A SOPHISTICATED OFFERING
MODEL HAS MUCH TO OFFER BUYERS
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.
An SUV with class and a decided sporting edge.
About as good as a compact SUV gets... VW's Tiguan R-Line.