FIRST DRIVE

Volk­swa­gen’s safe and smart Tiguan gets a nip, a tuck and more ticker

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Inside - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­guide.com.au

We give you the low­down on Volk­swa­gen’s re­vised, bet­ter-value Tiguan SUV range, di­rect from its Ger­man launch

THE nose and bum job are the ob­vi­ous changes to Volk­swa­gen’s up­dated Tiguan but it’s the heart trans­plants that will give the com­pact SUV a new lease of life.

There are now 10 vari­ants, cov­er­ing front-and all-wheel drive. Power is up across the board along with mi­nor cuts to fuel con­sump­tion.

The up­dat­edAWDver­sions were launched in­ter­na­tion­ally last week. Sales in Aus­tralia will be­gin in the fourth quar­ter.

VWAus­tralia spokesman Karl Gehling says front-drive mod­els will make it here next year, tagged with the com­pany’s BlueMo­tion badges to de­note fuel ef­fi­ciency and fit­ted with the maker’s stop­start en­gine sys­tem and re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing.

They will com­pete with the cheaper 2WD Ja­panese and South Korean ri­vals.

VALUE

VWhasn’t fi­nalised pric­ing for the facelifted mod­els, so it’s im­pos­si­ble to say just how they will fit into the mar­ket.

The ex­ist­ing range starts at $33,990 for the 125kW petrol en­gine with a six-speed man­ual, ris­ing to $42,990 for the 147kW vari­ant with twin-clutch DSG trans­mis­sion.

Given the ex­tra gear and up­graded en­gines in the new ve­hi­cle, VWwill be sitting pretty if the com­pa­ra­ble mod­els are within $1000 or so.

TheAWD Tiguan will still be the only car in its class with vari­ants en­gi­neered for onand off-road use. The road-fo­cused car has an 18-de­gree front ap­proach an­gle; choose the off-roader and that in­creases to 28 de­grees. They’re easy to spot — the off-roader ditches the deep front air in­take in favour of a smaller unit atop an en­gine bash plate.

DE­SIGN

The five-door wagon, launched in 2007, missed out on the cor­po­rate styling that has marked more re­cent Volk­swa­gens. At a ba­sic level that means the Tiguan adopts the wide hor­i­zon­tal lines on the grille and air in­takes that mark the rest of the fam­ily.

Specif­i­cally, theVW de­sign­ers have tried to link it to the big­ger Touareg by adopt­ing the pair of dou­ble-chrome lou­vres in the front and the L-shaped high­lights in the brake lights.

It works— the Tiguan looks un­clut­tered from any an­gle with­out be­ing bland. It’s not the most vis­ually ex­cit­ing car in the class but prob­a­bly will age bet­ter for that.

The in­side is vir­tu­ally un­changed from last Septem­ber’s lo­cal up­date, which in­cluded the but­ton-loaded three-spoke steer­ing wheel.

TECH­NOL­OGY

Byte me. The up­graded soft­ware in the Tiguan is im­pres­sive, even if a lot of it is re­served for the top-spec mod­els or has to be ticked on the op­tions boxes.

The mul­ti­func­tion dis­play in the in­stru­ment clus­ter is op­er­ated by the steer­ing wheel but­tons and the four-way direc­tional but­tons make for straight­for­ward nav­i­gat­ing through the in-depth menus.

We didn’t bother with the in­struc­tion man­ual and still had ev­ery­thing tai­lored in a cou­ple of min­utes.

The sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion park as­sist func­tion now works with par­al­lel and right-an­gle park­ing. Press the but­ton in the cen­tre con­sole and 12 sen­sors de­ter­mine how much space there is. Find a spot with enough room for the Tiguan, plus 80cm lee­way, and the soft­ware steers the car into the bay. Speed is lim­ited to 7km/h but the driver is still re­spon­si­ble for us­ing the ac­cel­er­a­tor and brake.

An adap­tive chas­sis con­trol has com­fort, nor­mal and sports modes that pro­gres­sively ad­just the damp­ing to im­prove road­hold­ing. The ef­fects are felt through the seat and steer­ing wheel as the car ‘‘ tight­ens up’’ in the more dy­namic modes.

Driv­ers who choose the of­froad ver­sion can hit a switch to ac­ti­vate a hill de­scent as­sist sys­tem and re­duce the pulse fre­quency of the ABS to im­prove brak­ing on gravel or mud.

SAFETY

The facelift shouldn’t af­fect the Tiguan’s five-star ANCAP rat­ing. Six airbags are stan­dard kit and the pas­sen­ger’s front airbag can be switched off when car­ry­ing ba­bies in rear­fac­ing cap­sules.

A pair of side airbags for the rear pas­sen­gers is an op­tion, along with seat­belt pre­ten­sion­ers for the out­side rear seats. Tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing is stan­dard, as is an auto-hold func­tion for the park brake.

Pur­pose­ful: The Tiguan’s makeover also puts more mus­cle un­der the metal

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.