Volkswagen Tiguan First Drive Review: The Subtle One
We drove the Highline variant of the all-new Volkswagen Tiguan SUV ahead of its launch for a good 300 km stretch and here's what we think about it.
Volkswagen Tiguan. (Image: Siddhartha Sharma/News18.com)
Volkswagen showcased the Tiguan at the Auto Expo 2016 last year, and within a year they have got it to India. Let's first tell you what was disheartening for us - no virtual cockpit like display on the instrument cluster even on the top end Tiguan. What a bummer.
But, it's now here and there are two variants of this one. First is the Comfortline that comes at an ex-showroom price of Rs 27.98 lakh and the second is the Highline edition that's priced at Rs 31.38 lakh ex-showroom Delhi.
We drove the Highline variant of the VW Tiguan for a good 300 km stretch and here's what we think about it.
The looks of the Volkswagen Tiguan would remind you a bit of its cousins from Audi like the Q3. The car almost has the same gene pool as the Q-range from Audi. Volkswagen is the mothership of Audi so there is no issue over there. The Tiguan is based on the modern MQB platform and comes powered by a 2.0 litre Diesel engine that produces 143ps of power and 340nm of torque. Some might say it's quite generous for a German SUV, we think a little more would have been nice. The result for fuel efficiency claimed by Volkswagen on the Tiguan is 17.06 km/l, during our drive this SUV could easily manage about 14.6 -15.1 Km/l. This included city and highway driving with a mixed use of comfort as well as sports mode. The 7-speed DSG gearbox is also very smooth on the Tiguan.
The Tiguan was first introduced in the year 2007 in Europe and after 10 years the version that India gets is the latest one. The design language on this car is as timeless as any other Volkswagen car. It's subtle at places and has sharp lines where there was a need for one. It's an example of German design and engineering that always keeps practicality as the top priority and not flamboyance. The big front grille aligns well with the front headlamps that also get DRLs.
The rear of this car has the right mix of angular as well as a well-rounded dimension. The rear lamps are also LED-powered and look futuristic.
The interiors are done neatly in the car with the right amount of contrast and those Vienna leather seats are both elegant and comfortable. The cabin is airy and that's also because of the Panoramic sunroof that will not make you feel claustrophobic. Four people can sit in with ease, but seating in five can make the cabin a bit crowdy in the Tiguan.
Volkswagen Tiguan from the back. (Image: Siddhartha Sharma/News18.com)
How's it to drive?
The answer to that question is simple. It's as good as any other German car out there. It's planted to the road all the time, grips well, thanks to the 4Motion Intelligent all-wheel drive system and keeps you always in control.
The suspension is a bit hard and you will feel the bumps inside this car. There is also a good commanding driving position, but not as commanding as you would get in a Toyota Fortuner or a Ford Endeavour. We say that because for the price that you'll pay for this one you can easily buy one of these.
The steering is also precise and what we would have liked is a bit thicker steering on the Tiguan and not the one we are used to on a Volkswagen Jetta. Overall, if you love German engineering and precision you'll love driving this car.
Volkswagen Tiguan interiors. (Image: Siddhartha Sharma/News18.com)
The Tiguan is also a capable off-roader as it comes with off-road modes. The ground clearance is at just 150mm but that did not deter the spirit of this car when we did some off-roading with it.
The Volkswagen Tiguan comes loaded with a lot. For starters, you get an engine start-stop button. There is also a 3-zone climate control system in place along with an Air Care Climatronic with an allergen filter to keep the air inside the cabin clean. There is plenty of boot space - 615 litres to be precise and you can increase it by folding the seats that give you an option of a 60:40 split. For entertainment, you get a touchscreen panel that gives out the vehicle information along with connectivity portions for your smartphone via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. There's also a cooled glovebox and a CD player inside the glovebox along with an SD card slot. Interior lighting is also done subtly but there is only one shade of white LED on it and you can't choose other colours. Things like steering mounted controls and cruise control work well on the Volkswagen Tiguan.
Volkswagen Tiguan has a bold front look. (Image: Siddhartha Sharma/News18.com)
The Tiguan gets a 5-star NCAP safety rating so expect every possible safety equipment inside this car. You get 6-airbags, ESP, ABS and works. The Tiguan also has something called an ACTIVE HOOD for pedestrian safety. This basically senses the collision of the car with a pedestrian and pops the hood up by up to 3-inches to cushion the impact of a falling body on the car's hood during impact. This increases the chances of survival for the pedestrian and is something unique to the Tiguan and first in its segment too.
There is also Hill Descent Control and cornering headlamps on the Tiguan along with some other cosmetic and practical equipment.
What do we think?
The Volkswagen Tiguan is a practical SUV that can go off-road, give you a good fuel-efficiency along with great driving dynamic and ensure the safety of its occupants. The catch here is the price. A Highline Tiguan would cost you close to Rs 35 Lakh on-road and that's Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA territory. In this money, you can also get a bigger SUV like the Toyota Fortuner or a Ford Endeavour. So what is the Volkswagen Tiguan? For us, it's more of a lifestyle SUV that is practical as well as unique in its segment. If you crave for something subtle and safety is your priority then look at this one.
Watch this space for more on the Volkswagen Tiguan.
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