The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Getting comfortable in the Volkswagen Tiguan is easy, thanks to there being plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment, along with well-positioned pedals and a handy rest for your clutch foot. Granted, you don’t sit quite as high as you do in the Volvo XC40, but you still feel like you’re driving a proper SUV rather than just a jacked-up family hatchback. Adjustable lumbar support for the front seats is standard on Life trim and above.
If you’ve spent time in other cars from the Volkswagen stable, you’ll soon find your way around the Tiguan’s dashboard. However, it’s disappointing that the designers have, as with several other models, decided to do away with almost all of the buttons in the Tiguan's interior.
By jettisoning physical buttons in favour of small, touch-sensitive pads, even changing the temperature setting has been made distracting to do while on the move. And on top of that, R-Line models also receive a sports steering wheel with ‘touch controls’ as standard – these controls replace the physical buttons (that you get on the regular car) and are frustratingly easy to activate with an inadvertent brush of your thumb.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Although, as we’ve said, some rivals place you even higher, those who love the view afforded by a high-set driving position will certainly appreciate the Tiguan. And while it’s true that rear visibility isn't briliant due to chunky pillars at the rear of the car, the same is true for rivals such as the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq.
All trims get automatic LED headlights, although you’ll need to jump to Life trim to get front and rear parking sensors as standard. Elegance adds a reversing camera, while a 360-degree bird's eye-view camera system is available on all but entry-level 'Tiguan' models. Elegance models also have adaptive lights that allow you to maintain main beam without blinding other drivers.
Sat nav and infotainment
All Tiguans get an 8.0in touchscreen as standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring; Life models and above also get a 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 Life trim and above, but very expensive on entry-level 'Tiguan' trim so is best avoided. In any case, the BMW X1’s infotainment system is much more user-friendly.
The Tiguan may not have the most exciting interior in the business, but it's typically Volkswagen. That means plenty of soft-touch plastics and controls that operate with a reassuring precision.
You'll see some hard, scratchy plastic lower down on the dashboard, but this is at least kept away from the areas you regularly touch. Even so, premium-badged cars alternatives in this class, including the BMW X1, Volvo XC40 and Range Rover Evoque, all have much classier interiors than the Tiguan.
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