Used Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace long-term test

The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is a very recommendable seven-seat SUV, but is choosing a low-mileage used example better than buying new? We're living with one to find out...

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace Used Long-Term graphic

The car Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace Match 2.0 TDI 4Motion Run by John Bradshaw, chief photographer

Why it’s here To find out how much more practicality and kit you get for your money if you buy used, and see whether a traditional diesel engine can still make sense today. 

Needs to Be practical in all weather conditions, cut the mustard as a photographer’s workhorse, prove comfortable and economical on a mixture of journeys.

Miles 5250 List price (2020) £30,704 Price new with options £36,845 Official economy 40.4mpg, Test economy 39.6mpg, Running costs (excluding depreciation) Fuel (£604), Dealer trade-in value now £24,899 Dealer price now £28,024 Private price now £24,926

1 June 2021 – Clearing the mind

Looking back at my time with the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, sometimes I went for days on end without thinking about it. And, in many ways, that’s high praise indeed. As a photographer, my day’s trade is so much easier when I’m free from distraction and can just get on with the job in hand, and the Allspace proved such a versatile, reliable workhorse that I could do just that.

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 2020 used long term

For starters, I'm glad I chose such a big car – 215mm longer between the front and rear axles than the regular Volkswagen Tiguan. Starting at the back, the boot comfortably took all my bulky camera gear, and folding the second-row seats flat for an even more substantial load bay when I needed it was child's play. It even turned out to be quite handy that the folded third row creates a higher-than-average boot floor, with this making a pretty serviceable working surface when out on shoots.

Speaking of the third row, I had very much hoped to get more use out of the seven seats of the Allspace, but Coronavirus put paid to that idea. Nevertheless, experimentation proved that an actual human being (me) could sit in row three without too much discomfort, although I wouldn’t want to travel far sitting there. The second-row seats, naturally, are far more accommodating, and with my laptop on the drop-down table on the back of the seat in front, the Allspace gave me a comfy inside office area for those innumerable times when the weather turned for the worse.

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 2020 used long term

Such practical matters are, for me, of more concern than driving excitement; after a long day shooting, what I really want is a car that can get me home with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of comfort. And, again, the Allspace came up trumps here. Okay, its ride wasn’t as sumptuous as that of the Skoda Superb iV Estate that I ran previously, but it flattened motorways out nicely and didn’t jar harshly over expansion joints. And if the ride was softer, I daresay the car would lean in corners rather more than it does. On country roads, it felt agile and wieldy, and while the steering was a bit on the light side, I could still place the Tiguan confidently in corners thanks to the considerable grip on offer.

After the Superb, moving over to a large SUV seemed like quite a step, but I have no regrets at all. For one thing, I really appreciated the Allspace’s higher driving position; affording such a superior view forwards in traffic and over urban obstacles, it gave me far more than just a smug feeling in traffic. And, while I didn’t really get an opportunity to put the four-wheel drive system to the test, I did ford floods that I’d have felt uncomfortable negotiating in a lower-riding car.

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 2020 used long-term review

Nor did I regret going for a conventional diesel engine. Yes, after the plug-in hybrid Superb, I can definitely see the appeal of electrified tech, but it doesn’t yet fit my daily routine as comfortably as a naturally economical diesel engine. As I said at the beginning, all I had to do in the Allspace was get in and drive; I didn’t have to think about where and when I could next fill my battery. Plus the 39.6mpg I've seen overall seems very creditable for what is a rather large SUV.

And on the issue of diesel cars not holding their value quite as well as they once did, I reckon I chose wisely by going used. While my car's current trade-in value of £24,899 is a hefty chunk less than its £36,845 price when new, it had already fallen to £31,995 when I became the second owner, despite it only having 1500 miles on the clock.

The Tiguan Allspace was a great buy if you focus on the bigger picture, then. And, as a photographer, that's exactly what I take pride in doing.

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