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The Top Gear car review:Volkswagen Tiguan
For:Feels more grown up, roomier interior, broad engine ranges includes a plug-in hybrid
Against:Still hardly the last word in excitement
Marginally better for a midlife nip and tuck, but still underwhelming
It’s been nearly 15 years since the Toyota RAV4 made its debut, so what on earth has VW been doing all this time? Quick to the party with...
What we say:
Second generation Tiguan aims to build upon the considerable success of the first
What is it?
Volkswagen’s all-new, Mk2 Tiguan. You may not realise it but the first one has been phenomenally popular, outselling the Land Rover Defender’s 67-year production run in a mere eight years. The new one, naturally, is a strong evolution rather than a revolution, but it’s a fine one. Looks good too, no?
Volkswagen has tried to give it more substance and status, moving the Tiguan upmarket so it’s better able to take on rivals such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport. This also addresses a grumble of the first one – interior space wasn’t quite where it should be for a family-focused SUV
Disclaimer: we’ve only driven the new Tiguan on snowy roads and icy development tracks. But it copes very well with sub-zero, Lapland roads, riding cumbersome surfaces neatly and being a safe, stable car when the going gets overly slippy.
Four-wheel drive will be optional, but if it’s anything like the old Tiguan, the majority of buyers will go for it. It’s a latest-generation Haldex system, tried and tested across the VW Group, and comes with many selectable modes. There’s one for winter weather, and it’s as fuss-free as you’d hope.
There will be a range of petrol and diesel engines, topped by a 237bhp bi-turbo diesel, but it’s further down the range where the bulk of the sales will lie. The 148bhp diesel and 178bhp petrol variants we’ve tried both proved to be refined, quiet and effortless.
Despite the stuff-that-shan’t-be-named, a good 90 per cent of buyers are expected to go diesel, but for those who don’t want to, there’ll also be a GTE petrol-electric plug-in hybrid. Watch out Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
On the inside
It’s classic VW in here: ergonomically slick, exceedingly well put together, functional to the last. It also means it’s a teeny bit dull, but everything is so naturally arranged and solidly hewn, you probably won’t mind. Flourishes of glamour lie on the options list, such as the ‘Virtual Cockpit’ TFT dials you’ll find in an Audi TT, while your smartphone – whatever its creed – can link up to the extra-wide infotainment screen with ease.
The extra room over the old Tiguan is welcome, particularly in the rear where it’s now more family-friendly
Tiguan owners love the functional talents of their car, and as such, this one will tow 2,500kg. Enough for a chock-full horse box, that (Volkswagen certainly knows its customers…).
It’ll be practical, then, but running costs are more difficult to predict, as when we went to press, VW hadn’t to nailed down final numbers. Expect prices broadly in line with the outgoing Tiguan – so a starting point of around £23,000, with a mid-range model costing £27,000 – though we wouldn’t want to hedge our bets on mpg and CO2 numbers. They’ll be under more scrutiny than ever, one suspects
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