The Volkswagen Tiguan has been around since 2008 and was the firm’s first entry into the crossover segment.
The latest model went on sale in 2016, and was the first VW SUV to sit on the company’s MQB platform – what essentially underpins the vast majority of the firm’s cars. It is classier than ever – particularly in sporty-looking R-Line trim. It remains good at what Volkswagens do best – being well-built and premium.
The Tiguan has since spawned a seven-seat Allspace version, alongside the five-seater tested here, while a smaller T-Roc crossover is on sale now, with more set to join the German firm’s line-up as it builds its model offensive.
Volkswagen offers an excellent range of engines on the Tiguan – particularly on the diesel front. A 2.0-litre diesel engine is available with 113bhp, 148bhp, 187bhp, or in the case of our test car the range-topping twin-turbo 237bhp engine. It’s the same engine available in the brand new Skoda Kodiaq vRS and delivers fantastic performance for a car of this size.
A top speed of 142mph is possible, while the 0-60mph time of 6.3 seconds is mightily impressive for a family SUV. Admittedly this performance will be offset by more money being needed to fill up. Both the 148bhp and 187bhp will be quick enough in most cases, and offer better value for money.
On the petrol front, there’s a 1.4-litre unit delivering either 123bhp or 148bhp, as well as a 178bhp 2.0-litre engine.
Ride and handling
The Tiguan is best suited to cruising, where its smooth performance, hushed cabin and comfortable ride come into their own. Its ride is one of its selling points, as it deals impressively with bumps and potholes. It’s only to top-spec R-Line cars with large alloy wheels which can feel uncomfortable at times.
The way it handles is also not dissimilar to how the Golf hatchback behaves, and is pleasing to drive with precise steering, good chassis control and impressive grip levels – even more so on those fitted with the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.
Interior and equipment
Inside, the Tiguan feels superbly built and is full of good quality materials. If usability and sturdiness are your key priorities, the Tiguan’s cabin is very hard to fault.
The touchscreen is also very easy to use and works effortlessly, although it perhaps lacks the functions and modern flair that you might find from screens fitted to newer rivals. An impressively-sized 615-litre boot and plenty of rear space only make it more appealing for families.
Entry level S models get 17-inch alloy wheels, autonomous emergency braking and an eight-inch touchscreen. Go up a step to SE and it adds adaptive cruise control, climate control, 18-inch wheels, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
SEL introduces LED front and rear lights, heated front seats, an upgraded infotainment system with sat nav and digital dials. Range-topping R-Line comes with a sporty bodykit, 20-inch wheels and a roof spoiler.
As the Tiguan is a premium SUV, it takes up quite a high price point, although the quality on offer justifies that.
Prices start from £23,486 for the entry-level S model with the basic 1.4-litre petrol engine, and keep on rising steadily to £40,285 for the range-topping version tested here (R-Line with 237bhp diesel engine). While S and SE models seem well-priced, high-spec models are perhaps a touch expensive, or at least compared to rivals from Volvo and Audi.
That said, pick the right engine and your fuel costs will be low, but just remember that choosing 4Motion models will reduce your fuel economy and could put it in a higher company car tax bracket.
Find local Tiguan prices
The Volkswagen Tiguan is ultimately an ideal family SUV. It’s well-built, safe, practical and is very refined and comfortable. If you’re in need of a mid-size SUV, there’s not many better options than the Tiguan.