Exactly the same, yet entirely different.

Introduction

On paper, the Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t seem to have much changed from its predecessor. It retains the same name, it’s still a mid-size SUV or crossover, and it still comes with a familiar line-up of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. The reality, though, is that it’s entirely different to the older, smaller and cheaper-feeling Tiguan. It’s practically a premium product now with a smart new look and an interior that’s roomier than before, and it gives almost nothing away to Audi in its perceived quality.

 

Body Style: SUV Seats: 5     MRP from £23,140 - £39,270 

    

Did you know? You can get a Tiguan with four-wheel drive and terrain-response systems, but really it’s still for the road, not the mud.

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Verdict: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8.3/10)

Big, classy, beautifully made, and soothing to drive, the Tiguan should be almost a default choice when it comes to picking a medium SUV. It’s good enough to give more prestigious rivals such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 a good kicking, and even to make you wonder at the wisdom of upgrading to the likes of a Q5. The cabin is understatedly gorgeous, the driving experience solidly competent (albeit not huge fun), and the petrol versions provide a serious alternative to the default diesel. The Tiguan’s only real weakness is that both the closely-related Seat Ateca and Skoda Kodiaq are equally as good, but more affordable.

Design & Exterior

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Interior & Comfort

★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

Technology & Connectivity

★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

Performance & Handling

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

Safety Features

★★★★★★★★★★ (10/10)

Specs & Trims

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Running Costs & Fuel Economy

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Pricing

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

 

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan

We Like

Subtle good looks

Roomy and beautifully made cabin

Excellent petrol and diesel engines

We Don't Like

Pricey compared to the Ateca and Kodiaq

Not that much fun to drive

Expensive options

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Design & Exterior: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan

In the current Volkswagen idiom, the Tiguan is not the most dramatic-looking vehicle in its class. There are others, notably the Renault Kadjar or even the Kia Sportage, that are arguably more striking to look at. But the Tiguan has a quiet, subtle classiness which really grows on you with time. Admittedly, you could accuse it of being a touch bland in some trims and from some angles, and the rear styling is just too similar to that of other Volkswagen Group products for comfort. It’s true too that to see the Tiguan at its stylish best, you really do need to upgrade to the chunky R-Line version with its sporty body kit – and that’s not cheap. But the Tiguan is a slow burner. You may not entirely appreciate it at first, but eventually you’re going to park up, walk away, glance back and think ‘Mmmm, that’s really nice.’

Image-wise, it should be an open goal for Volkswagen. After all, here is a brand which has been artfully carving out a desirable, just-short-of-premium niche for itself and there is little to argue with the point that the badge is both classy and classless. It remains to be seen how much the fallout from Volkswagen’s diesel emissions indiscretion will affect that image, although the fact that Volkswagen’s sales have continued to rise suggests that the effect will be minimal.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Interior & Comfort: ★★★★★★★★★ (9/10)

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen has in recent years shown itself to have learned from its own pupil, Audi, and has become a master of the quietly gorgeous vehicle interior. As with most other Volkswagen products, it’s neither showy nor attention-grabbing (even if you spec it with the optional Active Info Display digital instruments and the biggest of the touchscreens), but it is very impressive. Fit and finish are pretty much beyond reproach. While you can accuse it of being a little predictable (there’s much in here that’s familiar if you’ve driven a recent Golf or Touran), its components are nevertheless smoothly functional and well made. Shove an inquisitive hand or cast an inquisitive eye lower down the dashboard or doors and you will find cheaper castes of plastic being used, but mostlyl the cabin layout, design and quality are beyond criticism. Comfort is excellent, and while the Tiguan does suffer from excess tyre noise, refinement is good as long as you stay away from coarse motorway surfaces.

Practicality

The Tiguan has simply excellent practicality. Slide the rear bench forwards and you can access as much as 615 litres of boot volume, more even than in the larger Honda CR-V which many regard as the most practical car in the class. OK, you’re compromising rear legroom by doing that and your passengers won’t thank you, but even with the back seat in person-friendly mode, the boot is more than sufficient for most family needs. Rear space, net of that seat adjustment, is also excellent and the Tiguan has lots of storage bins and stowage spaces up front. The more you use the interior, the more you can see that someone has really put hours of thought into how it’s all going to work. Fold the rear seats flat (and they fold 40:20:40, which is more flexible than most) and you’ve got as much as 1655 litres to play with. Finally, that rear bench is just about wide enough to take three child car seats side-by-side (although there are only two ISOFIX points) so the Tiguan is a great choice for family buyers.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Technology & Connectivity: ★★★★★★★★★ (9/10)

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan

The Tiguan was used as the launch vehicle for many of Volkswagen’s latest-generation of in-car infotainment and connectivity systems. So, by adding some options, you can convert this humble family SUV into one of the most technically advanced cars on the road. The Tiguan uses Volkswagen’s Car-Net connected services for a start, which can variously connect you to a Volkswagen call centre for help with car or travel queries, call the emergency services if it detects a crash, transmit vehicle health and servicing data to a dealer of your choosing, allow remote access from smartphones and home computers for the door locks, lights and sat-nav, either use your smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot or provide one for it, get live traffic, parking availability, fuel prices, weather reports and news feeds into the dashboard, get eco-driving tips and score your recent journeys for economy – and they say you can even plug your phone in and use it through the radio. Imagine.

There are other high-tech options including a head-up display, the Active Info Display digital instrument pack, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 400-watt Dynaudio stereo, and touchscreen sizes of up to eight inches.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Performance & Handling: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan

The Tiguan is very pleasant to drive, but it’s no drivers’ tool and it does little to really engage the senses. You’ll enjoy the overall refinement and comfort, and the well-weighted steering, but all that happens if you drive it with vigour along a bendy road is that the front wheels gently start to lose their grip, prompting you to slow down a bit. It's safe, but not exciting. It runs out of suspension movement surprisingly quickly on very bad roads, too, especially if you’re driving a big-wheeled R-Line version.

The petrol engine options make for surprisingly good choices when it comes to buying a Tiguan, so you don’t have to default to diesel. The 1.4 150hp TSI turbo petrol, which comes with active cylinder deactivation (shutting down fuel to half the engine under a light throttle load), is probably the pick of the whole range. It’s smooth and quiet, has decent torque of 185lb ft and can easily average 45mpg in daily driving. Considering that diesel is generally thought of as being the only realistic option for a car such as this, it’s a pleasant surprise. The other petrol engines on offer, the 125hp 1.4 and 180hp 2.0-litre, fall into the categories of too slow and too thirsty, respectively.

Of course, the diesel engines make for a compelling choice too. The basic 115hp 2.0 TDI is possibly a touch weedy for the Tiguan, so you’re much better off going for the 150hp 2.0 TDI that has 251lb ft, and is also very refined. To be honest, the 150hp is such as good all-rounder that it makes the idea of trading up to a 190hp 2.0 TDI or the range-topping 240hp BiTurbo a bit redundant. The extra performance of those engines is impressive enough, but not so much that it’s necessarily worth the extra.

You can spec a Tiguan up with an ‘Outdoor’ pack that includes redesigned bumpers and underbody protection, and 4Motion four-wheel drive with Active Control (which allows you to choose, Land Rover-style, between On-Road, Off-Road, Individual, and Snow settings) is also available, but they don’t, in all honesty, turn the Tiguan into a proper off-roader.

You can pair all of the engines up with Volkswagen’s DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox, but we’re not sure it’s the best option – some of its shifts can feel a bit hesitant and the standard six-speed manual is pretty slick, so it might be better to stick with that.

Recommended engine: 1.4 150hp TSI ACT

0-62 MPH

7.6 seconds

Fuel economy

49.6 mpg

Emissions

130g/km

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Safety Features: ★★★★★★★★★★ (10/10)

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan

Tested in 2016, the Tiguan scored a full five stars on the Euro NCAP crash test, with a 96 percent score for adult occupant protection, 84 percent for child occupant protection, 72 percent for pedestrian protection and 68 percent for safety assist.

All models come with seven airbags as standard, a pop-up bonnet to protect pedestrians, stability control that includes trailer stabilisation, tyre pressure monitoring and the XDS differential lock that improves traction on slippery surfaces. Optionally, you can add cruise control, automatic high beam lights, front and rear parking sensors, the ‘Pre-Crash’ occupant protection system that pre-loads the seatbelts and brakes and closes the windows and sunroof if it detects an imminent impact, radar-guided cruise control, city emergency braking, driver fatigue alert, Emergency Assist that brings the car to a halt should you nod off, parking cameras and active parking assistant, blind spot monitor and Trailer Assist, which helps you handle towed loads more easily and more safely especially when manoeuvring.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Specs and Trim Levels: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan

Colours

Buyers can choose from Urano Grey and Pure White non-metallic finishes, Titanium Beige, Ruby Red, Caribbean Blue, Tungsten Silver, Atlantic Blue, Nutmeg, Dark Moss Green and Irisium Grey metallic finishes, a Deep Black pearl finish and Oryx White or Habanero Orange ‘Premium Signature’ paints.

Trim Levels

The basic S model feels a bit bare, but it does come with 17-inch alloy wheels, a chilled glovebox, leather trimmed steering wheel, height-adjustable boot floor, Composition Media system with eight-inch screen, DAB radio, SD card reader, Bluetooth, USB, the ‘Think Blue’ driving tips and hints system, SMS reader, manual air conditioning, auto-dimming rear view mirror, all-round electric windows and mirrors, rain sensing wipers, electronic parking brake with auto-hold, and Front Assist radar-guided collision warning with emergency city braking.

SE adds 18-inch wheels, more chrome, tinted side glass, upgraded cloth upholstery, folding tables on the backs of the front seats, PreCrash, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, three-zone climate control, puddle lights, cruise control, driver fatigue detection, high-beam assist, and front and rear parking sensors. SE Navigation models add sat-nav with speed limit display and a three-year subscription to Volkswagen’s Car-Net online services.

SE-L models add 19-inch wheels, Dynamic Chassis Control, LED headlights with dynamic light assist, electrically- adjustable 'sports' front seats, ambient lighting, panoramic sunroof, eight-inch screen with sat-nav and Car-Net subscription, the digital Active Info Display instruments, radar cruise control and city emergency braking.

R-Line models come with 20-inch wheels, a rear spoiler and body kit, aluminium interior trim, 'sports' seats with upgraded cloth and some R-Line aluminium kick plates. There’s a lengthy options list too, but an SE Navigation model, realistically, provides all that most will need.

Size and Dimensions

Considering its impressive interior space, the Tiguan is relatively compact in length although quite wide.

Length

4486 mm

Width

1839 mm

Height

1654 mm

Max towing weight without brake

From 740kg (1.4 TSI) - 750kg (All other models)

Max towing weight with brake

From 1600kg (1.4 TSI 125hp) - 2500kg (2.0 TDI 190 & BiTurbo)

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Running Costs & Fuel Economy: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan

Petrol models fare surprisingly well, as noted. The 1.4 TSI 150hp manages an official 49.6mpg and 130g/km, better than the 47.1mpg and 137g/km figures of the 125hp 1.4 TSI. The 2.0-litre TSI strays into unpopular 39.8mpg and 165g/km territory.

The best performer in this category is the 115hp 2.0 TDI diesel, which records 60.1mpg and 123g/km of CO2. The benchmark 150hp 2.0 TDI, impressively, records the same figures in manual, front-wheel-drive form. The 190hp version of that engine clocks in with 49.6mpg and 149g/km while the 240hp BiTurbo has figures of 44.1mpg and 167g/km.

Reliability and servicing

The Tiguan has had two recalls already – one for faulty child locks and the other for a front seat backrest that may collapse in an accident. Otherwise, Volkswagen’s reputation for quality and reliability precedes it. There is a standard three-year 60,000-mile warranty, which can be optionally extended for up to five years and 90,000 miles.   

Oil change service

Every 10,000 miles or one year

Inspection service

Every 20,000 miles or two years

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Pricing: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan

While it’s never outrageously expensive, the Tiguan equally isn’t cheap. If you want a bells-and-whistles version, you’re going to have to dig deep into your pockets. A basic 1.4 125hp S model starts at around £23,100, which is very reasonable, but the 150hp version is relatively better value at just over £24,000. A 115hp diesel will cost you, at minimum, £24,700, while a 150hp version is £26,000. Optioning 4Motion four-wheel drive adds around £1700 while the DSG automatic gearbox is an extra £1500 depending on the model.

Our preferred SE Navigation trim costs at minimum £26,000, but you can pick up an SE for around £25,800. SE-L models break the £31,000 barrier, while an R-Line is, at minimum, £33,400. A range-topping 240hp BiTurbo will cost at least £37,000.

It's worth remembering that the rather handsome Seat Ateca is significantly cheaper than the Tiguan, model for model, yet uses all the same mechanical components.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Recommendations

Large Families

SE Navigation – spacious enough for three child seats and very safe.

Tech Junky

SE-L – comes with all manner of infotainment and connectivity kit.

Trend Setter

R-Line – Everyone wants a premium German SUV, and this is a good one.

Rivals

BMW X1

Pricier than a Tiguan and sharper to drive, but the Volkswagen is bigger and better value.

Ford Kuga

Sweeter steering and handling than a Tiguan, but cabin looks cheap.

Honda CR-V

Theoretically bigger inside, with tremendous quality and a great 1.6 diesel.

Nissan Qashqai

Smaller and less imposing than the Tiguan, but well-made and good to drive.

Seat Ateca

All of the Tiguan’s talents, and arguably more stylish looks, for less money. Hard to beat.

What others say

What Car?

“The new Tiguan builds on the strengths of the original, offering more space, a classier feel and improved efficiency.”

Car Buyer

"The second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan is a premium alternative to models like the Nissan Qashqai, with plenty of space and impressive technology and engines."

 

Be part of something big

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan