Priced from £26,210 (est) Release date December 2017
Size matters. At least it does for family SUV buyers. So, although the five-seat Volkswagen Tiguan can already be filed under 'resounding success' (it’s currently Volkswagen’s third best seller in the UK behind the highly successful Golf and Polo), the manufacturer is looking to exploit its popularity by adding this bigger variant with two extra seats.
In total, 215mm (about the length of a chopstick) has been added between the front and rear wheels of the standard Tiguan to help accommodate seven seats in this Tiguan Allspace. Along with the extra space, there’s also a slightly different front-end design and roof rails as standard.
Aside from that, it’s much the same as the five-seat version. For now, it's even mechanically unchanged, with the same range of petrol and diesel engines as the standard Tiguan – although this is to be confirmed by the manufacturer later this year, along with pricing and full specs. So, the Tiguan Allspace may be bigger, but is it better?
2017 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace on the road
With no mechanical differences, the Tiguan Allspace feels very similar to the standard Tiguan on the road.
We drove what is expected to be the biggest-selling model: the 2.0 TDI 150 with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. Its appeal is clear to see: the engine is very flexible, offering enough low-end pull to haul a fully laden car around town, while still having the poke to take it up to motorway speeds without breaking a sweat. Naturally, you need to work it harder than the more powerful engines in the line-up to make swift progress, but even then it remains remarkably quiet.
The DSG automatic geabrox helps to keep progress smooth, but paddle shifters on the steering wheel offer a manual mode should you want a slightly more engaging experience.
We also drove the 2.0 TDI 240, which has noticably more shove but is difficult to recommend when the 2.0 TDI 150 is as good as it is, especially as the 240 will command a hefty price premium and has worse fuel economy.
On that note, economy for our favoured 2.0 TDI 150 is good. The Tiguan Allspace is around 100kg heavier than the standard Tiguan, but the economy penalty is only slight, while CO2 emissions are only a tad higher.
The Tiguan Allspace is also still one of the better SUVs out there to drive. The car’s suspension is on the firm side, but it’s not uncomfortable, and although it might be a stretch to describe it as agile, the Tiguan is at least composed and unflustered through quick corners, with precise and nicely weighted steering and a four-wheel drive system that offers reassuring grip.
Different drive modes are available to alter things like the throttle response and steering, while adaptive dampers can be added as an extra – but we’d sooner save the money, because the ride is good enough without them. All told, the Allspace is considerably better to drive than the Nissan X-Trail and has the edge on the Skoda Kodiaq for ride comfort.
2017 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace interior
The Allspace's two seats in its third row can be folded into the boot floor and are easily accessible when they're up, once you slide the second row forwards. However, they are best suited for children. As with so many seven-seaters (like the Skoda Kodiaq), adults won’t be comfortable on longer journeys in the back row, with head and leg room restricted.
The Allspace is actually longer than the Skoda Kodiaq and Nissan X-Trail, but its boot lags some way behind then. With the third-row seats up, the Allspace has a capacity of 230 litres, compared with the Kodiaq’s 270 litres, while if you flatten all the seats, the Allspace’s 1775 litres still trails the Kodiaq’s 2005. With just the rearmost seats down, though, the Allspace's boot is usefully bigger than the five-seat Tiguan's: 700 litres vs 615.
Aside from the seats, the interior remains the same, with the general fit and finish right up there with the best in class and a premium feel throughout. Volkswagen's latest touchscreen infotainment systems feature, too, including the 9.2in system we tried. It's bright and crisp to look at, responds quickly to the touch and is easy to navigate, but we still long for the physical buttons that used to flank its screen rather than the touch-sensitive ones that are there now, because the latter are harder to hit while driving.
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