What's it like?
We’ve driven the fire-breathing Tiguan in R-Line form abroad, and didn’t like it much for the presence of its ride-hobbling 20in rims. This car is the slightly less showy SE L model – meaning you get almost all the same standard kit (including adaptive dampers), only with higher-profile 19in wheels and slightly more anonymous styling.
That quality feeds directly into the Tiquan’s likeable Q-car character. The badge on the back has a dash of red, yet still just reads 2.0 TDI – and the motor makes a sound little different to the irascible drone of its lesser siblings. But it awakens in gratifying style: a judicious prod of throttle making light of the car's 1795kg kerbweight; a stamp forcing the SUV into a properly hurried diesel-edged surge.
The kick is sufficiently wallop-like for you to be vaguely grateful for four-wheel-drive in a straight line, and downright thankful for it when it comes time to hustle the car through a sharp corner. The extra performance is sufficiently lusty for the Normal drive mode to be found wanting in steering weight and body control, but Sport mode conjures up a bit more heft and has the dampers applying themselves far more effectively.
Throw in the DSG’s own very adroit S-mode and the impressively neutral balance of the 4Motion drivetrain, and the Tiguan can be driven very briskly indeed – and not without the lingering sense of satisfaction that you might associate with the similarly fast X3. It’s possibly not the car’s natural stomping ground, though - most owners though will surely be content with aligning a Comfort chassis setting with an agreeably enormous capacity for overtaking.
Should I buy one?
Not every mainstream SUV would be made better for the addition of substantially more power, yet there’s little doubt in the Tiguan that it works to the car’s advantage. Even if you drive it very casually and without troubling the underlying go-faster reservoir of twist, its presence sits contentedly in the back of the mind – sequestered next to the knowledge that you’re not going to get stuck in the snow or a muddy field, either.
The Tiguan is that sort of beautifully rounded, slightly pricey option anyway - this new engine simply turbocharges the appeal.
Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 BiTDI 240 4Motion DSG SE L
Location UK; On sale Now; Price £36,725; 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