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.
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