Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
With no mechanical differences from the standard Tiguan, the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace offers a very similar driving experience. The best-selling Allspace is the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel model (badged 2.0 TDI 150) and it's easy to see why; it offers a fine blend of performance and fuel economy. There's also a 2.0 TDI 190 engine that delivers plenty of punch but is rather pricey, while the range-topping 2.0 BiTDI 240 unit brings yet more pace for an even more eyebrow-raising price.
Unfortunately, each of the diesels suffers considerable lag before their turbochargers respond – put your foot down for a roundabout gap and several seconds pass before the engine jumps into life, often with an uncomfortable jerk of power.
If you’d rather be propelled by petrol power, the 1.4 TSI 150 engine is the cheapest in the line-up and makes a fine choice if you’re a low-mileage driver, but it does lack the low-rev pulling power of the diesels. The 2.0 TSI 180 feels quick but it, too, needs a few revs to perform its best.
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 from 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.
We wouldn't bother with the optional adaptive suspension. 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; it's genuinely enjoyable to drive. Some might feel the steering is a little too light, but it’s at least precise, making the car easy to place on the road. All versions have plenty of grip, although the four-wheel-drive 4Motion models unsurprisingly offer better traction in slippery conditions, but body lean is noticeable when headed along a particular twisty road. The BMW X1 and Seat Ateca are much more agile.
4Motion models add 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 – this allows you to stiffen or soften the suspension to prioritise either ride comfort or flatter handling. Even so, you’d have to be pushing very hard to notice the reduced body roll that the adaptive damping brings.
Noise and vibration
The 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. The higher-powered diesels are a little noisier than the 148bhp variant, but all are among the best in their class for noise.
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.