The Tiguan Allspace is a petrol-only model powered by the brand's turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder TSI engine. It's a silent one offering a meaty power output of 188bhp and 320Nm of torque. It comes mated to a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission and 4MOTION as standard, which distributes power to the front and rear wheels. Getting off the mark is quick and smooth making you forget you are behind the wheel of a big SUV. The power delivery feels instantaneous, the engine is refined with good response to the throttle inputs and there's no unpleasant vibrations felt inside the cabin too.
Even the DSG gearbox makes the power delivery feel seamless and linear with its precise shifts. The car makes swift progress post the 2,000rpm, but having said that, it doesn't feel slow or bogged down ever, thanks to enough torque available from around 1,500rpm. Its strong mid-range grunt helps it stay ahead of traffic or overtake even a long vehicle confidently. Choose any of the driving modes from eco, normal, sport or individual and the in-gear acceleration is different across all. Of course, in favour of returning more fuel efficiency, the eco mode feels more subdued than the normal mode, but it gets better. In fact, it’s the sport mode where the throttle input response is spectacular. The revs are built faster, held on for longer and thanks to no delay in shifts, quicker progress can be made. One can also use the paddle-shifters for better control and a more engaging drive experience. Then, though the tachometer needle touches the 6,000rpm redline, the power tapers off post 4,200rpm and feels best to shift earlier. However, this is where the engine gets audible and yet isn't a dampener thanks to a pleasant engine note.
And it impresses with its ride quality that's nicely tuned to take on our road conditions with ease. Yes, there's still that little firm feel at low speeds due to which the ruts and sharp-edged potholes can be felt into the cabin. However, never did any of the occupants feel uncomfortable. Moreover, the side-to-side movement has also been kept to a minimum. Though a little vertical movement is observed at high speeds, it’s well-contained and the Allspace feels sure-footed at all times. What's more, there are off-road and snow modes that work smartly along with ESP and hill hold when the going gets tough. These driving aids even let one choose the pre-set driver settings for steering and throttle response from the touch screen. Furthermore, the 18-inch wheels and adequate ground clearance made sure we cleared all obstacles and bumps without any hesitation.
Despite the increase in length of the car, the Allspace continues to provide good handling like the Tiguan. With a light and precise steering, there's a good feedback that doesn't make you feel you are manoeuvring a big SUV. It feels very much connected and makes quick direction changes around tight corners. Even switchbacks or parking the car continue to be a hassle-free affair thanks to its quick steering unlike many other burly seven-seater SUVs. And this steering weighs up without much artificial feel at high speeds. Lastly, braking duties are handled well by all discs with a strong bite and good progression even under panic braking.