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New VW Tiguan – Tigging all the boxes in a mid-size SUV!
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy

The first Tiguan was launched here in SA an incredible eight years ago. Since 2007 it has sold over 19,000 units in South Africa and a whopping 2,8 million around the world, which puts it in the category of a resounding success. It’s easily one of the more popular SUVs in the country and testimony to VW’s ability to design vehicles with universal appeal. This is likely due to their design ethos, which under head designer Klaus Bischoff boils down to the simple philosophy of ‘less is more’.

More space for you and yours

Despite this thinking, you actually get more with the Tiguan II – more space that is! It is 30mm wider and 60mm longer than the older version and the wheelbase has increased by 77mm to 2,681mm. The interior is also 26mm longer than before, which means more space for the passengers. Up to three can fit comfortably into the back seats and enjoy 29mm more leg room.

The Tiguan’s overall height has been lowered by 33mm but thanks to clever interior ergonomics there’s actually more headroom than before. Not only that, but the critical factor of seat ride height - one of the main reasons this style of vehicle is so popular – has increased by 8mm. While we’re on the subject of stats, despite the bigger size the Tiguan’s overall weight has been reduced by 53 kilograms, thanks to lightweight design measures. In addition to its optimised aerodynamics (a 13% improvement over the former version) this makes for excellent efficiency on the road.

Ideal for the adventurous lifestyle

Of course, the other main reason why SUVs remain so popular is their versatility and in this regard the new Tiguan shines. Take its cargo capacity, for example. The rear bench is able to easily slide forward to increase luggage capacity, increasing the available space by 145 litres to a very substantial 615 litres. The seats can also fold down of course, to create a cavernous 1,655 litres of available space. As an added bonus, access has been improved with a bigger rear hatch.

As an SUV, albeit a mild-mannered urban one, it is also versatile because it can go places ordinary cars cannot. The latest version remains a capable off-roader, with the three top models featuring VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive (AWD) system. With its new 4Motion Active Control, you enjoy an engaging driving experience in all situation and every type of driving surface.

Engine options

At this time there are two petrol engine options available in South Africa – the 1.4 litre 92kW TSI (200Nm) and the 1.4 litre 110kW TSI (250Nm). However, if you can wait a little while, before the end of 2016 there will be several diesel options as well, including 2.0 TDI engines in a choice of 81kW, 105kW and 130kW. The range-topping 2.0 TSI petrol engine with 162kW under the hood is also in the pipeline. The high-powered engines (top two diesels and the range-topping petrol) all have 4Motion AWD as standard.

In terms of gearboxes, the 92kW is paired to a 6 speed manual transmission and the 110kW comes with the 6 speed DSG transmission.

All the TSI engines feature BlueMotion Technology which includes Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems to enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions.

Top end safety rating

As a family vehicle, the Tiguan excels in the key area of safety, and has plenty of essential kit as standard, including six airbags. Hazard lights that flash automatically under hard braking, Electronic Stability Control, XDS transverse differential lock and fatigue detection (Rest Assist) are all standard. The new Tiguan received a five star rating from Euro NCAP - making it one of the Europe’s safest cars.

An intriguing safety feature - and the first to appear on any VW - is the active engine bonnet. What on earth is it, you ask? It basically means that if the bumper makes contact with something over a certain speed, a sensor strip triggers a small pyrotechnic actuator that lifts the rear edge of the bonnet by about 5cms in milliseconds. This reduces the distance between the hard engine components and the flexible bonnet, which in turn reduces the risk of serious head injuries in the event of a collision. Very clever!  

Excellent features as standard

Like most modern vehicles the Tiguan comes loaded with features and as with most VWs there are three equipment spec levels: Trendline, Comfortline and Highline. All the nice-to-haves like manual air-con, electric front and rear windows, cruise control, front fog lights, a leather multi-function steering wheel, connectivity package (Bluetooth and USB ) and roof rails are included as standard features.

An interesting new addition is the Active Info Display, found in the current VW Passat. Unique to the Tiguan is an off-road display profile with steering angle indicator and compass that was specially designed for the car. When navigation is activated the large central display can be selected, and 3D navigation is shown directly in the Active Info Display, in addition to the infotainment screen.

The standard 5-inch touchscreen Radio/CD system offers MP3 compatibility, eight speakers and SD Card and AUX-in connection. A connectivity package includes Bluetooth and USB interface. If that’s not enough for you, you can upgrade even further and there are two more options to pick from, including the 16.5cm Composition Media system or a 20cm Discovery Pro system with sat nav.

You also enjoy the benefits of LED headlights (standard from Comfortline up), which are found to be more 10% effective than standard headlights in helping other cars to see you in inclement weather, as well as being longer lasting.

Plenty more options too

If you want to enhance your owner’s experience, you can opt for any number of extras. There’s the 400 watt DynAudio surround system (specifically tuned to the Tiguan’s interior), keyless access (which includes a keyless locking and engine starting system), an electric opening tailgate, adaptive cruise control, 3-Zone Climate control, 19 inch Sebring alloy wheels - and that’s just for starters!

Conclusion

The new Tiguan displays all the qualities that VW is known for. As a family vehicle it comes ‘pre-loaded’ with massive versatility, not to mention some very desirable features as standard.

Either of the 1.4 TSI engines are a great choice given the standard features, although possibly a little under-powered if loaded to capacity. But like most VWs they still offer a very refined and comfortable ride and ideal for noodling along in regular city traffic driving or taking a leisurely road trip with the family, which is undoubtedly what the Tiguan will be doing for 90% of the time.

Best of all, it has that VW blue chip brand equity, so your peace of mind in knowing you are getting a quality product is assured. It’s not the cheapest SUV in its class (Ford’s Kuga is also worth looking at) but it will deliver comfort, style, convenience and envious glances in spades. What more could the modern South African family ask for?

PRICES (VAT and emissions tax included)

1.4 TSI 92kW Trendline Manual        -    R378 000
1.4 TSI 92kW Comfortline Manual    -    R419 000
1.4 TSI 110kW Comfortline DSG        -    R457 680

The new Tiguan comes standard with a 5 year/90,000km Service Plan, 3 year/120,000km warranty and a 12 year anti-corrosion warranty.

To test drive the VW Tiguan, contact your nearest Bidvest McCarthy VW dealer here!

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