What's the used Volkswagen Tiguan like?
This second-generation version was launched in 2016, and, anxious not to upset the magic formula, it retains much of the solidity and straightforwardness that made the original car such a success. It’s actually a fraction wider, longer and lower, so its stance is perhaps more car-like, and VW has deliberately pushed this version of the car more upmarket, with improved efficiency, increased space and higher prices.
However, all the traditional SUV qualities are still there: the practical interior, the elevated driving position and the rugged looks. There’s also the option of four-wheel drive on most variants, and a stretched seven-seater Allspace version, too.
There’s also a wide range of engines. Petrols kick off with a 1.4 TSi 125 that is the most affordable in the range, but it can struggle a bit on inclines. The 1.4 TSi 150 version is better, but still lacks the low-rev pulling power of the diesel options. The 2.0-litre TSi 180 petrol engine feels quick, but it lacks the in-gear flexibility of the diesels.
Diesels start with the 2.0 TDi 115, which can feel a little short of puff, and then move up to the best-selling 2.0 TDi 150 engine, which offers a fine blend of performance and economy. There are also 190 and 240 versions of the same engine, which offer increasing levels of get-up-and-go but for obvious increases in fuel consumption.
Trim levels start with entry-level S, which gets air-con, 17in alloys, electric windows and a touchscreen infotainment system, and work up through SE, which adds three-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control, to SE Nav, which adds sat-nav. SEL adds a digital instrument cluster, LED headlights and 19in wheels, while range-topping R-Line versions gain 20in wheels and stiffer sports suspension.
On the road the Tiguan rides and handles very nicely indeed. It can smother road imperfections and speed bumps admirably, while still being firm enough to give this SUV the sort of handling that the owner of a more normal hatchback would be used to.
But it’s in the area of refinement that the Tiguan scores highest. Noise levels are very low with any of the engines on board, and wind and road noise is kept to a minimum, even at higher speeds. The manual gearbox is light and easy to use, while the DSG automatic is smooth and soothing the vast majority of the time, with only the occasional jerk at low speeds.
Safety and security kit are also top-notch, with automatic emergency braking standard on all Tiguans, and five-star scores in most of these areas.
Inside is an interior that will not excite style-wise, but its solid build quality and use of soft-touch plastics and good looking materials will please any owner. The driving position is excellent, and visibility is good. There’s plenty of space up front, and rear seat passengers get lots of leg and head room, with three abreast fine even for adults. The seven-seater Allspace has two rearmost seats that are fine for children, and can be used by adults for shorter journeys. It’s a flexible interior, too, with split-folding, sliding and reclining rear seats, and the boot is large even by the class standards.
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