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 was 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 paying 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, too.
There’s also a wide range of engines. The diesel lineup opens with the 1.6 TDi 115, which can feel a little short of puff. Next up is the best-selling 2.0 TDi 150, which offers a fine blend of performance and economy. There are also 190 and 240 versions of the same engine; these offer increasing levels of get-up-and-go, at the cost of increased fuel consumption.
Petrols kick off with a 1.4-litre TSi 125; it's the most affordable engine of the lot, but can struggle a bit on inclines. The 1.4 TSi 150 version is better, but still lacks the low-rev pulling power of the diesels. Both 1.4 petrol engines were replaced by the 1.5 TSI Evo in 2018, in two power outputs: 130 and 150. The 2.0-litre TSi 180 petrol engine feels quick, but lacks the in-gear flexibility of the diesels. This was replaced by an updated 190 version, and an ultra-powerful 230 version was later added to the range.
Trim levels start with entry-level S, which gives you air conditioning, 17in alloys, electric windows and a touchscreen infotainment system. SE adds three-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control, and SE Nav adds sat-nav. SEL trim gives you a digital instrument cluster, LED headlights and 19in wheels, while range-topping R-Line Tech 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 kind 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 are 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 a five-star Euro NCAP score.
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 seating fine even for adults. It’s flexible, too, with split-folding, sliding and reclining rear seats, and it's boot is large even by class standards. The seven-seater Allspace has two third-row seats that are fine for children, and can be used by adults for shorter journeys.
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