VW Tiguan

volkswagen-tiguan lr

 

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By Tim Saunders

Families need versatile vehicles.

To that end the Volkswagen Tiguan is an ideal solution. This sports utility vehicle shares similar looks to the larger Tourag.

The test model is the 2-litre diesel 4 Motion Match finished in metallic dark blue. As with all VWs it feels solid and dependable from the clunking of the doors to the high quality interior. A growing family such as ours does come with a good deal of paraphernalia even if just venturing out on a day trip. Our tandem pushchair always has to accompany us if we are going to have a relaxing and enjoyable time. And it fits snugly in the boot although the rear parcel shelf has to be removed to make this possible. Incidentally that sizeable boot is ideal for little daughter Heidi (1) when she needs her nappy changing. The floor is just the right height to enable to me to quickly change her without hurting my back. Also when it rains the boot lid acts as useful protection.

The rear seats can be moved forward which gives about six inches more space in the boot, if required. Harriett (3) finds the fold up picnic tables particularly useful; ideal not only for eating but also for Lego.

In terms of roominess it scores well. But it definitely would benefit from a panoramic glass roof as indeed do other vehicles in this sector; I’m thinking of offerings from Peugeot and Nissan. Without it, it is a bit dark inside especially on a dull day.

However, when the temperatures warm up – as is the case with Britain’s temperamental unpredictable weather - the air conditioning capably brings the temperature down from uncomfortably hot to pleasantly cool in around five minutes after setting off.

To drive this 4WD crossover is enjoyable with plenty of power in second and third gear, although if it is changed into third gear when the revs are too low, performance is weak. It’s a vehicle that when driven properly is a delight. That diesel unit, which is a bit rattly, is pleasingly economical and the six speed gearbox is generally smooth, although on a few occasions a little notchy. Where you might expect to find the handbrake there is simply a switch because this model has a modern electronic handbrake. There is also another switch called Auto Hold. It’s fast from 0 to 60 mph so it does make up for any delay. The engine stop/start can be relied upon to kick in whenever the Tiguan comes to a halt.

On top of the already impressively long standard equipment list, which includes automatic lights and wipers, as well as ‘Park Assist’, Volkswagen’s excellent self-parking system that squeezes the Tiguan into spaces just 1.1m longer than itself, a number of extra features have been ushered in.

The camera that appears in the centre of the dash when reversing is useful, making it an easy car to manoeuvre into awkward spots.

My wife feels that the seating position should be higher up because she feels low down. In terms of road presence it fairs well compared to other high end offerings from BMW and Audi and is certainly an alternative to Land Rover’s Freelander.

Facts at a glance

New price range:

£21,700 - £31,770

Top speed: 120mph

0-60mph: 9.9secs

Power: 138bhp

Economy: 53mpg

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