Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Driveway - Bill Buys

IS it a tiger, or an iguana?

A bit of both, ac­tu­ally, in the lat­est Volk­swa­gen Tiguan.

The classy small SUV has just had a bit of an up­grade with some new stan­dard fea­tures, more pow­er­ful diesel and petrol en­gines and some glam in a new flag­ship model.

The four-model Tiguan range for 2015 com­prises the 118TSI 1.4litre twin-charge petrol, the 132TSI 2.0litre turbo petrol, the 130TDI and the 155TSI R-Line. All but the base model have VW’s 4Mo­tion all-wheel-drive, with the 118TSI be­ing the sole front-wheel driver and the only one with a man­ual gear­box. A six-speed DSG is a $2500 op­tion.

The oth­ers all get a sev­en­speed DSG as stan­dard.

All mod­els have had small price in­creases, the 118 start­ing from $28,990, the 132 from $36,990, the diesel from $39,990 and the 155 glitz­mo­bile from $44,990.

All mod­els now come stan­dard with a rev­ers­ing cam­era, a 6.5-inch colour touch­screen audio sys­tem and a leather multi-func­tion steer­ing wheel, a multi-func­tion dis­play and a driver fa­tigue de­tec­tion sys­tem.

Main changes are in the diesel and 155TSI mod­els, with the diesel gain­ing 27kW and 30Nm over the ear­lier 103TDI and lifting its out­put to a po­tent 130kW and 380Nm.

The top-of-the-line 155TSI has the same en­gine out­puts as be­fore, but gets 18-inch al­loys, a three-mode adap­tive chas­sis con­trol, leather in­te­rior and the R- Line body kit to emerge as not only the quick­est but also smartest SUV in its class.

Th­ese two would be the tiger part of the Tiguan’s name, which is based on a mix of tiger and iguana.

The lat­ter might be the im­proved econ­omy of the diesel, which now has an of­fi­cial fig­ure of 6.2litres/100km, thanks to stop-start tech­nol­ogy and the fuel-sav­ings achieved by se­lect­ing a new “coast­ing” fea­ture, on the diesel only, which de­clutches the en­gine when en­gine brak­ing is not needed.

We drove both in some hilly and twisty Vic­to­rian ter­rainand would have to have a long think about which to choose.

Both have class-lead­ing road man­ners, the diesel’s prodi­gious torque makes it shine, the 155’s looks, lux­u­ries and switch­able ride (best to leave it in “nor­mal”) give it a lot of ap­peal.

Han­dling is neu­tral, com­fort and vis­i­bil­ity first class and the Tiguans all have the whole gamut of elec­tron­ica to en­hance safety.

Ver­dict: A top-class lit­tle SUV, smooth, so­phis­ti­cated with tiger per­for­mance, iguana econ­omy.

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