comment). It was just that I got the impression you were joining the increasingly tiresome "bash the badge snob" bandwagon in your earlier post. If I got the wrong impression, then my apologies.

230SL 23 September 2011

Re: Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 110

I drive a Golf, I prefer the shape of the Yeti to the Tiguan, I like form follows function, the squareback is easier for visibility, and also better for aerodynamics, compared to a sloping back with a spoiler at the top of the window. I always thought of the Tiguan as a rebodied Golf Plus which is rather ironic as the Yeti is roomier than the Tiguan in the back.