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Safety and spacious interior

Source: Pala's Auto Service Ltd
Saturday, February 03, 2018

The new 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan is definitely better than the old one, and it could well be the best medium SUV in this segment. The base model is extremely impressive, and so is the Highline when equipped with the R-Line pack. So if you're spending mid-thirties or near-fifties, you're catered for — as for the Comfortline?

The mid-spec Comfortline model offers a cloth trim and the seats are manually adjustable, while the dearer Highline models get leather trim, and the lower-spec Trendline version has a cloth trim that's not as classy.

Further, the low and mid-range models have a key, where Highline variants get push-button start.

No matter which model you buy, you get seven airbags (dual front, front side, full-length curtain and driver's knee protection), tyre pressure monitoring, lane keeping assistance, semi-automated parking and a driver fatigue monitor.

It is, without doubt, the choice for buyers who want the most dynamically capable and also remarkably comfortable Tiguan model out there. Despite riding atop 20-inch rims with low-profile rubber, the adaptive dampers remarkably managed to iron out pockmarks and small potholes in the road surface during our drive in the Byron hinterland.

The steering, too, is more precise and accurate than the lower-spec versions, with the progressive system designed to offer more response from less input.

It is linear and nicely weighted in comfort and normal drive modes, but can be a little too resistant in sport mode.

The new base car is about 65kg lighter than the previous one, too, and as a result it feels more nimble on the road despite being larger in almost all directions.

It steers with more alacrity, rides nicely, and sits flat through corners, too. And even on damp roads, we didn't notice any wheelspin under acceleration (that'll appease the 50 per cent of buyers in the medium SUV market that choose FWD models).

The Comfortline model comes with either a detuned diesel or a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, with 132kW of power (from 3900-6000rpm) and 320Nm of torque (from 1500-3940rpm). This one has a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with paddleshifters.

The engine is strong, with excellent response down low in the rev range, even with four adults on board. The DSG does exhibit a little bit of lag at low speeds, but it's not as bad as some of the previous-generation versions. The gearshifts are pretty snappy, but there are no paddle-shifters in this spec.

The Sport driving mode makes it even speedier in terms of its throttle response, but the steering — again — gets to a point where it's just a bit silly in terms of the resistance. What about ownership? The Tiguan has a six-year capped-price servicing campaign, with maintenance due every 12 months or 15,000km — prices are yet to be revealed. All VW models have a three-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.

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