New Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace vs used Land Rover Discovery Sport: which is best?

The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is a seven-seat SUV with premium aspirations – but would you be better off buying a used Land Rover Discovery Sport for the same money?...

New VW Tiguan Allspace vs used Land Rover Discovery Sport

SUVs with seven seats are about as popular as it gets these days. It isn’t hard to fathom why, of course. They combine raised ride height – good for visibility and for ease of loading your nearest and dearest into the rear seats – with plenty of boot space, and of course, the flexibility to carry plenty of people, so that the whole family can go out together in just the one car.

No wonder so many manufacturers are now offering seven-seat versions of their family-sized SUVs. And the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is one of the latest to enter the fray. As its name suggests, it’s a version of the five-seat Tiguan that’s been slightly extended in order to accommodate those extra seats – rather than a bespoke seven-seat SUV like the Peugeot 5008 or Kia Sorento.

By contrast, the Land Rover Discovery Sport, while also available with only five seats, was designed with seven seats in mind. And with its go-anywhere ability, Range-Rover-esque styling and lavish equipment list, the Discovery Sport has the sort of upmarket image and desirability the Tiguan Allspace can only dream of. But of course, that comes with a price, which is why you’ll only be able to afford a used example for the same price as its more utilitarian rival.

So should you accept an older car in order to gain the luxury trappings the Discovery Sport promises? Or should you let your head rule your heart, and go with the peace of mind that a brand new, fully warranted Tiguan Allspace brings? Time to find out.

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TDI 150 SE Nav List Price: £32,005 Target price: £29,153 Official fuel economy: 56.5mpg Emissions: 131g/km CO2 Power: 148bhp 0-62mph: 9.8sec Top speed: 126mph

Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 TD4 180 HSE (7-seat) Price new: £38,295 Price today: £29,000 Official fuel economy: 44.1mpg Emissions: 170g/km CO2 Power: 178bhp 0-62mph: 9.8sec Top speed: 117mph

Price today is based on a 2016 model with average mileage and a full service history

New Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace vs used Land Rover Discovery Sport – interior & equipment

VW Tiguan Allspace vs Land Rover Discovery Sport

On first glance, the Tiguan Allspace’s dashboard feels solidly made and hewn from the same sort of high-quality materials as most of its rivals. All the controls feel slick and well-damped, too, and the dashboard design is easy on the eye.

However, a closer inspection reveals some more brittle, scratchy plastics lower down, and these are of a sort you won’t find inside the Discovery Sport. As with the Tiguan, all the buttons and switches feel high-quality and pleasing to use, too, and there are lots of truly high-quality plastics used throughout – as well as real metal in places.

Where the Discovery Sport falls down somewhat is in terms of its infotainment system. An 8.0in colour touchscreen comes as standard, but the software that powers it isn’t the fastest to respond or the most intuitive in terms of its menu structure. What’s more, you can’t get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto at all; both come as standard on the Tiguan’s system; this is also an 8.0in colour touchscreen, albeit one with a sharper interface that’s easier to use.

However, the Discovery Sport wins back ground in this luxurious HSE form with an impressive standard equipment list that includes leather seats, electrically adjustable front seats, xenon headlights, a reversing camera and a panoramic glass roof. By contrast, the Tiguan Allspace SE Nav, which is our preferred version, gets none of these, making do instead with air-con, sat nav, automatic headlights and wipers and cruise control – all of which come as standard on the Discovery Sport, too.

New Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace vs used Land Rover Discovery Sport – space & practicality

VW Tiguan Allspace vs Land Rover Discovery Sport rear seats

Neither of these cars offers the same sort of space in that third row of seats as you’ll find in the Peugeot 5008 or Kia Sorento; both, therefore, should be thought of more as five-seaters with occasional space in the rearmost seats for two extra children, rather than full seven-seaters. In both cars, you can slide the middle row of seats forward to offer more space in the rear, though of course this impinges on leg room for middle-row passengers; given that doing so leaves you with more leg room in the Discovery Sport than it does in the Tiguan Allspace, that makes it fractionally more usable in seven-seat mode.

If you need to carry large loads, mind you, the Tiguan Allspace is fractionally better suited. Both cars offer a 40/20/40 split on the middle row of seats, and both offer middle- and rear-row seatbacks that fold down into the boot floor, leaving a flat load bay. However, the Tiguan Allspace’s front passenger seat also folds forward, allowing even longer loads to be fitted in.

Further forward, too, the Tiguan Allspace just wins out, thanks to its terrific driving position and excellent amount of space in both front seats. That said, the Discovery Sport is an extremely comfortable and spacious place to spend time, too, although this HSE version loses out on headroom thanks to its panoramic roof, and there’s less storage for your odds and ends than you’ll find in the Tiguan.

Next: What are they like to drive? >