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

VW'S Tiguan has been one of the favourite cross­over ve­hi­cles ever since it ar­rived about seven years ago.

It was a neat com­pact SUV with so­phis­ti­ca­tion, and good in ev­ery depart­ment.

The looks haven't changed all that much, but the ve­hi­cle, which went on to great suc­cess in Europe, Rus­sia, the US, China, Brazil, and here, has spawned a few vari­ants, no­tably its lat­est top-dog, the TSI R-Line.

At $45,990 drive­away, it's at the higher end of the mar­ket, but it comes with a driv­e­train de­signed to keep a Golf GTI driver happy while at the same time pro­vid­ing space and ver­sa­til­ity for a fam­ily.

To spot one, look for the RLine body styling: front and rear bumpers, side sills, rear roof spoiler a sub­tle R-Line badge on the grille and a lovely set of 18inch al­loys with 235/50 tyres.

Its 2.0litre four-pot petrol turbo mo­tor is a lulu too: it gen­er­ates 155kW and 280Nm, which it trans­mits to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

While not as pow­er­ful as the GTI hot hatch, 155kW is very im­pres­sive and it's enough to let the Tiguan lead the pack away from the traf­fic lights, if that's your thing, (0-100km/h in 7.3sec) and it cruises along beau­ti­fully with­out break­ing the bank.

Av­er­age fuel con­sump­tion is 8.8litres/100km.

It's such a pleas­ant thing to drive. It has the looks and the goods to make driver and pas­sen­gers hope the trip doesn't end too soon.

The ac­cu­rate steer­ing, all­wheel drive, fir­mish vari­able sus­pen­sion and fat, grippy tyres make for great com­fort and safe, se­cure han­dling.

It's the sole model in the Tiguan fam­ily with adap­tive chas­sis con­trol, which ad­justs to var­i­ous sur­faces, and civilised bits like sat­nav, re­vers­ing cam­era, leather seats, al­loy ped­als, touch-screen stereo are all stan­dard.

The stereo is also some­thing else: eight speak­ers a 30Gb hard drive, plus CD, DVD and SD card in­puts.

Ver­dict: An SUV with class and a de­cided sport­ing edge.

About as good as a com­pact SUV gets... VW's Tiguan R-Line.

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