What Car? says...
Regardless of what you might hear, the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace proves that size matters – or at least it does for buyers of seven-seaters.
So while the five-seat Tiguan can already be considered a resounding success for the car maker, Volkswagen is looking to exploit its popularity by adding an extra two seats and even more room to create the Allspace.
In total, 215mm has been added between the front and rear wheels of the standard model to accommodate seven seats, while adding some extra boot space when the third row is folded. The bigger model also has a slightly different front-end design and roof rails as standard to set it apart from the common or garden five-seater.
The Allspace has a similar range of petrol and diesel engines to the standard VW Tiguan, but without some of the lower-powered entry-level variants.
You get a choice of three high-spec trims – Life, Elegance and R-Line. They all come with plenty of kit, but this does mean the Allspace looks expensive compared with seven-seater rivals including the Peugeot 5008 and the Skoda Kodiaq.
How well does the VW Tiguan Allspace stack up against the standard Tiguan and those rivals, then, and can it justify the extra expense? Read on over the next few pages of this review to find out what we think of its performance, reliability, interior quality, boot space and more, as well as which engine and trim combination we recommend.
Then, when you’ve decided which make and model of car is the right one for you, we can help you find it for the best price if you search our free What Car? New Car Deals service.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace’s 2.0TDI diesel engine is available with two-wheel drive or 4Motion all-wheel drive, depending on which of the two power outputs you go for. The 148bhp version (badged 2.0 TDI 150) is probably all you need, offering plenty of shove low down in the rev range and a good mix of performance and fuel economy. The more powerful 2.0 TDI 200 is even more responsive, getting from 0-62mph in 7.8sec, but the price will certainly raise an eyebrow.
If diesel isn’t your thing, the Tiguan Allspace has a choice of petrol engines, offering 148bhp, 187bhp or 241bhp. The entry-level 148bhp 1.5 TSI 150 needs revving fairly hard if you want to get the most out of it but has sufficient power to get you up to speed. As you’d expect, the 187bhp 2.0 TSI 190 gets up to speed even faster, while the top-of-the-range 2.0 TSI 245 – which is only available with the R-Line trim – has 241bhp to propel it from 0-62mph in just 6.2sec.
The entry-level 1.5 TSI 150 and 2.0 TDI 150 are both available with a six-speed manual gearbox, while all other versions come only with a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. The auto can be frustratingly slow to react when you put your foot down or when you need a sudden burst of power to overtake. That can be solved by a quick downshift on the paddles behind the wheel.
Suspension and ride comfort
By SUV standards, the Tiguan Allspace rides very well. It smooths over bigger imperfections such as speed bumps better than the Skoda Kodiaq yet the suspension is still firm enough to stop the body bouncing up and down too much along undulating roads.
Patched-up roads and broken Tarmac can unsettle the car a little – especially if you choose a version with big alloy wheels – but, compared with its key rivals, the Tiguan Allspace is comfortable. If you want something even more comfortable, you’ll want to look at either the Range Rover Evoque or Volvo XC40, although you won’t get seven seats with those.
We wouldn't bother with the optional adaptive suspension that Volkswagen offers. It doesn't improve the ride that much and there are more worthwhile extras to spend your money on.
The Tiguan Allspace handles more like a conventional hatchback than many of its SUV rivals, and is genuinely enjoyable to drive. Some might feel the steering is a bit too light, but it is precise, making the car easy to place on the road. All versions have plenty of grip, with four-wheel-drive 4Motion models offering better traction in slippery conditions, but body lean is noticeable on twistier roads.
The 4Motion models have a dial next to the gearlever that allows you to select different modes depending on the terrain and initiate a hill-descent system. A further option is adaptive chassis control, which allows you to stiffen or soften the suspension to prioritise ride comfort or flatter handling. You’d have to be pushing very hard to notice the reduced body roll the adaptive damping brings.
Noise and vibration
The Tiguan Allspace's petrol engines are especially smooth, even when worked hard, and while the diesels sound a bit clattery at tick-over and when you really put your foot down, they're muted at a cruise and far from raucous when accelerating.
At high speeds, you will hear a flutter of wind noise around the Tiguan Allspace's door mirrors, but virtually no road noise unless you opt for a version with really big alloy wheels.
The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Getting comfortable in the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is easy, with plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment, well-positioned pedals and a handy rest for your clutch foot. You don’t sit quite as high up as you do in the Volvo XC40 but you still feel as though you’re driving a proper SUV rather than just a jacked-up family hatchback. Adjustable lumbar support for the front seats is standard on all Tiguan Allspace trims.
If you’ve spent time in other cars from the Volkswagen stable, you’ll soon find your way around the Tiguan’s dashboard. It’s disappointing that the designers have (as with several other models) decided to do away with almost all the buttons in the Tiguan's interior.
Replacing physical controls with small, touch-sensitive pads has made even changing the temperature setting more distracting on the move. R Line models take that even further by replacing physical steering-wheel buttons with touch controls that are easy to activate accidentally with a brush of your thumb.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The Tiguan Allspace gives you a great view out of the windscreen, but rear visibility isn’t quite as good due to the chunky pillars at the rear of the car (the same is true of the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq).
Luckily, parking manoeuvres are made easier if you opt for one of the two higher trim levels because they have front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera as standard.
If you opt for the entry-level Life trim or R-Line, you’ll get bright automatic LED headlights as standard. The Elegance trim gets impressive matrix headlights that let you keep high-beam on at all times, directing it away from other traffic. You can have those with Life or R-Line trim, but they’re an expensive option.
Sat nav and infotainment
All Tiguan Allspace models get an 8.0in touchscreen as standard with Bluetooth, DAB radio, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring and built-in sat-nav. The screen is rather small by modern standards and it's mounted quite low on the dashboard, but it's sharp and quick to respond to prods.
We’ve also tried the optional 9.2in Discover Pro system, which adds gesture and voice control functions that, frankly, don't work very well. It's relatively keenly priced on all trim levels, but it’s hard to justify when you get most of the features with the standard system. The infotainment in the BMW X1 is much more user-friendly.
Audiophiles might want to upgrade the standard eight-speaker sound system to the optional Harman Kardon set-up which has 11 speakers and a subwoofer. Just be prepared to pay a chunky price tag, as it’s only available if you also add an optional Ambience pack, which adds various interior lighting features.
The Tiguan Allspace may not have the most exciting interior in the business – the Peugeot 5008 beats it when it comes to sheer style – but it's typically VW in design, construction and feel. That means lots of soft-touch plastics and controls that feel solid and responsive.
You'll see some hard, scratchy plastic lower down on the dashboard, but it's kept away from the areas you touch regularly. The quality is on a par with the Skoda Kodiaq, but the Audi Q3 and BMW X1 do have classier interiors, even if the differences aren't huge.
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
There’s plenty of room up front in the Tiguan Allspace for even the tallest of drivers. There’s loads of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel, and you’ll find plenty of room for all your odds and ends.
The front door bins will each hold a fairly big bottle of water, there’s a centre armrest with storage and a cooled glovebox should stop road-trip treats from melting.
All models get handy drawers under the driver and front passenger seats – perfect for hiding valuables if you need to leave them in the car. Add in a few cubbyholes and you have a very versatile interior.
If you try to squeeze three adults into the Tiguan Allspace's second row of seats, the middle person is likely to feel a bit pinched, but leg room will only be an issue for the tallest of individuals.
If you’re only carrying a couple of passengers behind you, they get a central armrest with a pair of cupholders. And if you really want to push the boat out, heated rear seats and independent climate control for passengers in the back are available as part of a Winter pack (which is standard on Elegance trim).
This model differs from the standard VW Tiguan with the inclusion of a third row of seats to give you seven in total. The two extra seats are only suitable for children or small adults who are prepared to be uncomfortable on short journeys. The Tiguan Allspace, then, should be seen as a five-seat SUV with two additional seats for occasional use, rather than a full seven-seater.
Seat folding and flexibility
Volkswagen has clearly worked hard to make sure the Tiguan Allspace scores well for seating versatility. As standard, the front seats feature manual height and lumbar adjustment. There is also the option of more adjustable ‘ergoComfort’ front seats if you go for Elegance trim.
All versions come with 40/20/40 split-folding, sliding and reclining rear seats. The front passenger seat folds down, too, adding to the Tiguan Allspace's load-carrying capability. All the rear seats fold down almost flat, making carrying longer items easier.
The two rearmost seats are easily accessed once you slide the middle row forward and can be dropped into the boot floor to increase space.
The Tiguan Allspace’s boot is usefully bigger than the standard five-seat model’s when the rearmost seats are stowed away. The five-seat version has a big boot compared with rivals such as the BMW X1 and the Nissan Qashqai. However, the seven-seat Tiguan Allspace faces competition from bigger cars such as the Peugeot 5008 and the Kodiaq, and its boot size is some way behind those.
It does get a large tailgate and wide opening to make loading easier, plus there’s a height-adjustable floor to make it easier when you need to lift in heavy items. It’s not perfect, though. There’s a slope in the opening of the boot floor to make space to stow the parcel shelf, and to bring the floor into line with the folded third row.
If you slide the middle-row seats as far back as they'll go, boot space shrinks accordingly, as does leg room for passengers in the back row. Pushing them forwards increases the space at the very back of the car substantially.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Spec for spec, the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is around £2000 more expensive than the five-seat VW Tiguan. For that money, you get that usefully bigger boot, but you won’t want to use the two extra seats too often due to the lack of third-row space. The Tiguan Allspace also looks expensive compared with the Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq.
The good news is that it holds its value very well, meaning the overall cost of ownership is less than some cheaper rivals. It also means PCP car finance costs are very competitive. If you're watching the pennies, we’d stick to the two-wheel-drive models because the list price and running costs will be lower.
Automatic versions typically produce more CO2 emissions and are less economical than their manual equivalents. Volkswagen offers a three-year/30,000-mile fixed-price servicing scheme that should help with budgeting.
Equipment, options and extras
The Tiguan and Tiguan Allspace ranges both start with Life trim, but the Allspace has some extra toys as standard. You get 18in alloy wheels, three-zone climate control, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, electronically adjusted and heated wing mirrors and a digital driver display instead of conventional dials, plus the LED headlights, parking sensors, lumbar support and touchscreen infotainment bits.
If you fancy more equipment, the top Elegance trim adds 19in alloys, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry, an electrically operated tailgate, a rear-view camera, heated front seats, heated outer rear seats and the matrix headlights.
For a Tiguan Allspace with a sportier flair, turn your attention to R-Line trim. It gets the largest wheels, at 20in, along with R-Line exterior styling, additional driver assistance systems including lane-keep assist, sports comfort seats and wireless smartphone-charging.
Although we don’t have specific data for the Tiguan Allspace, the standard five-seat Tiguan came 17th out of 28 family SUVs in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey. That’s above the Nissan Qashqai and Range Rover Evoque.
Volkswagen as a manufacturer didn’t fare any better in the survey, finishing a lacklustre 20th out of the 30 included brands. That’s two places above Peugeot but below Skoda, which finished 12th.
Just like the five-door version, the Tiguan Allspace gets a three-year/60,000-mile warranty as standard. That’s pretty par for the course.
Safety and security
Euro NCAP awarded the Tiguan (including the Allspace) five out of five stars for safety. That was back in 2016 though, and the tests have become much more stringent over the years, meaning that cars tested in more recent years will potentially keep you safer.
Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is standard on every Tiguan Allspace, which can slow or even stop the car if it senses a collision is imminent at low speeds. The high seating position will appeal to many buyers, while the permanent four-wheel-drive models also make a tempting case if you regularly encounter tricky conditions.
Security experts Thatcham Research awarded the five-seat Tiguan impressive marks for resisting being stolen or broken into.
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|RRP price range
|£36,920 - £49,325
|Number of trims (see all)
|Number of engines (see all)
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)
|MPG range across all versions
|31.7 - 49.6
|Available doors options
|3 years / 60000 miles
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)
|£2,463 / £3,530
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)
|£4,926 / £7,060