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Spacious for the whole family

Volkswagen Autohaus Fiji
Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Tiguan is a car that can slot seamlessly into family life. Helped by the straightforward dashboard layout, ergonomics is faultless, and long-distance comfort is good with a noticeably long seat base that drivers with longer legs will appreciate. The driving position adjustment range is wide, while the relatively slim A pillars provide good all-round visibility.

It's similarly easy at the back. Like the front chairs, the base of the rear bench is long, offering good support. There's decent space even for large adults and adequate headroom/legroom, with space under the front seats for feet to tuck into — it's significantly better than before. Those ferrying children would find the Tiguan's fold-up tables useful, whether for a lunch box or the iPad.

Besides school runs, an SUV's brief is to tackle grocery runs, and the Tiguan delivers in Tesco as well as at Ikea. The 40:20:40 split folding rear seats offer more versatility compared to 60:40, and there are levers on the boot walls to drop them. The resulting flat cargo area and the front passenger seat's ability to fold forward is invaluable when the need arises. Think curtain rods, bed frames and the like. The Highline's powered hatch can be closed via the key fob as well.

But how about the mountain run? There's no surprise in how the Tiguan drives, which is like a modern Volkswagen. And that's mostly a good thing. The front-wheel drive SUV (4Motion AWD not offered here) is powered by a 1.4 litre TSI engine with 150 PS and 250 Nm of torque available from 1500 to 3500 rpm. The single turbo unit (not the old Twin-charger) is mated to a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The official claimed fuel consumption is 6.7 litres per 100 km (14.9 km/l) in the European cycle, and 0-100 km/h takes 8.9 seconds.

The TSI-DSG combo is an effective one. Forced induction gives the Tiguan strong in-gear shove and acceleration, although those expecting GTI-like off-the-line response will be disappointed — there's noticeable lag at low engine speeds before the torque gates open at about 2,000 rpm.

This initial hesitancy was most apparent during full throttle standing starts and isn't a constant annoyance in regular driving, though. As mentioned, once rolling, getting up to illegal speeds is effortless with a linear build up, and the extra shot of torque that accompanies overtaking kick down is welcome on B roads. We won't call it a fast car, but the Tiguan is certainly brisk enough and feels more effortless than 2.0 NA rivals.

The DSG plays the perfect partner here, working flawlessly in speed and perception. Smoothness even, with this six-speed wet clutch unit that's usually paired with higher-powered engines. Brake auto hold is a useful feature for the jam-filled daily grind.

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