Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine (badged 1.5 TSI 150) is the pick for most buyers. It needs revving fairly hard to get the very best from it, but there's enough pull from low revs. The 2.0 TDI diesel also suits the Tiguan really well and has more low-rev urgency, but we wouldn't bother spending the extra unless you need the optional four-wheel drive (4Motion) that it's available with.
For slightly less money, you could have a 128bhp version of the same basic 1.5 petrol engine (called the 1.5 TSI 130). However, while this engine is up to the job in the smaller Golf, it struggles more in the heavier Tiguan – particularly if you plan top carry lots of people on a regular basis.
Patched up roads and broken Tarmac can unsettle the Tiguan a little – especially if you choose a version with big alloy wheels (R-Line cars get massive 20in alloys and sports suspension) – but compared with most key rivals the Tiguan is comfortable. Only the Volvo XC40 and Range Rover Evoque feel more plush, although the Skoda Karoq runs the Tiguan close.
Unfortunately, the plug-in eHybrid is a little less forgiving along pockmarked roads, because the extra weight of the battery pack places bigger demands on the suspension.
The Tiguan handles more like a conventional hatchback than many of its SUV rivals. Some may find the steering a little too light, but it’s precise and helps you feel in control of what is quite a hefty chunk of metal. It’s also barely any trickier to manoeuvre in tight multi-storey car parks than a Golf.