Volkswagen Tiguan plug-in hybrid long-term test: report 7

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 interior

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 3697 List price £39,640 Target Price £39,056 Price as tested £40,695 Test economy 54.6mpg Official economy 153.2mpg

22 August 2022 – The silent partner

It’s a measurable fact that the world is getting louder. How, you might ask? Well, the volume of the sirens fitted to emergency service vehicles is a good barometer, since they need to be able to break through any hubbub. In 1912, just 36 decibels was enough for a siren to be heard 10 streets away, yet by 2019, that figure had grown to 123 decibels. Thanks largely to technology, quietness is just harder to come by than it used to be – that is, unless you’re sitting in my Volkswagen Tiguan.

You see, when my car is driving along using only electric power, I think it’s one of the quietest cars on the road. That’s largely due to the absence of any engine noise, of course, but even in terms of wind, road and tyre roar, there’s just not much of either. The range isn’t quite up to the 31 miles officially printed in the sales brochure, of course, but I’ve been getting around 25 miles of pure electric range from a full battery so far, and that’s enough to cover the majority of local journeys, especially if you can plug the car in every night.

Darren in Volkswagen Tiguan

Even when my car’s 1.4-litre petrol engine joins the fray, this is still the quietest model in the Tiguan range – provided you don’t decide to bury the accelerator pedal into the carpet. 

This quietness makes for a serene driving experience, and that’s a good thing, because it means I can better concentrate on what’s going on around me, whether that’s the traffic situation, or the phone-in session on the radio.

It’s also good news for my parents, who have recently decided to join the green car revolution. My mum’s 2011 Ford Focus is, well, getting on a bit, and having poked around the Tiguan when I’ve taken it back home, it’s on their shortlist for a new car. As well it should be, because the serenity that impresses me on every journey is exactly what they’re looking for, along with the promise of reduced running costs thanks to its plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system.

Volkswagen Tiguan boot handles

Recently they had a good nose around the Tiguan’s interior. Dad enjoyed the practical nature of the car, and the way its second-row seats can be dropped using toggles inside the boot – handy if a quick trip into town turns into an afternoon at Ikea. 

Mum, meanwhile, appreciated the high-up driving position of the Tiguan compared with her Focus, but wasn’t that keen on the digital dials in the instrument cluster, saying they put a little too much information in front of her. This fear was allayed when I pressed a couple of options in the screen’s menu, which slims down the information to just the bare essentials. And, of course, the ability to drive along using electrons rather than fuel was a novelty for them both.

It’s early days, but it's looking like the Tiguan is an early favourite for the next Moss family transport mobile.

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