The SUV jumps to the front of the peloton
The era of the SUV is upon us and the Volkswagen Tiguan proves it.
Australians used to jump into small sedans more than any other vehicle, but now we love top-level SUVs.
The Tiguan supplanted the Golf as VW’s most dominant model, soaring in large numbers from showrooms. A series of recent upgrades should continue strong demand.
The top-of-the-line 162TSI variants have arrived in Australia priced at $ 50,790 (before highway costs) for the Elegance category.
This comes with perks such as heated and electrically adjustable leather-trimmed front seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, 19-inch alloy wheels, multiple drive modes, LED front and rear headlights, and an LED screen. 9.2 inch infotainment with satnav.
Upgrading to the 162TSI R-Line tested here will set you back $ 3,000 more.
The extra expense gets you a slew of styling changes including unique bumpers, side sills, rear spoilers, larger 20 inch alloy wheels and stainless steel pedals and more.
It also adds practical and technological features such as an automatic trunk opening and an R-Line steering wheel with touch controls with haptic feedback rather than conventional buttons.
All colors other than white cost $ 800 more and a panoramic sunroof is $ 2,000.
Buyers wanting a head-up display, bird’s-eye view camera, and high-end Harman Kardon stereo will need to pay $ 2,500 for a Sound and Vision package.
Volkswagen says it is by far its most popular version, accounting for more than half of Tiguan’s sales.
It’s easy to see why, the 162TSI R-Line is elegantly styled and has a comfortable, spacious and well-appointed cabin.
The combination of a 9.2-inch touchscreen – compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – and a 10.25 digital cockpit is a head above the competition.
Tri-zone air conditioning, with vents and rear seat controls, is a welcome feature, and a mass of USB-C charging points for both benches is essential in this digital world.
There are elements of the interior that feel a bit cheap, where a Mazda has a cabin lined with soft leather and shiny surfaces, VW has fitted it with a mix of hard and soft plastic, leather and hard patterned inserts.
Cargo space is above average for the class, and an electric boot is essential for buyers and parents who barely have a hand to lose.
A five-year unlimited mileage warranty takes some of the stress out of ownership, and a five-year prepaid service plan is worth the initial cost of $ 2,400. The postpaid transaction will add more than $ 1,000 over five years.
Security is complete with all vital areas covered.
It automatically brakes for cars and pedestrians if it detects a potential collision. Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning will conspire to help you stay in your lane and blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert are also present.
The 162TSI’s big selling point is its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, producing maneuverable power of 162 kW and 350 Nm. This is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch car – a familiar combination once found in cars such as the Golf GTI.
Significant torque is supplied at low revs in the rev range, which allows for quick acceleration and the quick-shifting automobile does an excellent job of keeping the booming engine in its ideal position.
The preset driving modes cover a range of driving conditions. In Comfort mode, a well-sorted suspension easily absorbs bumps and bumps, resulting in a smooth ride.
Click the sport mode and the suspension firms, creating a sharper driving experience, ideal for winding country roads.
The Tiguan is a pleasure to steer, to handle corners with ease and confidence in the corners that its rivals will struggle to match, helped in part by the all-wheel drive and grippy tires.
Road noise can be a bit intrusive on coarse chip roads, but overall the cabin is a quiet, relaxed space on the road.
Fuel mileage is respectable at 8.5 L / 100 km, we hit close to that on a mix of highway and city driving, but that requires a more expensive premium unleaded.
Sleek, well-equipped and modern SUV that will appeal to moms and dads looking for a mix of luxury and driving finesse at a reasonable price.
VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN 162TSI R LINE VITALS
Price: $ 53,790 more on the roads
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, 162 kW / 350 Nm
Guarantee / maintenance: five years / unlimited km, $ 2,400 over five years (prepaid)
Security: 7 airbags, automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection, lane keeping assist, rear cross traffic alert, park assist, driver fatigue warning and radar cruise
The thirst: 8.5 L / 100 km
Cargo: 615 L