In case you were wondering, there really is an affordable premium mid-size 7-seat SUV, that can facilitate your deepest desires for speed and driving pleasure. The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162 TSI R-line won’t break the bank either.
What Volkswagen has done here is extract the DNA from a MK7 Golf GTI and implant it into a family friendly SUV. Don’t think for a second that this is some poor excuse of a sports package either, the R-Line is its own standalone model.
The Allspace offers more boot space and seven seats and is 22cm longer then the standard Tiguan. What is amazing though is how Volkswagen has hidden the extra row of seats without making the car look noticeably different to the model it’s based off.
It’s worth noting that the Tiguan and its Allspace sibling outsell the Golf by about four to one, and it’s the brand’s most popular model down under. The new model features new tech and styling upgrades, including matrix LED headlights.
There’s an aggressive R inspired front bumper, an integrated light bar that runs across the front grille, looking somewhat like a mono-brow. There are six external colours in all, including the Atlantic Blue of our test vehicle.
Side on, the Allspace still sports that beautiful Tiguan shape we love, with striking lines and sharp edges. With this model though, you get more aggressive side skirts that make the car look lower to the ground, and satin finish door mirrors and roof rails.
The R-Line is also fitted with 20-inch alloy wheels, wrapped in low profile tyres for that full sporty theme. The rear bumper though is disappointing, not because it’s ugly, rather that’s where you’ll find fake exhaust outlets. The real exhaust is hidden under the car.
Nevertheless, the rear end still has a striking yet elegant finish, thanks to the Golf GTI inspired rear taillights that give it a real menacing look at night. Inside, it’s practical and perfect for family activities.
An electronic tailgate provides access to the 700-litre boot space (in 5-seat format), or 230-litres with all three rows up. Pull the levers to drop the lot and that expands to an impressive 1,775-litres. There’s even a removable torch back there.
Space-wise, the third row seats are perfect for small children, but simply not adult friendly. The second row though provides plenty of room because they’re not only adjustable, in upright positions, they can be slid backwards and forwards.
You can adjust the climate control in the second row too, and there’s heat seating for extra winter comfort. Fine leather that does not disappoint in terms of comfort covers them all. Humongous door bins feature, as well as neat little pockets on the back of the front seats.
Up front, you are greeted with R-Line kick pads on the door seals, R-Line sports seats that are heavily bolstered for a sportier driving experience, and an R inspired steering wheel. The latter features touch sensitive buttons that become annoying, real quick.
Functions either work when you don’t want them to, or not at all. It’s like they have a mind of their own. The minimalistic trend continues to the dual climate control functions where instead of physical buttons and knobs, you have a digital screen.
We get what the German carmaker is trying to achieve in terms of features that are pleasing to the eye, but in the real world, it becomes quite irritating when trying to navigate your fan speed and temperature while driving.
Those things aside, the cabin in the Volkswagen Allspace R-Line is quite neatly laid out, and finished with premium materials. There is no shortage of storage compartments, and the front glove box is air conditioned.
Nice tech features include a 10.2-inch driver’s display, and a 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The latter comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and there’s also wireless phone charging.
The steering wheel is heated, the front seats are heated and cooled, and there’s also ambient lighting. For an extra $2,600 you can add the Sound & Vision package, giving you a head-up display and Harman Kardon sound system.
Volkswagen’s IQ.Drive safety system features adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, forward auto emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and driver attention monitoring.
Powering the Tiguan Allspace 162 TSI R-Line is a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine offering up 162kW of power and 350Nm of torque, sent to all four wheels through a seven speed DSG transmission. It sprints to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds.
Adaptive damping heads a list of driver focused bits of kit to deliver a car that’s not only reasonably quick, but incredibly agile to drive. Better still is the fact you can tune the engine. A Stage I tune would take its numbers up to 230kW and 434Nm for example.
Capabilities aside, the engine is quite fuel efficient too, and we saw a best of 8.6-litres/100km during testing. That presumes you’re playing in the most economical driving modes though. Throw it into Sport mode and all hell breaks lose.
The car becomes a completely different animal, automatically switching to red ambient lighting, and instantly feeling like a proper hot hatch, rather than a burly mid-sized SUV. That’s despite its almost 1,800kg kerb weight too.
Its only downfall in terms of performance is the fact the DSG transmission does sometimes take a while to change gears when plotting around town, and when you decide to overtake someone. It’s not ugly lag, but it’s there.
To get into one, you’ll need to spend $65,917 drive away. There’s a couple of add-ons, including a panoramic sunroof, and electric tailgate, as well as the package fitted to our test vehicle. Adding the latter will push the price to $68,647 drive away.
It comes with the 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and a year of roadside assistance. A bunch of care plan options are also available to cover servicing in the first few years of vehicle ownership.
Our test vehicle was supplied by Volkswagen Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 162 TSI R-Line, contact your local Volkswagen dealer. Imagery and video courtesy of 85mm Studios.