Volkswagen Tiguan Review
by- Nitin Sharma
Now with the Touareg a piece of history in the Indian automotive market, due to the lower popularity of the brand in full size SUV segment, Volkswagen India has finally brought their long time coming, the Tiguan to our shores. Now a lot has been going about this car and it is said to strengthen the hold of the manufacturer in the very crucial premium SUVs around 30 lacs segment. But there is a lot of confusion going around here.
You see at the price at which Volkswagen India has launched this car, it directly locks it horns against the likes of brawny Ford Endeavour and the Toyota Fortuner. Though the company says the car is set to go against the German counterparts which are the Mercedes Benz GLA, Audi Q3 and the BMW X1 which all of three are priced much premium over the Tiguan. But then Tiguan also have competition from Hyundai tucson which is a bit cheaper but is a well rounded package. So the big question here is, where does it stand.
Fist let us start from how the way this Volkswagen looks like. This car is designed on a completely new platform which the company calls as the MQB platform and this has been used in as many as 18 vehicles of the Volkswagen group of companies. The Volkswagen design philosophy have been same from quite some time now. The design looks elegant but is quite understated. The front looks neat and clean with sharp straight lines going everywhere around. The border less front grill with some chrome garnishing that disappears in the headlamps in a rather neatly manner. There is thick cladding around the bumper and the wheel arches and large air dams to give that bit of extra tough look to this guy. The headlamps are full LED units and also houses daytime running lights which works quite nicely in illuminating the darkest corners of roads.
To the side there are no bulging wheel arches or flaunting muscular lines of traditional SUVs but a sharp beltline and a bit of a ingress in it that flows from front to back and joins the tail lamp. lower portions have thick black plastic cladding to make it feel like a tough built car. Car rides on 18 inch rims which do a decent job and fits perfectly in those wheel arches. Roof itself is set quite low and the ride height is also low to facilitate easy ingress and egress. Back of the car looks quite attractive too with boomerang like full LED tail lights and black plastic cladding around the lower bumper. The tailgate is electrically powered and also have hands free operation which is quite a nifty feature if you are carrying a lot of luggage and can’t operate it manually. The boot itself is quite large at 615 liters and can gulp all your luggage for a small weekend getaway. And for when you want more space, you always have option of flipping down the rear seats to open up a total of 1655 liters of boot space.
Step inside the cabin and you’ll see the familiar styled dash that you find in every Volkswagen. The styling elements are quite a lot similar to other cars from the bunch. Though the cabin is done in complete black trim, it still doesn’t feel dull. In Fact the quality of materials used is so good that the cabin feels a lot airy than it is. And the tasteful use of faux carbon fibre finish at some parts of dash and the doors add to the sporty theme of the cabin. The dash is minimalistic but looks very very elegant. And then there is this huge touchscreen and it looks even bigger due to the touch buttons to the side and an all glass panel. Seating is quite god and you get a nice view outside. The glass area is huge and what makes it special is that massive panoramic sunroof which goes all the way to the back seats and really lightens up the cabin. The cabin is all dark but still doesn’t feels claustrophobic.
The rear seats are the one most pf the owners fill spend most of the time in and the seat is quite very comfortable. Though you sit a bit low and your knees might point skywards, there is ample amount of knee room and head room and even the six footers won’t be uncomfortable. The rear seat is also wide enough and can accomodate 3 adults easily. You also get your separate zone for climate control and also window sun shades to keep things private.
Tiguan is also packed with features like full LED headlamps and tail lamps, touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Carplay, Android Auto and Mirrorlink, panoramic sunroof, auto foldable outside rear view mirrors, heated front seats, smart trunk gate, 3 zone climate control, powered front seats, keyless entry and go, auto dimming inside rear view mirror, cruise control, self healing tires and many more. To keep your family safe the car also comes with ABS with EBD, ESP and brake assist, 6 airbags, traction control system, hill ascend and hill descent control.
This car is powered by a 2.0 litre diesel motor producing 141 bhp and 340 Nm of peak torque that kicks in at around 1750 rpm. This might feel like quite a less output for an SUV but the fact that this is a monocoque chassis and also a lot lot less heavier than a regular SUV, the mill is quite sufficient and does its job well. The engine is very refined and smooth and once you are past 1800 rpm mark the pull is quite strong too. And then there is this super slick 7 speed DSG gearbox that is so efficiently designed to remove cogs, it’s just near perfect. The steering has the perfect balance of lightness and preciseness and it’s easy to manoeuvre car in and around city traffic. This car also have all wheel drive hardware but that is not for proper offroading but to get you out if you’re stuck in a slippery situation. It is more of a safety tech.
This is a german car and it feels as the suspension is set a bit firm by default but then what it translates into is excellent sedan like handling at high speeds. Being a monocoque chassis the body roll is bare minimum and you can carry quite a lot speed when entering a corner. The insulation is done quite very well and road noise barely gets filtered inside.
Well at the start of this review we asked ourselves a question that for whom does this car is really for? Tiguan is for those who want the cheapest German SUV but don’t want to cut off in features. Tiguan is for those who likes straight lines over fancy curves. Tiguan is for those who prefer on road comfort more than off road ability. And finally Tiguan is for those who want something different.