Driving position and dashboard
If you’ve spent time in other cars from the Volkswagen stable, you’ll soon find your way around the Tiguan’s dashboard. All the switches and controls are laid out logically, and the steering wheel avoids being the button-fest that so many modern wheels have become.
Getting comfortable is easy, too, thanks to plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment. Those looking to travel long distances should be aware that you don’t get adjustable lumbar support on entry-level S models, though. At least the pedals are well placed, with a well-positioned rest for your clutch foot.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Those who love the view afforded by a high-set driving position will certainly appreciate the Tiguan. Despite being slightly lower overall than the previous model, this latest Tiguan has front seats mounted higher in the car.
True, rear visibility isn't as impressive due to chunky pillars at the back of the car. However, SE models and above get front and rear parking sensors as standard to get around this.
If you’re not a fan of reversing and/or parking, you can have a rear-view camera bundled in with a self-parking system for a reasonable amount of money. Not only does this let you see what’s behind you on the infotainment screen, the 'park assist' will steer the Tiguan into a space while you operate the pedals. Just bear in mind that you’ll have to go for SE trim or above to specify this.
Sat nav and infotainment
Even entry-level S models have an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity for up to two devices at once, a DAB radio, as well as USB and SD card sockets. Opt for SE Navigation or above and (surprise, surprise) this is upgraded to include sat-nav with 3D mapping and traffic information. An even higher-specfication sat-nav system is available as an option, featuring Google Earth, a DVD player and a 64GB hard drive.
SE models and above receive VW’s Car-Net system as standard that allows you to connect a smartphone via Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or MirrorLink. This in turn enables you to access certain features on your smartphone via the Tiguan’s infotainment system, including sat-nav. For cost-conscious buyers, it's a cheap way to get navigation on S and SE models.
The touchscreen interface is easy to use and, in the main, quick to respond. However, pressing the icon you want while driving takes some concentration, whereas the rotary dial interfaces in the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 are less distracting.
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 work 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. The only small SUVs with classier interiors are the Q3 and X1, and even then the differences aren't huge.