The interior layout, fit and finish
To match the aggressive exterior aesthetic, the interior of the Tiguan R features a flat-bottomed steering wheel, a plethora of ‘R’ emblems and a pair of figure-hugging sports seats.
Those seats are more heavily bolstered than the set you’ll find in a base Porsche Macan or Audi SQ5, and they hold you in place really well during hard cornering. They’re also supremely comfortable, even on a long journey, and highly adjustable – you can sit nice and low behind the wheel for that ‘racer’ feel, or sit perched up if you want better visibility.
Thin windscreen pillars mean you have a great view of the road ahead, too, and while thick rear pillars restrict your view out of the rear window, we expect that front and rear parking sensors will be standard (full UK trim specifications are yet to be finalised). But we can tell you that LED headlights (LED matrix light modules are optional) will be fitted, making progress at night a stress-free affair.
In slightly less good news, as is the case with the latest Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen has done away with most of the buttons in the interior, so even the climate control panel is now touch-sensitive. Aesthetically, it might be a move forward, but from a functionality perspective, it’s a step in the wrong direction.
By eschewing physical buttons in favour of small, touch-sensitive pads, even changing the temperature setting is distracting to do while on the move, because a touch-sensitive button is impossible to find unless you take your eyes off the road. And on top of that, R-models also get a sports steering wheel with ‘touch controls’ as standard – these controls replace the physical buttons (that you get on the regular car) and they’re frustratingly easy to activate with an inadvertent brush of your thumb.
As standard, R-models will also get VW’s range-topping 9.2in Discovery Pro infotainment touchscreen. It’s a sharp looking system that responds quickly to inputs, but we prefer the BMW X1’s iDrive unit with its physical iDrive controller as it’s easier to operate on the go. R-spec Tiguans should also get Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring as standard.
In terms of overall 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 won’t see or touch them. It’s certainly a step up from the T-Roc R, but not quite as plush as the Audi SQ5 with its denser plastics and real metal inlays.
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