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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Volkswagen Tiguan

Overall verdict
The latest Tiguan feels solid, sensible and laser-guided at its target market


More grown up, roomier interior, broader engine range


Still not the last word in fun


What is it?

It’s Volkswagen’s second-generation 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. In the UK, it’s currently the best-selling VW after the Golf and Polo.

The new one, naturally, is a strong evolution rather than a revolution, but it’s a fine one. Looks good too, no? Spec it in R-Line trim and it’s a really assertive looking car, and thus-equipped we imagine it doesn’t look far short of the first sketches that excitably left its designer’s pencil.

Volkswagen has tried to give it more substance beneath the skin, 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. As well as a regular, five-seat Tiguan, there’s now a seven-seat Tiguan AllSpace available. It’s primed for in-house rivals like the Skoda Kodiaq, as well as newly SUV-like people carriers such as the Peugeot 5008.

While the least powerful Tiguans come with front-wheel drive, AWD is available on most engines. It’s a system related to the Golf R’s, favouring front-wheel drive, but able to send every bit of power to the rear axle when necessary. It also hikes the Tiguan up by 11mm, for better obstacle clearing.

There’s a mix of petrol and diesel engines, ranging from 113 to 237bhp, the latter cranked out by a twin-turbo diesel, which will be the performance high point of the range. And there will be no GTI or R badges appearing on any of ‘em (besides the aforementioned R-Line trim), despite the Tiguan now being so core to VW. 

It’s the first VW SUV based upon the ‘MQB’ architecture that underpins so many of the group’s cars. There’s a good chance you’re sick to death of those three letters appearing in car reviews, so we’ll cut to chase: MQB-based cars invariably steer sharply and are intuitive and easy to drive. These, you’ll be aware, are all good things.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
2.0 BiTDi 240 4Motion R Line Tech 5dr DSG
6.2s 161g/km 240 £41,350
The cheapest
1.5 TSi EVO 130 S 5dr
10.2s 130g/km 50.4 130 £24,785
The greenest
2.0 TDi BMT 150 S 5dr
9.3s 119g/km 150 £28,040