CLASSY TIGUAN UPGRADED
SUV IS SMOOTH AND SOPHISTICATED
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.