VW Tigs all the boxes
Tiguan is the quiet achiever in small SUVs, writes Graham Smith
VW HAS come a long way from the one-car company that produced Beetles by the millions. It’s now a vast multi-brand conglomerate producing a wide range of models competing in all segments of the market.
The Tiguan was the first model the company produced for the compact SUV market, one of the fastestgrowing segments over the past few years.
Like everything the company does, the German-built Tiguan was an understated, quality product that was aimed at being the best in the class.
THERE is no disputing that the SUV segment has been the boom segment in the market in recent years, and within that it’s the medium-sized, more compact models that have done the real business. That’s where the Tiguan entered the fray.
While it was VWs first venture into the compact SUV market, it was an understated entry. There were no bells and whistles, marching bands or hoopla to announce it.
It simply slipped into the market with little fuss and looked like it had been there forever.
It was typical of the segment with a simple, boxy shape that shouted ‘‘practicality’’.
The Tiguan’s high-riding stance made is easy to get in and out of the cabin, and once inside it was obvious the VW designers had made good use of the available space. Space in the rear is generous for two, but a bit of a squeeze for three.
The rear seat can be adjusted fore and aft, and they also recline, so passengers have a good amount of room to find a comfortable position that suits them.
Out back of the rear seat the lug- gage space is down on most of the Tiguan’s rivals, but when the rear seat is not being used it can be folded flat to make a useful space for carrying larger items.
VW offered a choice of one diesel engine or two petrol engines.
The common rail diesel was a 2.0-litre double overhead camshaft four-cylinder engine with turbocharging that put out 103 kW at 4200 revs and 320 Nm from 1750 to 2500 revs.
The TSi petrol engines were also 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged double overhead camshaft units, one put out 147 kW at 1500 revs and 280 Nm at 1700-5000 revs, the other 125 kW at 4300 revs and 280 Nm at 1700-4200 revs.
With the diesel and the lesser petrolengines there was a choice of a sixspeed manual gearbox or a six-speed auto, but when the more powerful petrol engine was chosen the only option was the six-speed auto.
Build quality: VWdid it right when it decided to enter the booming compact SUV market.