Talking tow cars
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.