Inside the revolving door of automotive banalities, one swings by a lot. Want ultra-pragmatism with spotless sophistication? Buy German. Don’t fear the cliché rendering you unimaginative though, because there’s the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 132TSI.
Not only is the claim true because it fits the general bill with, in the spirit of Deutschland, clean precision, the Allspace neatly satisfies the ‘just in case’ category too. It’s truly the SUV you could cheerfully blind purchase.
Not only that, it’s for those who have no certainty about the trajectory of life, or even the variables of the week too. Allow us to explain. Firstly, if we consider the optimal criteria for the class, we know it needs to be big, comfy, and obsessively safe.
It also needs to be not completely gutless, smartphone friendly, and these days, have a healthy swank level to passively rub in the face of other families at nippers. With the Allspace 132TSI (middle child of the Allspace range) it’s a clean sweep.
Drive it long enough and you just keep thinking, where exactly does it let itself down as a mid-size, or in general as a great car. To critique is to nit-pick. Additionally, the Allspace is of course a seven-seater, but will spend a lot of its life passing as a five-seater.
A useable third row is on hand if need be, with okay legroom, and 230-litres of leftover boot space. Alternatively, you can leave it folded and make the most of 700-litres on offer, all while being hardly more imposing than your typical mid-size.
However, let’s not be too abrupt in our assessment of the Tiguan Allspace. Yes, you could buy the 132TSI if you have an expanding family and fifty-ish grand, and you’d never have an afterthought.
But this VW still has some special mentions to distinguish it, and a few kinks to humble it. Nothing too drastic has happened with the exterior styling since last years facelift, though it must be said, the Allspace looks fantastic.
Nothing silly, clean lines with no wild contours, and strangely beautiful in all its swollen practicality. While the Elegance and R-Line get a couple of new generation embellishments like an LED light bar across the grille, the Life spec misses out.
It’s also excluded from the IQ.Light matrix headlights, and in their place are standard LED headlights, which are powerful and feature high beam assist. At the back, the Life gets a set of smart looking standard LED tail lights.
To fit the third row of seating and gain an extra 85-litres of rear storage the Allspace is 225mm longer than the normal Tiguan and has an extended wheelbase. Even so, the body stretch does little to make it appear (or feel) more cumbersome.
Each Allspace variant has its own respective wheel design, and the 18-inch ‘Kingston’ alloys fitted to the 132TSI are arguably the nicest wheels in the range, particularly when paired with the Pyrite Silver paintwork.
Our test car looked pretty dapper in this coat – it’s hard to think of the bland stock white dampening the mood of the car. Optional metallic colours do come at a decent $900 in additional cost, which is something to bear in mind.
You might continue your cost-benefit analysis inside the Allspace too. To get the luxury package we enjoyed with our Tiguan you’ll be coughing up a fit inducing $5600 extra.
In exchange though you’ll get some augmented ambiance from the Vienna leather appointed seats, heated and ventilated fronts, and an electronically adjustable driver’s seat. You’ll also get a view of the sky through the massive panoramic sunroof.
The luxury additions are lovely but again that cost does make you hesitate, even more so when you consider that the standard equipment is already on par. Providing the essential driving info is a 10.25-inch digital cluster, which is both sleek and a little retro.
Volkswagen have been smart not to make it too busy. All your secondary info and entertainment lives in the 8.0-inch media and navigation system, complete with full iPhone and Android wireless connectivity.
There’s also wireless phone charging and voice and gesture-controlled media and navigation, which means a cable-free environment has been created. Climate controls are touch activated, in both the front and second row.
Here we can do a little subjective nit-picking, in the absence of any major technical flaws. They are, after all, ‘old man’ complaints. Those touch sensitive AC controls can be a little tricky, as they’re effectively a vaguer target for your finger.
On the digital cluster the indicator arrows are a bit small and obscured, especially if you have a higher seating position. The full picture is that Tiguan Allspace houses a pleasant interior, one that is supremely comfortable.
It also decisively lives up to the name – it’s as spacious as Berghain on a Tuesday morning. There’s big leg and arm room in the front and second row, and the third row is, believe it or not, properly useable.
Kids will be fine in the rearmost seats, even for road trips, and adults could conceivably tolerate a short journey. At any distance, the Allspace 132TSI maintains smooth and well-balanced driving behaviour, and superior composure in poor conditions.
Volkswagen’s familiar 4Motion all-wheel drive and traction control system, working in unison with Pirelli Scorpion Verde shoes, makes for simply unwavering grip. Further insurance is tendered by the IQ.Drive driver assistance technologies.
Among them are travel and lane assist, front assist, adaptive cruise control and driver fatigue monitoring. One unexpected omission from the suite is a rear cross traffic alert function.
The ride is characterised by mellow insulation from imperfections and jolts, but with palpable and convincing road contact, like you’re putting down a bit of weight. It feels neither airy nor bulky.
There’s no shock and awe when you put down the power under acceleration. The performance of the 2.0-litre TSI engine doesn’t strike as specifically punchy or meaty. Rather it prefers not to make a big deal about anything.
It simply nibbles away at the road in a rhythmic fashion, never having to work too hard. Most situations are met with a polite and fuss free wind up, performance which, along with 132kW and 320Nm numbers, is perfectly satisfactory for an everyday mid-size SUV.
A Sport mode is included if you’re adamant, as are various terrain modes. One downside is the fuel economy of the 132TSI, which is the worst of the Allspace family. We hit 11.2-litres/100km in chaotic urban driving, for example.
We managed to get down to 7.6-litres/100km during rural driving, no doubt helped by the longer legs given by the seven-speed DSG. The claimed consumption average is 8.9-litres/100km.
Volkswagen currently has a $49,990 drive away offer for the Tiguan Allspace 132TSI, running until the end of the financial year. All Tiguan Allspace models come with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and 12 months roadside assist.
Our test vehicle was supplied by Volkswagen Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 132TSI, contact your local Volkswagen dealer.