THE 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is bigger, better equipped, and in this case cheaper than much of its competition. It’s no wonder the German car maker is keen to take the fight to rivals like the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4.
The humble ‘Tiggy’ is a brand pillar, with millions sold around the world, and a name entrenched alongside the likes of the Polo, Golf and Passat. Available in a number of variants, we’re testing the base model 132TSI Comfortline.
Standard equipment includes climate control, lots of airbags, reversing camera, lane keep assist and departure warning, front and rear emergency braking, pedestrian detection, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s clever storage cubbies everywhere too.
There are plenty of factory accessories and add-ons too that you can customise your Tiguan with, including things like voice activation for your phone, which you will have to buy. Kind of disappointing it’s not standard really.
Something else that it is a little disappointing in 2018 is that the Comfortline doesn’t feature key-less entry or push button start. Again for a car that comes fitted with so many other technical inclusions, one would think that this would be standard.
The overall design includes the bold looking grille that accentuates the look of width at the front, while the rising belt line gives the impression of being squatter than it is. The combination makes it look much more hunkered down than its predecessor ever did.
That said, it does feel a little grandpa spec, especially with the parking lights staying on all the time no matter what you do with the headlight dial. It’s a little bit Volvo in that way; overly safe you might call it.
Under the hood, the Tiguan offers refinement from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine which offers up 132kW of power and 320Nm of torque. That performance is spread across a decent rev range, making it a solid performer, whether cruising or overtaking.
It’s paired to Volkswagen’s seven speed dual clutch transmission (DSG), which offers slick and seamless gear changes, all while sending power to the 4Motion all wheel drive system.
Engine and road noise filtering are both excellent, depending on road surfaces of course, and it’s really only when you put your foot down that you notice the engine doing its thing.
Handing is solid, and the Tiguan 132TSI Comfortline is extremely composed on the road. It offers a firm but comfortable ride too. You might almost say the overall ride was, comfortable.
The adaptive cruise control system responds well to all manner of traffic conditions, although being safety conscious it detects the car in front and slows down to early, not allowing for a smooth lane change manoeuvre whilst cruising down the freeway.
During our road test we also encountered some very heavy spots of rain. The auto rain sensing wipers kicked in straight away. Their upstroke was seamless and smooth, however the down stroke was noisy and jittery.
We’re not sure if it’s the compound Volkswagen are using to make their wiper blades, but after awhile it became very annoying and actually starts to freak your eyes out.
Away from the rain, the front seats feel decidedly more people mover than faux sports, which provides a good view all around the car, despite a shortish glasshouse. Big mirrors and blind spot monitoring mean you can see easily down the sides of the vehicle as well.
Head and shoulder room in the front is excellent. And no matter your height, there’s enough adjustment in the seat and steering that you’ll be able to find a comfortable driving position.
Solid closing doors and big door openings make it easy for either kids or adults to climb in and out. Slide the seats all the way back and you’ll also get limo rivaling legroom. Even the middle rear seat is a usable seat for an adult.
There are also airplane style food trays that fold down from the back of the front seats. Overall though the interior feels a little dull and boring. A little more bling or a hint of colour would make the car feel warmer and more inviting.
The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Comfortline is a big, roomy and well featured family SUV, and there isn’t much to not like about it. Sure, there’s sportier options in the segment, but none feel quite as complete as the ‘Tiggy’.
It’s available in six colours, including Pure White, Ruby Red Metallic, Indium Grey Metallic, Tungsten Silver Metallic, Atlantic Blue Metallic and Deep Black Pearl Effect.
Our test vehicle was supplied by Volkswagen Australia. To find out more about the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Comfortline, contact your local Volkswagen dealer.