Volkswagen Tiguan reader test team

With a third generation of Volkswagen’s family SUV arriving next year, our readers pass judgement before it reaches showrooms...

Volkswagen Tiguan reader test team

The Volkswagen Tiguan family SUV is very important to brand; it’s been on sale for 15 years and has been its best-seller every year since 2017. So important is it that Tiguan is one of the few names that VW will keep when it transitions to an all-electric line-up; the others are Volkswagen Golf and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

The pressure is on, then, for the new, 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan to take on the mantle and run with it. Roughly the same size as the outgoing model, it will initially be available with a range of petrol, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and diesel engines, with an electric version to come in the next couple of years. The PHEV has an official electric range of 62 miles, and its battery can be fully charged in 30 minutes using a 50kW public charger.

Available features include ventilated and massaging seats, a 15.0in infotainment touchscreen (12.9in is standard) and a customisable digital instrument panel. Happily, easy-to-use physical switches for frequently used functions – removed on the outgoing Tiguan – have been reinstated in the new car.

To find out if the new Tiguan has what it takes to maintain its popularity, we asked six readers to give us their verdicts on it.

Barry Sweeting

Volkswagen Tiguan reader test team

Age 67
Job Retired
Drives Volvo XC40

“My previous car was a Tiguan and I liked it, although its diesel engine was noisier than that of my Volvo XC40. The new model could be a contender for my next car.

“It’s far less boxy-looking than the old car and I think the sloping rear end is more attractive. The boot is a good size, too. The interior looks classier than before and feels like it’s been thoughtfully designed. I have plenty of room in the driver’s seat, and there are good-sized door bins for those sitting in the front.

“Volkswagen appears to have recovered from the problems it was having with its cars’ infotainment systems; certainly the new Tiguan’s touchscreen works well, and it’s good to see that the air-con has specific controls, rather than being on the infotainment screen. I like the multi-function dial on the centre console for changing things like the driving mode and audio volume, too; it’s easy to use without taking your eyes off the road.

“I’m tempted by the PHEV; its electric range would fit well with my routine. I’d also like to try the 1.5-litre petrol engine to see how it compares with my XC40.”

Star rating 5/5

Jon and Erin Walmsley

Volkswagen Tiguan reader test team

Ages 47 and 48
Jobs Digital learning manager and marketing manager
Drive Skoda Kodiaq

“We’re looking for a family SUV to replace our Kodiaq and want to see if the Tiguan would be a good option. We’re interested in the plug-in hybrid; its electric range would be enough for our daily commute, and we ’d be able to use the petrol engine for our trips from Nottingham to Cornwall.

“It certainly seems practical; we ’d be able to transport our paddle boards on the roof, and the boot, with its adjustable floor and flat load lip, would be easy to load with heavy items.

“However, being practical doesn’t mean it’s also boring. The front end styling looks rather like a face and the strip lighting across it would make a bold statement in other drivers’ rear-view mirrors.

“The large digital screens, ambient lighting and leather inserts on the dash doors make the Tiguan seem like somewhere you want to be. It feels far more upmarket than our Kodiaq.

“It’s also great that the rear seats are spacious and comfy, so the Tiguan would be ideal for taking our parents out on day trips.”

Star rating 4/5

Nick Storey

Volkswagen Tiguan reader test team

Age 60
Job GP surgery practice manager
Drives Seat Tarraco

“Volkswagens have traditionally been more expensive than the equivalent Seat and Skoda models, and that ’s partly why I chose my Tarraco; I could get the range-topping model for less than an equivalent Tiguan. However, I’m curious to see if the new model will be good value and a serious contender when I change my car in two years’ time.

“I like the softer exterior lines of the new Tiguan, but the interior is where I think the biggest improvements have been made. The previous car looked quite bland and ordinary inside compared with my Seat Tarraco, but this car is really sumptuous.

“The car we’ve seen has the optional 15.0in touchscreen, and I thought it would take some getting used to, but it seems well laid out and easy to operate.

“Moving the gear selector to the steering column puts it closer to hand when you need to use it and frees up space between the front seats for storage.

“Among the clever interior design touches, the rear armrest ’s cupholders are joined by slots to hold smartphones and angle them towards the passengers.

“In my opinion, Volkswagen has a winner on its hands with the new Tiguan.”

Star rating 5/5

George Lack

Volkswagen Tiguan reader test team

Age 66
Job Retired
Drives Peugeot 206 CC, Volkswagen Tiguan

“My wife and I have had our current Volkswagen Tiguan for seven years, and we’re thinking of changing it soon. We often travel from our home in Worcestershire to help our son in London with decorating and home improvements, and the Tiguan has been really practical for transporting building materials. The new car seems like it’ll be at least as versatile.

“As well as it having doors that open nice and wide for easy access, I’m very impressed with the build quality of the new

“I thought the optional 15.0in infotainment touchscreen would be too imposing and distracting. However, I really like it, because it has large, easy-to-read icons, and most of the important functions you use frequently can be accessed via steering wheel controls or buttons under the screen.

“I like the retractable tow bar on the car we’ve seen; it would be ideal for use with our trailer, and because it can be folded in and out via a button in the boot, we ’d be able to tuck it away whenever we need to park the car in a tight space overnight.”

Star rating 5/5

Claire Sewell

Volkswagen Tiguan reader test team

Age 46
Job Fitness professional
Drives Cupra Formentor

“I’ve had two Tiguans: a 2016 R-Line and a 2019 R-Line Tech. I like my Cupra Formentor, but I miss the Tiguans, because they were roomier and had a higher seating position, giving me better visibility, which I find particularly useful for motorway driving.

“The new Tiguan has lofty seats, too, and they’re extremely comfortable, plus I like the idea of having a massage function to soothe me on longer drives.

“It’s good that the rotary driving mode selector is located on the centre console, where it’s easy to reach. And I like the fact that you only need to swipe the sunroof button to open and close it, rather than having to keep holding it.

“It’s good that the car is still recognisably a Tiguan, but I do like the new, curvier exterior styling. The lines along the sides and front are attractive and make the car look well proportioned. I’m not a fan of the wheels on this particular example, but they’re probably trim-specific.

“The headlights on my previous Tiguans were very good, and the new ones are said to be even more powerful, so I expect they’ll be excellent. Now I’m just keen to find out what it’s like to drive.”

Star rating 4/5

Alan Pettitt

Volkswagen Tiguan reader test team

Age 56
Job Seedsman
Drives Nissan X-Trail

“I’ve owned Nissan X-Trails for many years, but I’m looking to switch to a different brand. However, I’m 6ft 2in tall and am struggling to find a car that’s comfortable for me and my tall family.

“I’m impressed with the space in the Tiguan, though; with the driver ’s seat far enough back for me, there would still be enough space in the seat behind for my 18-year-old son.

“I’m interested in the plug-in hybrid model, because it would have enough range for my 15-minute daily commute using electric power alone, saving on fuel and reducing emissions.

“The boot would easily be big enough for our weekly shop, and it has tie-down hoops that would be useful for securing larger items, such as furniture.

“I like the Tiguan’s streamlined lines; I tried the swoopier Nissan Ariya and it didn’t have enough head room in the back for my family, but the Tiguan is fine, because it’s not as coupé-like at the back as some models.

“The other feature that I like is the way you can change the ambient lighting colours for the front seat occupants. One of my sons is autistic, and having the interior light up in an appealing colour would encourage him to get in.”

Star rating 4/5

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