Volkswagen Tiguan Review – The German Brute

What is it?

Volkswagen’s much-anticipated SUV, true German build quality, rich on features and most importantly- it was our cover car for June!

How does it look?

In a word – Fresh. The front end with the squarish yet sharp headlamps give it a butch look. A flowing set of well proportioned squarish lines run across the side profile, giving it a slightly retro yet contemporary feel. Enter the cabin and you will be greeted by a very well laid out dashboard. Fit and finish and quality of materials used on the inside is simply top notch, something that you can easily compare with cars almost twice its price. The toggles are shared with other VW cars and retain that typical German character.

Now let’s talk about the plethora of equipment on offer. It comes with Auto headlamps, auto wipers, electronic handbrake, heated and electric drivers seats, 3-zone climate control, tyre pressure monitoring system, rearview camera, electronic handbrake, touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, basically it’s just loaded to the gills with features and technology. There are a total of six airbags along with ABS, EBD, ESC and even the bonnet rises up in case you hit a pedestrian!

What’s under the hood?

Powering the all-new Tiguan is a not-so-new 2.0-litre turbocharged unit which has been seen previously on the Passat and the Jetta in India. It has got a modest power output of 143bhp and 340NM of torque. Volkswagen has only introduced one engine and transmission option i.e the 2-litre diesel mill coupled with a 7 Speed DSG automatic gearbox and 4Motion all-wheel drive tech.

There is adequate power for most instances, especially in the mid-range i.e around 1600-3500 rpm but the diesel mill can get a bit noisy when pushed above 3000rpm. In Eco mode, the gearbox and engine decouple themselves in order to aid fuel efficiency, and the Haldex AWD system is permanently active, constantly shifting torque between the front and rear as the situation desires, reverting to FWD under minimal loads, like when cruising out on the highway.

Just like most VW cars, the driving dynamics are pretty sorted and Tiguan feels quite at home when pushed hard into corners. The suspension setup is on the firmer side and there is a tinge of body roll as well but that’s not really a major setback.
Infact during our cover shoot last month, we had Saif Ali Khan with us driving the new Tiguan and he was quite impressed with the ride quality and the acceleration of the car. It is based on Volkswagen’s tried and tested MQB platform which underpins everything right from the Skoda Octavia to the new Audi Q7.

Should I buy one?

Good build quality, an array of features are some of the good bits on the new VW SUV but it does come with a slightly hefty price tag. The closest competition for the Tiguan comes from Hyundai’s Tucson which is slightly better priced. Now Jeep will be launching the much much-awaited Compass in the Indian market soon it will really change the dynamics of this segment! However, we will have to wait and see how Jeep prices that and as of now, the Volkswagen Tiguan really fits the bill well if you are looking for a robust-go-anywhere SUV!



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