Volkswagen Tiguan review

Volkswagen's popular Tiguan SUV tested on Irish roads

Pros: Updated styling, practical interior, engine range

Cons: Firm ride with larger wheels, infotainment takes getting used to

The Volkswagen Tiguan is Ireland’s fourth best-selling new car this year and it is now the German brand’s best-selling model worldwide. Now available with petrol plug-in hybrid and diesel powertrains, the Tiguan mixes family-friendly practicality with premium styling in a way that few other mid-sized SUVs can. We recently took this high-specification R-Line model on a long distance test drive across Ireland to see what it is like to live with, and if the Tiguan remains one of the standout contenders in the SUV class.

Tiguan Design

Following a recent facelift, the Tiguan has a new grille and a higher bonnet, LED lights as standard and there is also new Tiguan lettering on the boot door at the rear. Volkswagen offers the Tiguan in three different specifications in Ireland; Life, Elegance and R-Line. In entry Life specification it has 18-inch alloy wheels and tinted rear windows, while the mid-specification Elegance model adds chrome exterior detailing and a panoramic roof. We drove the highest specification R-Line model which is the most visually-striking option, with 20-inch Suzuka alloy wheels, R-Line body-coloured bumpers and an R-Line rear spoiler. The Tiguan is available in 10 different colour choices and Urano Grey is the standard option. The Lapiz Blue metallic paint featured on our test car is costs an additional €1,120 on the options list. 

Tiguan Interior

Stepping inside, the Tiguan offers lots of space and practicality for family life. Up front, the seats are comfortable and supportive with plenty of adjustment available. As standard it gets an eight-inch navigation touch screen system as standard which is good to use, although it takes getting used to. Apple Car Play, Android Auto and App Connect are featured as standard and this remains the easiest way to use the system. Our R-Line specification test car is also equipped with a digital cockpit pro system that is intuitive to use, displaying driving information and other features in vibrant digital fashion. There’s plenty of space for passengers in the rear seats and lots of light in the rear seats too, especially with the panoramic roof that is featured on higher specification models. Boot space is very good at 615 litres in this diesel model, although it is worth noting that boot space is reduced to 476 litres in the plug-in-hybrid version. Quality and finish is good throughout and a step above many of its rivals.

Tiguan Performance & Drive

The Tiguan is available with a choice of powertrains, starting with the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 122 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission, or a more powerful 150 horsepower 2.0-litre TDI diesel with a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission. There is also a new 1.4-litre TSI petrol plug-in-hybrid model with a six-speed DSG automatic transmission. We drove the 150 horsepower 2.0-litre diesel Tiguan with the DSG automatic transmission, and as you would expect, it’s smooth and refined on the move. It's rather efficient too, over 363 kilometres of driving at higher motorway speeds, we managed 6 litres/100km in economy. The Tiguan rides very well, even on bumpier roads, although the R-Line model is firmer on the road due to the larger 20-inch wheels and sports suspension. It turns well and copes well with its higher ride height and with minimal body roll, making it one of the better mid-sized SUVs to drive. 

Tiguan Pricing

In Ireland, prices for the Tiguan start from €39,125 for the entry Tiguan Life. It gets 18-inch alloy wheels, the eight-inch Discover Media navigation system, comfort front seats, tinted rear windows, park distance control and more as standard. The Tiguan Elegance starts from €46,585 and it adds LED Matrix headlights, a chrome package, tilting and sliding panoramic roof, 30-colour ambient interior lighting, ArtVelous upholstery and a rear view camera. The range-topping Tiguan R-Line starts from €47,495 and leaves little to be desired with 20-inch Suzuka alloy wheels, body coloured R-Line bumpers, a rear spoiler, brushed stainless steel pedals inside and upgraded Sardegna fabric upholestery with lots of other features.

Carzone Verdict: 4/5

The Tiguan remains a standout option in the medium-sized SUV space, and it’s easy to see why it remains one of the best-selling cars in the class. It offers strong space and practicality for family life, coupled with an efficient range of diesel and plug-in-hybrid engines. That said, it quickly gets expensive, especially if you go for the higher specification R-Line models, while the infotainment and touch controls aren't as intuitive as they should be. That said, the Tiguan is a great all-rounder, with a specification and powertrain to suit different needs.

Model: Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI DSG R-Line

Prices from: €39,120

Price as tested: €44,510

Engine: 1968cc TDI diesel

Co2 Emissions: 152 g/km

Power: 150hp

Transmission: Seven-speed DSG

0-100km/h: 9.1 seconds

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