SEVEN AT A STRESS-FREE STRETCH
Our front-drive 110TSI with 1.4-litre turbo fourcylinder starts from about $45,700 drive-away. Adding all-wheel drive and a more powerful 132kW 2.0-litre pushes the price up by about $5000. If you don’t need the extra grunt and traction, the 110TSI is well equipped for an entry level version. It has a smart, well laid out cabin with high-resolution centre touchscreen, smartphone mirroring, satnav, a tailgate that opens at the press of a button and deft touches such as tray table for the outboard second row seats and three-zone aircon. No vents for the rearmost seats, though. Servicing is relatively dear at about $1700 for three years but the fiveyear warranty is a bonus. Metallic paint is $700.
The front seats are supportive and well padded, the instruments are all easy to read and the infotainment menus are easy to navigate, making for a stress-free commute. There’s decent head and legroom in the second row, where the kids can adjust the aircon to suit. The third row seats are fiddly to clamber into and not recommended for adults or large teens but they’ll do the trick for the littlies. The Tiguan soaks up bumps and corrugations well around town and the cabin is quiet, with little engine and tyre noise intruding.
The standard safety package is pretty good but not as comprehensive as some rivals. Curtain airbags cover all three rows, while standard driver assist tech includes auto emergency braking, rear camera and sensors and lane keep assistance. A $1600 driver assistance pack includes, among other things, adaptive cruise control and rear traffic alert. The Allspace has a five-star crash rating, scoring 96 per cent for adult occupant protection.
The turbo four is smooth and willing and, for the most part, the six-speed dual-clutch auto shifts quickly and decisively. There can be an occasional hesitation on takeoff but most of the time it works effectively to keep the engine in its sweet spot. The Tiguan strikes a good balance between composed cornering and comfort. One of the more entertaining SUVs to drive on a country road, it’s suitably refined around town.
ALTERNATIVES NISSAN X-TRAIL FROM $36,052 DRIVE-AWAY
Sharply priced and spacious, with quality finishes in the cabin. Non-turbo 2.5-litre fourcylinder, matched to a CVT, isn’t the most powerful in the class but gets the job done. No all-wheel drive at this price and not as entertaining to drive as the Tiguan.
SKODA KODIAQ $47,490 DRIVE-AWAY
Shares similar underpinnings but is larger than the AllSpace, with more luggage space and legroom in the third row. Its 132kW turbo four is matched to a seven-speed auto. At this price you get all-wheel drive, Alcantara leather, satnav and full safety gear.
PEUGEOT 5008 FROM ABOUT $48,800 DRIVE-AWAY
Relatively expensive but fully loaded with digital instrument panel, smartphone mirroring and more comprehensive standard driver assistance tech. Refreshingly different interior styling and innovative seating that can be removed to accommodate loads.
If your need for seven seats is only occasional, the AllSpace is a quality option that feels smaller than it is.