The interior layout, fit and finish
To match the aggressive exterior design, the interior of the Tiguan R features a flat-bottomed steering wheel, a plethora of ‘R’ emblems and a pair of figure-hugging front sports seats.
Those seats are more heavily bolstered than the set you’ll find in an Audi SQ5 or base model Porsche Macan, and they hold you in place really well during hard cornering. They’re also very comfortable, even on a long journey, and highly adjustable – you can sit nice and low behind the wheel for that ‘racer’ feel, or perched up high if you want better visibility.
At least Volkswagen's range-topping 9.2in Discovery Pro infotainment touchscreen is standard, because it's a sharp-looking system that responds quickly to inputs and features wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring. However, it still isn't as easy to operate on the go as the iDrive unit with a physical rotary controller that you get in the BMW X1.
In terms of quality, the materials and fit and finish are decent, with leather, soft plastics and coloured trims abounding, and hard plastics only used low down, where you rarely touch them. It’s certainly a step up from the T-Roc R, but not quite as plush as the Audi SQ5 with its real metal inlays.