Volkswagen Tiguan plug-in hybrid long-term test: report 8

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 reversing

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 4225 List price £39,640 Target Price £39,056 Price as tested £40,695 Test economy 50.6mpg Official economy 153.2mpg

16 September 2022 – The silent partner

“Luxury must be comfortable,” Coco Chanel once said “otherwise it is not luxury.” And while I wouldn’t claim that my Volkswagen Tiguan was a luxury SUV, it is, in my chosen Elegance trim, a family SUV that certainly acknowledges the L word.

Volkswagen Tiguan height-adjustable armrest

On the comfort front, the Tiguan’s driving position is sound. Like the best SUVs', it places me high above the road so I can see more of my surroundings. In some of the Tiguan’s rivals, by comparison, including the BMW X1 or Seat Ateca, you barely sit any higher from the road than you would in a conventional family hatchback.

It’s easy to find a comfy posture once you’re there, too, with lots of seat adjustment and even a height-adjustable armrest. That last point may seem minor, but as a taller driver, you’d be amazed at the difference in comfort having an armrest that adapts to suit can make. 

The Tiguan doesn't force me to struggle when reversing, either; while my rearward view out isn’t as panoramic as it is looking forwards (largely because of its chunky rear pillars), my car has a reversing camera as well as rear parking sensors to warn me of impending obstacles.

That reversing camera has been very useful recently, because I regularly need to back out of the underground parking garage beneath the What Car? office onto quite a busy road, so being able to clearly see what’s behind me is paramount. The image the system provides is clear and includes handy guide lines to tell me where my wheels are going, as well as an audible warning should a cyclist, car or pedestrian suddenly cross the rear of my car. 

Volkswagen Tiguan reversing camera

The camera is standard on Elegance versions of the Tiguan and optional elsewhere in the range; were I to have my time with the Tiguan again, I’d make sure I had one fitted. The infotainment screen is mounted rather low down on the Tiguan’s dashboard, however, so you have to bend your head more to see it than you would in many family SUV rivals.

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