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Competitive and compact SUV

Volkswagen Autohaus Fiji
Saturday, October 28, 2017

Updated with new equipment, the Volkswagen Tiguan remains a competitive entry in the compact SUV segment — albeit with some caveats.

The 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan may look no different to look at from the outside, but it's what has been added to this compact SUV that counts.

The latest Tiguan update sees the inclusion of a range of standard items that were previously either expensive options on cheaper models, including a 6.5-inch touchscreen media system with integrated reverse-view camera.

It also sees the range overhauled, with a more powerful diesel engine added to the ranks and a sporty new R-Line range-topping model.

The good news for buyers is that while equipment levels have gone up, prices have only risen slightly.

That new infotainment unit is the chief change inside the cabin of the Tiguan, which has otherwise been left largely untouched since its debut in 2008 (it was spruced in 2011 as part of a mid-life update).

The system is a simple one to use, with neatly placed buttons and easy menu systems.

However, as mentioned, the interior — while undeniably well put together and of high quality — isn't as aesthetically appealing as some newer rival offerings, and those double front air-vents also lack some adjustability.

As has always been the case with the current-generation Tiguan, rear seat space is above average, with a good seating position and excellent head, leg and toe room (aided by 60:40 split-fold seats slide fore and aft). The rear seats are also aided by a set of flip-down tables for younger occupants (in all but the base model).

Power is up 27kW (as the name suggests) and hits at 4200rpm, while peak torque rises from 320Nm to 380Nm and spans between 1750-2500rpm. Despite the increase in grunt, the new model is slightly more efficient than the car it replaces, with fuel consumption rated at 6.2 litres per 100 kilometres (was 6.4L/100km for the 130TDI DSG model).

Helping keep the fuel use down is the engine's stop-start system, and it also has gearshift recommendations (for when you're in manual mode), brake energy recuperation and a coasting function for downhill stretches off-throttle.

The turbo lag is exacerbated somewhat by the standard seven-speed dual-clutch auto, which can be hesitant to get away from the line. The road manners of the Tiguan have always been among the best in the business, and that remains the case for the 2015 iteration given there have been no changes.

The steering is direct and lively; light and easy to use around town, and more hefty and involving as speeds rise.

The ride, too, is very good, cosseting occupants over hard bumps and potholes, and dealing well with smaller inconsistencies at lower speeds, too.

The new gear includes an exterior sports styling package with front and rear bumper accents, side skirts, R-Line badges and new-look 18-inch alloys.

When it comes to ownership, Volkswagen offers a three-year unlimited kilometre warranty and three years of roadside assistance — down considerably on some rivals, such as the Kia Sportage (now with seven-year warranty and roadside assist).

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