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Volkswagen Tiguan review: Bigger and better

When you think of SUVs by Volkswagen in India, only the Touareg comes to your mind, if you can pronounce the word correctly that is. The Touareg has been discontinued now and there was this gap in Volkswagen’s portfolio. A gap that can only be filled by a good SUV, which should not only look good but also satiate the expectations set by a potential SUV customer base. Cue the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The Tiguan (what’s with Volkswagen and hard-to-pronounce-SUVs?) is not the replacement for the Touareg. Tiguan is slotted in a much smaller and happening compact SUV segment and will compete with the likes of BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. The advantage of the Tiguan is that it comes with a proven German quality and this could also be the disadvantage, being just another German. The Tiguan is not new to the world with the previous generation model having sold over 2.8 million units. However, the new Tiguan is built on the versatile MQB platform and is the first Volkswagen SUV to be built on this architecture. It is bigger than its predecessor and this translates it into more wheelbase and space inside.

The design of the new Tiguan is a typical Volkswagen affair. Like a sharp suit that fits to the T, the exterior of the Tiguan has sharp lines all around, from the grille to the bonnet to the sides. There is nothing flashy about the design. At the front the three-slat grill neatly integrates to the headlamps and has sleek chrome highlights. The bonnet looks muscular with the character lines and to the side, a deep shoulder line runs the length of the car from the front wheel arch to the tail lamps. The wheel arches are not overly flared and the tail lamps look great. Overall, the Tiguan has all the boxes checked to look the SUV part.

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Inside, a modern cabin welcomes you. The build quality and the materials used reflect perfect German craftsmanship. The dashboard is designed to be driver centric with a slightly angled layout. The all digital instrument cluster looks cool and offers great amount of information with lot of customisation to suit your needs. The centre console hosts an infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The front seats are comfortable with a good view of the road ahead and the rear seats can accommodate three passengers in reasonable comfort. The boot space (615 with all seats up/1655 with rear seat folded) is enough to swallow the entire luggage for your family vacations.

Tiguan is powered by a 2.0-litre TDI engine that makes 143 PS of maximum power at 4,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 340 Nm between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm. The power is transferred to all the four wheels through a 7-speed DSG transmission. The engine is refined and has been tuned for better fuel efficiency. The vibrations and sounds are nicely insulated from inside the cabin. Power builds up linearly and strongly to three digit speeds, while the gearshifts are impressive from the proven DSG unit.

The ride is pretty good and has been tuned for comfort, considering the Indian roads. The suspension does its work for most parts, with only the hardest bad patches ruffling it. And the Tiguan is no slouch either when it comes to handling. The 4Motion all-wheel drive offers great grip and the wide track assists in good cornering and straight-line capabilities. Being a SUV with all-wheel drive, people expect the Tiguan to be a good off-roader and we can say it will be one, though not a hardcore off-roader. There’s a drive mode selector that offers four different driving modes—Normal, Snow, Off-road and Off-road Individual.

The Tiguan comes loaded to the teeth with safety features such as six airbags, ABS, Electronic Stabilisation Programme, reactive hood for pedestrian protection, self sealing tyres, hill descent control.

Priced from Rs 27.68 lakh ex-showroom Mumbai, Volkswagen Tiguan comes off as an able SUV that comes loaded with features and can be used as a light off-roader.

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