VW Tiguan earns its spurs

As soft-roaders go, the Tiguan has had to prove its worth. Volkswagen isn’t known for its off-roaders and, though the Touareg is well-liked,a crossover vehicle is new territory.

On first impressions, you might expect the Tiguan to handle a bit like a rollerskate, but it performs like a good hatchback. We had the 2–litre 170hpdiesel, which looks like a cross between thebigger Touareg and the smaller Golf, with neat detailing and styling as well as a range of racy colour options.

With a top speed of 125mph and a respectable 0-60 time of 8.9 seconds, the six-speed manualperformed well on short and long drives alike.The 170bhp engine is a delight to drive, its gentle purr building to a discreet whirr as the turbo kicks in.

Touchscreen satnav, as well as the clever(if slightly impractical)park–assist system are available as options. But we never quite managed to find a rural situation wherewecould test such a feature. It’s more of a town thing, obviously.

Tiguan facts

Basic price £22,452
Engine 2–litre TDI 170bhp
Fuel economy 40.4 combined
Towing capacity 2.5t
Road tax £170

Inside, there are more gadgets than you can shake a stick at, neatly arranged and easy to fathom. Space in the centre console is freed up by a Passat-style electronic parking brake, This is rather fiddly, but has a useful auto-hold function to help prevent any embarrassing roll-backs when pulling away on steep inclines.

Bi-xenon lights, although an option and quite pricy (£813 to be exact),give you clever dynamic lighting (a light shines towards the kerb as you turn in its direction) and automatic range adjustment.

Where we expected the Tiguan to disappoint, off–road, it vehemently impressed us. Even on tickover the engine carried the little spaniel-like 4×4 throughsnow, mud and ruts.There’s an Escape model withsump guard and compass, too, but the standard version seemed capable enough.So if you want a vehicle that’s as familiar to drive as slipping into your favourite pair of slippers, the Tiguan’s for you.


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