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Volkswagen Tiguan Review: Pros and Cons

Introduction:

Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior

Are you considering to buy the Volkswagen Tiguan? Well, here then are five things that work in its favour, and two that don’t.

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Positives

1.      Understated Charm

Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior

It might not be butch or in-your-face, but the Tiguan’s design has an air of sophistication to it. Plus, its proportions are spot on. There are enough lines and creases to give the car a modern feel. And though there’s a liberal use of chrome, it is tastefully done so instead of looking gaudy, it actually looks good.

The shut lines all around are tight and even. And everything you touch and feel exudes quality. And yes, the door closing is lovely.

2.      Quality Insides

Like the exterior, there’s nothing flashy, brash, or over the top about the Tiguan’s interior either. In fact, some might even call it a tad boring. But, like its exterior, it’s a well built and tastefully done cabin. Now, with its all-grey hue, metallic highlights, and straight-cut lines, this interior has more of an office-air to it than the warm and cosy feel of a study in a palatial home. But it is a well-appointed office, nonetheless.

Volkswagen Tiguan Dashboard

It gets the usual luxury items like a multifunctional steering wheel, a three-zone climate control system, cruise control, a huge sunroof, and a touchscreen multimedia system. The multimedia system comes with Bluetooth Telephony, voice commands, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additionally, there’s a detailed driver information system with two trip computers. There’s a powered tailgate, and the driver also gets an 8-way electrically adjustable seat.

3.      Practical Cabin

Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior

The Tiguan is a five-seater. And it can actually seat five - that’s three at the back - without anyone feeling too uncomfortable. And, it has good seats. The ones at the rear are supportive, reasonably large, and they can recline as well. And if you are just two at the back, the armrests - centre and on the door - are pretty usable too. But, if we had to pick a seat, it would be the front. The seats are larger, more supportive, and there’s so much adjustment at hand. And even though the rear seats offer good thigh, back and side support, the front seats just move the game to a higher plane.

Volkswagen Tiguan Boot Space

But, that’s not all. The Tiguan’s cabin is also a practical one. There are cup and bottle holders for passengers on all four corners. There’s a cooled glovebox, storage under the central armrest, and some additional storage as part of the dashboard as well. The boot too is fantastic. It can hold over 600 litres of luggage with the rear seats in place. Fold the rear seats - which offer the flexibility of 40:20:40 split, and throw in the remaining bags. Or, move the mattress and possibly washing machines and refrigerators in it as well. Not that anyone with a Tiguan would do that, but you get the point.

4.      Driver focused

The Tiguan is a proper driver-focused SUV. And that’s evident the moment you get behind the wheel. With the adjustable steering and seat, finding the ideal driving position comes easy. The visibility is fantastic as well be it over the hood or via the A-Pillar.

Volkswagen Tiguan Action

Then there’s the steering - it is light but it is also quick and precise, and a joy to use. And once you are on the move, its tried and tested, and torquey and easy revving Diesel engine just gets you more involved in driving. It makes over 140bhp and has a torque of 340Nm. Not surprisingly the Tiguan feels light on its feet and it charges towards the horizon like a sprinter.

Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior

Now being a diesel, the proceedings do get a bit loud, but not loud enough to get bothersome. The lightness is not just limited to the way the Tiguan accelerates, it’s also light and nimble while being fantastically planted around a sequence of corners. Even in a straight line at three-digit speeds, it tracks as if it were on the rails. And to help things along, it has a whole suite of driving aids. There’s traction control and ESP. There’s torque vectoring and on-demand all-wheel drive.

So, if you like driving, the Tiguan clearly has you covered.

5.      Do-it-all

Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior

Did we mention the Tiguan could off-road as well? And it can do it very well. It was a rock star at our off-road day many moons back, courtesy to its relatively smaller footprint, potent engine and gearbox combo, along with a suite of very smart electronics.

Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior

But, here’s the thing, when not off-roading, it’s also a lovely highway machine. And When not touring, it is superb to commute in as well thanks to the good visibility and light controls. And then given its manageable size, palatable design along with an accessible cabin, you can take it to the club and it won’t look out of place. Plus, you don’t have to plan your wardrobe to suit the car.

Now how is that versatility!

Negatives

1.      Size-price equation

Volkswagen Tiguan Action

As it turns out we equate price with size, particularly when it comes to SUVs. Now, it might not seem logical, or even fair . After all, there’s so much to a car than just size. The premium quality, cutting-edge technology and marvelous engineering, all of them come at a price. Unfortunately for the Tiguan, our market expects size and price to go hand in hand. So, at a price point where the likes of the Fortuner rule the roost, being 300mm smaller, and over 150mm shorter than the Toyota doesn’t bode well for the Volkswagen. And that shows in the sales figures of the two SUVs... not having two extra seats at this price point is a dampener as well.

2.      Feel-good Features

Now, there’s no doubt that the Tiguan is loaded with features. But, what it lacks are some of the feel-good variety features. Their absence aren’t deal-breakers, of course, but having them would have kindled a never ending desire to buy the Tiguan .

Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior

It has heated seats when it should have had the cooled ones. It lacks the self-parking feature which the Passat has. Plus, the touchscreen system could be bigger and more visually appealing, and having a 360-degree camera would have been a definite plus.

Conclusion

Volkswagen Tiguan Exterior

The Tiguan as a car is excellent. It has the features, it has the safety and driving aids, it is beautifully built, while being lovely to drive, and it can do so many things so well. It is almost like a Swiss Knife among cars. But, it is a pricey Swiss knife which the Indian SUV buyer would have liked to be a bit bigger as well.

Pictures by - Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi

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Volkswagen Tiguan Price in India

CityOn-Road Prices
Mumbai₹ 34.35 Lakhs onwards
Bangalore₹ 35.55 Lakhs onwards
New Delhi₹ 33.6 Lakhs onwards
Pune₹ 34.18 Lakhs onwards
Hyderabad₹ 33.86 Lakhs onwards
Ahmedabad₹ 31.4 Lakhs onwards
Chennai₹ 35 Lakhs onwards
Kolkata₹ 31.51 Lakhs onwards
Chandigarh₹ 31.89 Lakhs onwards
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