Volkswagen Tiguan plug-in hybrid long-term test: report 4

This recently refreshed plug-in hybrid SUV can travel up to 30 miles on a charge. We're living with one to see if the Tiguan should be on your new car shortlist...

Volkswagen Tiguan boot with people

The car Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 eHybrid Elegance

Why it’s here To show that going green doesn’t mean compromising on longer journeys, even if you can’t charge at home

Needs to Be economical, both around town and on a motorway, offer a comfortable and refined experience, and function as a mobile office when needed

Mileage 2462 List price £39,640 Target Price £39,056 Price as tested £40,695 Test economy 56.5mpg Official economy 153.2mpg

21 June 2022 – The ordinary, extraordinary SUV

It’s sometimes said that a small number of good deeds can add up to something great, and I think the same is true of my Volkswagen Tiguan. 

You see, the way it performs tasks in isolation isn’t especially ground-breaking – in fact, it’s beaten in plenty of key areas by rivals – but add them together and you end up with one seriously impressive family SUV.

The last few weeks have showcased this very well. Take a recent am-dram show I was in, for example. After the final show and the de-rigging of the theatre was completed, we had to ferry several cast members, plus all of their costumes and personal luggage, and an industrial amount of wine, to the post-show party. And when it came to sourcing a lift to said party, the Tiguan was the most popular choice, primarily because of the space it offers.

Volkswagen Tiguan front with people

Even though my plug-in hybrid model is down on boot space compared with the regular Tiguan (to the tune of 139 litres) we still managed to fit four people and all their luggage inside with ease. The electric tailgate was a bonus, too, since I could just press a button on the key fob to open it rather than dropping my suitcase into a puddle to open the boot manually.

Next, I was off to a friend’s birthday bash in the country, and for the formal evening do the Tiguan was again top choice, this time for its calm cruising manners. It’s about 90 miles from my home in Sunbury to Bournemouth, where the party was being held, and the Tiguan ferried myself and some friends there in absolute comfort, soaking up bumps and ruts in the road with ease. It even ferried some rather tipsier friends home afterwards, so well that one fell asleep on the back bench.

And then there’s the way it looks. Style is, of course, subjective to each person, but I recently had cause to admire the Tiguan’s shapely curves after a trip to the car wash. You see, the birds down my way had clearly ingested something that disagreed with them internally, prompting me to head to my local garage in a car which looked like it had walked off the set of a horror film.

Volkswagen Tiguan wash

Once it was de-dunged, I admired the elegant front grille and Nightshade Blue colour of my car. It doesn’t look as sporty as some rival SUVs – indeed, Elegance versions of the Tiguan miss out on the wider lower grilles and chunky cladding of range-topping R-Line models, but I like that. My Tiguan is a place for comfort and serenity after a long day, and at the moment, it’s delivering that well.

The only downside to the long-haul ventures I’ve been putting my car through recently is that I’ve not had much chance to charge up the battery, and thus my fuel economy has taken quite a dip. Still, the motorway jaunts have meant I’m still averaging a respectable 40mpg since my last fill-up, and upwards of 56mpg overall.

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