Com­pact Tiguan pop­u­lar choice for win­ter roads

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - ROAD TEST - VW TIGUAN 4WD

Keith Ward TIGUAN was VW’s first ven­ture into the com­pact SUV mar­ket and in the UK it has be­come their fourth best-seller af­ter the Golf, Polo and Pas­sat.

In looks the chunkily hand­some, high-stance, five-door Tiguan bears a fam­ily re­sem­blance to its big­ger brother Touareg.

Its foot­print lies be­tween those of a Golf and Golf Es­tate. There’s width for three to cosy up on the rear seats, or for two to take the outer pair and fold down the skimpier mid­dle sec­tion as a ta­ble. Leg and head­room is am­ple in a cabin feel­ing spa­cious in this class and taste­fully fur­nished, with a com­fort­able driv­ing po­si­tion, good stor­age and clear in­stru­ments.

A box-shaped boot ex­tends to nearly 1.5 me­tres when the rear seats, at the tug of a strap, are slid and dropped down, with flaps to level out the floor. Be­low it, handy stor­age trays sur­round the emer­gency spare wheel in its well. Cargo ca­pac­ity ex­pands to more than 1,500 litres.

A 23-strong range at be­tween £20,000 and £31,000 of­fers a choice of three petrol and three diesel en­gines out­putting 110 to 180 PS, gear­boxes ei­ther six-speed man­ual or seven speed au­to­matic and four lev­els of trim, in­clud­ing an R-Line sports ver­sion.

Diesels ac­count for nine out of 10 Tiguan sales, while most ver­sions are four-wheeldrive, at­tract­ing 80 per cent of cus­tomers. Five of the 23 are front-drive only, in­clud­ing a low­priced, tax-beat­ing trio puff­ing out only 139g/ km of CO2.

A ma­jor­ity of Tiguans fea­ture VW’s ef­fi­cient Blue­Mo­tion Tech­nol­ogy to en­hance fuel econ­omy and re­duce emis­sions.

Even with 4WD you would not call the Tiguan a se­ri­ous off-roader, but our test car was dressed in Es­cape trim, with use­ful fea­tures if you do leave the tar­mac.

An off-road but­ton on the dash ac­ti­vates hill de­scent as­sist, mod­i­fies ac­cel­er­a­tor and brakes for rough ground and adapts the ABS for loose sur­faces.

There’s ex­tra body pro­tec­tion front and sides, while a shorter front over­hang al­lows a steeper ap­proach an­gle, 28 de­grees in­stead of 18, to up­ward slopes. For all ver­sions, de­par­ture an­gle is 25 de­grees and ground clear­ance 195 mm, or 7.6 inches.

Es­cape trim also in­cludes chromed roof rails, fold-down front pas­sen­ger seat, fold­ing ta­bles, rear tinted glass, big­ger 17-inch al­loys and au­to­matic wipers and lights but only man­ual air con (cli­mate a £515 op­tion) and no park­ing sen­sors (a £510 ex­tra) which are use­ful on a high ve­hi­cle.

On the road, the Tiguan Es­cape is com­mend­ably civilised, giv­ing a sa­loon-like, com­fort­able, quiet ride with­out sway­ing or pitch­ing. The seven-speed DSG au­to­matic most of the time pro­duced seam­less changes but had a free­wheel­ing or coast­ing func­tion as stan­dard. This dis­en­gages the en­gine from gear­box when you come off the throt­tle to save fuel and there is a dis­con­cert­ing lull in power.

CHUNKY LOOKS: Volk­swa­gen’s pop­u­lar com­pact SUV the Tiguan.

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