What is it like on the inside?
The regular Tiguan is a very nice place to be – it felt a big step up when it launched back in 2016. So with a dusting of new technology from a mid-life facelift and the addition of some chintzy R bits, it’s very nice indeed in here. The big enveloping buckets look ace and feel even better, and you’ve plenty customisation on offer with the digital dials ahead of you.
Mind, facelift time also brought some part-physical, part-digitised climate controls that offer the best of neither world. Touchpads rather than buttons, you need to take your eyes off the road to operate them. And you need to toggle up and down temperatures half a degree-Celsius at a time – attempt to hold down either end to cycle up or down a little quicker, and you’ll shortcut to 30 or 16 degrees. And have to toggle back to where you started in half-degree increments again.
It’s not as hard to fathom as the Mk8 Golf’s even newer cabin, though, and you can loosen the stability control with a simple button press in here whereas it’s a number of sub-menus in the sportier Golf. Mad.
You can also leap into Race mode via the blue R button on the steering wheel, but it feels like a gimmick given it puts everything in Race, suspension included. It would be better if VW had taken a leaf out of BMW’s book and made the button a shortcut to your Individual settings. Which, if you have anything resembling regular bone structure, will likely involve Comfort or Sport suspension.
We’re only banging on about the ride because it’s the one thing stopping the Tiguan R from being just as a fantastic family car as the stock Tiguan, but with a side order of B-road nous. There’s abundant room in the back for people of all sizes and a huge boot, unchanged from standard with 615 litres of capacity seats up, and 1,655 seats down. The only chink in its armour is a sole USB port in the back. Only your favourite child gets to charge their phone or tablet.