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Car Review

Volkswagen Tiguan (2016-2023) review

£23,225 - £44,160
Published: 29 Dec 2022


What should I be paying?

VW is at pains to point out the work that has gone into improving the efficiency of its internal combustion engines in the Tiguan. Wonder why...

Anyway, that means the petrols now have cylinder deactivation tech that can shut down two of the four cylinders, while the diesels get a new dual SCR catalytic converter and produce less nitrogen oxide as a result.

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The claimed fuel economy figures seem to be easily attainable too. Taking in plenty of motorway and around-town miles (composed of some enthusiastic driving, for good measure), the 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol with seven-speed DSG that we drove managed 35.8mpg, compared to a claimed WLTP figure of 38.2-38.5mpg. Not bad.

The diesel-engined Tiguans can improve on that, with the front-wheel drive 148bhp engine managing 47mpg on the WLTP cycle and the four-wheel drive version 42mpg. The 197bhp diesel with its standard four-wheel drive manages just over 41mpg. The base spec 128bhp Tiguan with its six-speed manual will supposedly do between 43.5-44.8mpg and also emits the least CO2 at 143g/km. That’s if we’re ignoring the eHybrid, of course. That claims 178.4mpg and 36g/km of CO2.

There are obviously a huge amount of different combinations of spec and drivetrain, but for now Life models start at £29,910, Elegance at £35,880 and R-Line at £36,355. Life trim combined with the lesser powered 128bhp petrol engine – unavailable on Elegance and R-Line models – also means cheaper insurance and lower tax costs, so worth keeping in mind. At the time of writing, lease prices start at around £360 per month for Life models or £400+ for Elegance and R-Line, on a four-year agreement with a six-month initial payment.

Previously VW offered an Active trim above Life which was probably the Goldilocks of the range, just offering enough kit without an alarming price tag. It also came with smaller 17-inch wheels as standard (the cheaper Life models get 18-inchers) which helped improve the ride quality. That no longer exists, so we'd go with the entry-level Life and some choice options.

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After something a little sportier? Go R-Line with its fancy bumpers and fake chrome exhausts – it’s the only trim level that includes VW’s Travel Assist system that can control steering, braking and acceleration at speeds of up to 130mph. Certainly one of the better systems around.

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