What's the used Volkswagen Tiguan estate like?
One of the biggest complaints made of this second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan when it arrived in 2016 was its price. Since it had expanded in size to increase interior space and been deliberately pushed upmarket to challenge the BMW X1, costs dramatically increased. Since then, though, depreciation has taken its toll, allowing used buyers the chance to benefit from all that added refinement without having to pay over the odds for it.
All the traditional SUV qualities are present and correct: a practical interior, an elevated driving position and rugged looks. There’s also the option of four-wheel drive on most variants and a stretched seven-seater Allspace version.
There’s also a wide range of engines. The diesel line-up opens with the 113bhp 2.0 TDI, which can feel a little short of puff. Next up is the best-selling 148bhp 2.0 TDI, which offers a fine blend of performance and economy. There are also more powerful 187bhp and twin-turbo 237bhp versions of the 2.0-litre engine, which offer increasing levels of get-up-and-go at the cost of additional fuel consumption.
The petrols begin with a 123bhp 1.4-litre TSI, which is the most affordable engine of the lot but can struggle a bit on inclines. The 148bhp 1.4 TSI is better but still lacks the low-rev pulling power of the diesels. Both 1.4-litre engines were replaced by the 1.5 TSI Evo in 2018, offering two power outputs: 128bhp and 148bhp. The 178bhp 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine feels quick but lacks the in-gear flexibility of the diesels. This was replaced by an updated 187bhp version and a 227bhp version that was added to the range in 2019.
The trim levels start with S, which gives you air conditioning, 17in alloy wheels, electric windows and an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system. SE adds tri-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control, while SE Nav adds sat-nav. SEL trim gives you a digital instrument display, LED headlights and 19in wheels, while range-topping R-Line versions gain sportier styling tweaks, 20in wheels and stiffer sports suspension.
SE and SE Nav were combined as part of model revisions in 2019 to become Match. This new trim level gets 19in alloys, a rear-view camera, keyless entry and a parking assistance feature. R-Line Tech became the new top model and added an electric tailgate and a surround-view camera system.
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 offer the kind of handling that the owner of a 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 available and wind and road noise are kept to a minimum, even at higher speeds. The manual gearbox is light and easy to use, while the dual-clutch automatic (DSG) is smooth and soothing the vast majority of the time, with only the occasional jerk at low speeds.
The interior doesn't excite, but its solid build quality, soft-touch plastics and good-looking materials will please any owner. The driving position is excellent and visibility is good, too.
There’s plenty of space up front and rear passengers get lots of leg and head room, with three-abreast seating fine even for adults. It’s flexible, too, with split-folding, sliding and reclining rear seats, and the boot is large even by class standards. The seven-seat Allspace has two third-row seats that are fine for shorter adults but only for very short journeys.
Safety and security kit are also top-notch, with automatic emergency braking standard on all models and a five-star Euro NCAP score.
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