What is it?
It’s taken Volkswagen an age to warm to the SUV theme, but expect variations to now flow freely.
The Tiguan Allspace – box-fresh in the UK, with first deliveries in January – is one such model. It’s a car we’ve previously driven abroad on its international presentation to the press, and adds two third-row seats to the existing (and hugely successful) Tiguan package, bringing the total occupant count to seven.
Though clearly an immediate relation to the regular Tiguan, the Allspace gets a revised front end inspired by the colossal, US-only Atlas. The radiator grille is taller, the bonnet is higher and there are longer rear doors, while the observant will spot a freshly penned kink in the C-pillars. Pretty? Not exactly, but it’s true to the subtly aggressive aura of sterile solidity that Volkswagen designers currently favour.
The big change is that the wheelbase is 109mm longer, not only creating space for the pair of seats in the boot but also increasing seats-down capacity (that’s both rows of rear seats) from 1655 litres in the standard Tiguan to 1775 litres. That may sound impressive, and it’s certainly enough space for most requirements, but while it shades the likes of the BMW 5 Series Touring, the Skoda Kodiaq will swallow 2005 litres in a similar configuration.
Volkswagen expects nine out of 10 buyers to opt for diesel power. There’s a choice of three engines: a 2.0 TDI in either 150 (148bhp) or 190 (187bhp) trim, and a range-topping 2.0 BiTDI with 236bhp. Two petrol options are also available in the UK, although both the 1.4 (148bhp) and 2.0 (177bhp) TSI models will be a rare sight. Incidentally, we’ve already experienced the big-hitting twin-turbo diesel in the Arteon, where it felt effective but pretty uncouth.
Trim levels are similar to those of the Tiguan, although the Allspace range forgoes base SE trim and begins at SE Navigation. That means plenty of chrome and body-coloured trim and an 8.0in touchscreen and cloth upholstery within. SEL trim brings VW’s 12.3in, Audi-style Active Info Display in lieu of conventional dials, as well as four selectable profiles for the 4Motion four-wheel drive system. Top-spec R-Line cars get 20in wheels (rather than 19s) and sports suspension, and although we’ve yet to test that model, neither of those additions sounds wholly beneficial for the Allspace’s remit as a family car.