Tiguan with a space oddity
HOW come Volkswagen is selling a seven-seat SUV for less than the sticker on the five-seater version?
It’s to do, in a roundabout way, with European buyers getting cleaner, thriftier cars.
For now, you can no longer buy a base model five-seater VW Tiguan 110TSi in Australia – it will return next year – and the cheapest is the next grade up, the 132TSi at $42,490.
If you just need a frontdrive city shuttle, you can get the entry-level sevenseater Tiguan Allspace for less than $41K.
For review purposes, we’re testing the mid-spec Allspace 132TSi Comfortline 4Motion, at $45,490 a $3000 premium over the five-seater Comfortline.
It runs VW’s 2.0-litre turbo (132kW/320Nm) matched exclusively with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive.
The Allspace adds 109mm of wheelbase and 215mm of overall length to the five-seater.
Structurally, and sizewise, it’s almost identical to subsidiary brand Skoda’s seven-seater Kodiaq, our 2017 Car of the Year.
Comfortline spec includes eight-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity (with access to voice control), remote operation via smartphone or tablet, navigation, three USB ports, tri-zone aircon (with row two vents and controls), chilled glovebox, LED headlights that illuminate a corner as you turn the wheel, automatic parking and power tailgate.
The ride, on 18-inch wheels, is pretty firm and fidgety in town.
The base 110TSi, on 17inchers and taller tyres, will be more comfortable.
You sit deep in the Tiguan, so it can feel bigger and bulkier than it is.
Row two has ample legroom. It’s split 60-40, with each side adjustable, and there are flip up tables on the front seat backs plus a 12V outlet.
VW correctly calls the Allspace a ‘5+2’, because the two fold-up rear seats are suitable only for young kids or very short trips and access is tight.
Fold the third row and the boot extends to almost two metres. With all seats in use, you can still fit a few bags in the back.
Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, braking from 10km/h and under in reverse and lane keeping are standard.
Curtain airbags cover all rows. A $1600 option bundles adaptive cruise, adaptive LED headlights, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
Dynamic ability is as good as a seven-seater SUV gets, and the Allspace’s handling is more agile and responsive than most fiveseaters thanks to its relatively light 1735kg, the AWD apportioning drive fore and aft, disciplined body control, accurate, well-weighted steering and strong brakes.
Verdict: As a family freighter, the Tiguan Allspace has everything you need to make life easy and keep the little ones safe, entertained and happy.
As a drive, the VW/Skoda twins are also the best seven-seaters out there.
VW’s Tiguan Allspace.