Talk­ing tow cars

Practical Caravan - - Contents -

First drive of Volk­swa­gen’s new seven-seater Tiguan Allspace

THE VW TIGUAN makes a very fine tow car. But what if you need seven seats rather than five? Step for­ward, the new Allspace. This stretched ver­sion of the Tiguan has a third row of seats, as well as more lug­gage room. There’s a choice of ca­pa­ble TSI petrol engines and torquey TDI diesels. De­spite the neg­a­tive pub­lic­ity on diesel power, VW still ex­pects most buy­ers to choose an oil-burner. We spent most time in the 190PS (187bhp) 2.0-litre TDI 4Mo­tion DSG auto. While not as hefty as some seven-seat 4x4s, it weighs in at a healthy 1845kg. That gives a use­fully high 85% match fig­ure of 1568kg. We haven’t yet had the chance to tow with the Allspace, but we’re fa­mil­iar with this en­gine and gear­box from our Škoda Ko­diaq long-term test car – it’s up to the job. We’d be sur­prised if it were any­thing other than sta­ble, too. The stan­dard sus­pen­sion setup of­fers a fine bal­ance be­tween com­fort at low speeds and firm con­trol on coun­try roads, bod­ing well for stress-free tow­ing. The op­tional Dy­namic Chas­sis Con­trol (£810) gives a choice of dy­namic, nor­mal and com­fort modes, but when the stan­dard sus­pen­sion is well judged, it is by no means an es­sen­tial up­grade. With ei­ther sus­pen­sion, the Allspace is an ag­ile, com­fort­able SUV – the ex­tra size and weight com­pared with the five-seater isn’t too ob­vi­ous from be­hind the wheel. If you don’t need the per­for­mance of the 190PS diesel, there’s also a 150PS (148bhp) model. We drove the 2WD man­ual ver­sion, and de­spite damp con­di­tions, it put its power to the road well. The kerb­weight of this model is 1700kg, giv­ing an 85% match fig­ure of 1445kg. How­ever, if you want more power and weight, the 240PS (237bhp) 2.0 BITDI will suit you bet­ter. With 369lb ft, this car has more mid-range pull than most ri­vals. In solo driv­ing it gives the Allspace se­ri­ous punch, and more im­por­tantly, should be strong enough for tow­ing a big twin-axle tourer. It weighs 1920kg, which gives an 85% match fig­ure of 1632kg. In­side, the Allspace has plenty of room for five, although seats six and seven are bet­ter suited to chil­dren. Keep them folded into the floor and it has a huge boot. We’ve been promised a car with a tow­ball soon, so we’ll get back to you with a re­port on the Allspace’s tow­ing abil­ity.

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