Volkswagen Tiguan 2011 Review

November 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen’s updated Tiguan 4×4 has new TDi diesel technology driving through a six-speed Tiptronic transmission making it more frugal by 0.5l/100km and with less emisions (by 10g of CO2 per km). Other performance figures remain the same, with the Tiguan taking 10.7 seconds to reach 100kph. With the 4Motion all-wheel drive and 235/55 tyres on 17-inch wheels it’s got plenty of grip on all surfaces, and it’s capable of towing up to two tonnes (as long a the trailer is braked). It also comes, as standard, with a trailer stabilization system to stop any speed wobbles.

So, it’s a city-style compact 4WD SUV, but with the toughness credentials to back it up. Our test car was brown, which seems to be staging a resurgence in popularity. You might remember the brown Ford Cortinas and Escorts of 30 years ago with moderate disdain, but the new metallic brown hues look quite sharp.

Volkswagen has designed the Tiguan to appeal to small families. There are fold-up tray tables behind the passenger and driver’s seat which have integrated cup holders. These seats are ‘cinema style’ – they’re slightly raised to give the rear passengers a better view. The seats are covered in hard-wearing upholstery. Continue reading “Volkswagen Tiguan 2011 Review” »

Facelifted VW Tiguan receives R-Line treatment

November 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen is stepping things up on its recently facelifted 2012 Tiguan SUV with the release of the R-Line trim specification.

Making your new Tiguan and R-Line is possible with the choice of two packages – one for the interior and one for the exterior. Both packages include a range of visual tweaks.

Opt for the exterior package and you receive more aggressively designed front and rear bumpers, a hatch spoiler, a black rear diffuser, aluminium door sill plates and R-line badging. Filling the wheel guards are freshly designed 19-inch alloys with 255/40 tyres.

If you want to dress up your interior appointments the R-Line cabin package includes sports seats up front, unique trim, sports steering wheel, aluminum pedals and more R-Line logos. Continue reading “Facelifted VW Tiguan receives R-Line treatment” »

Updated 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan goes on sale in NZ

September 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The new 2012 Tiguan has touched down in NZ and is now on sale from VW dealers. The refreshed small SUV features reworked design and upgraded features.

In terms of styling, the latest VW design language has been incorporated into the front end of the Tiguan with the family face now extending across the full New Zealand Volkswagen range. The new front fascia includes halogen headlights, front fogs with cornering lights, rain sensor, privacy glass and a chrome work package. There’s optional kit as well which includes bi-xenon headlights with dynamic cornering lights, panorama sliding glass roof and a mirror package to fold away wing mirrors.

There’s also some high-tech driver assistance systems in the 2012 model with front and rear ParkPilot being a feature. This takes care of parallel parking with the push of a button, drivers only need control braking and acceleration. Safety has been improved with a new fatigue detection system and a lane departure warning system also available.

There’s a Sport & Style package that includes 4Motion all-wheel drive, traction control and an approach angle of 18° as standard with an off-road package available adding under body protection, an increased approach angle of up to 28° and off-road electronic programme. The Tiguan has a towing ability of up to 2,000kg trailer load. Also new in the Tiguan is the XDS electronic differential lock which helps the SUV grip the road during fast cornering. Continue reading “Updated 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan goes on sale in NZ” »

2012 Volkswagen Tiguan facelift model – revealed

February 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Following on from recently leaked photos, Volkswagen has released official details and photos for the 2012 Tiguan facelift.

The Tiguan is the latest in VW’s range to receive updates after the 2011 Passat and Eos convertible, making it one of the few Volkswagen models to be updated rather than replaced by an all-new model.

In terms of styling the 2012 Tiguan is given the newer VW corporate face with a new headlight design, grille and at the rear new sleeker tail-lights.

In the cabin the Tiguan appears largely unchanged except for a new steering wheel. But the production model could sport more major updates.

Mechanical specifications will be revealed when the updated Tiguan debuts at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. Continue reading “2012 Volkswagen Tiguan facelift model – revealed” »

Volkswagen Tiguan TDI 2008 Review

June 5th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen Tiguan fq

The Tiguan is Volkswagen’s foray into the burgeoning CUV (Compact Utility Vehicle) market which is rapidly attracting other European makers to the small ‘soft-roader’ party.

It is not a big SUV and it won’t carry half the soccer team to practice, but if you think of it as a combination of the interior from a reasonably equipped, luxurious sedan, like a Passat or an Audi A4, in the body of a Golf on stilts, you will get it.

First visual impressions of the Tiguan are that it is smaller than you think. It looks a little slab-sided in profile, but the front and rear ends are cohesive if a little Euro-chic bland. The wheelbase is quite short but the interior packaging is good with ample room in the back seat for tall people. The seats are quite comfortable on long trips despite initially feeling firm. Up front it takes time to get used to what all the buttons do and the functions available. The instrumentation is clear but there is a lot of information displayed on the mini-screen between the speedo and tacho which a bit distracting when driving.

The ‘Wild Cherry Red’ colour on our test car set the curves of the Tiguan off very well.

Sporty driving is not the Tiguan’s forte. It can handle tight roads at a moderate pace with  not too much body-roll. The 4-Motion four-wheel drive system provides decent grip as do the 235/55/R17 tyres, but push it hard and the weight and high centre of gravity start to show. The Tiguan has this covered though with ESP and other electronic aides that help to keep the car on the black-top. In everyday driving though, the car feels well-planted and soaks up bumps well.

The Tiguan’s 103kw diesel engine provides decent acceleration from 2000rpm, but below that the 2-litre struggles with turbo-lag. Cruising at 100kph it can be tricky to modulate the throttle for smooth progress when changing lanes on the highway due to the on/off power delivery caused by 320nm of torque being lumped between 1750-2500rpm.

The engine is not an aural gem and sounds more like a synthesized reproduction of an engine than a real mass of reciprocating steel, but it did return a decent city/highway fuel consumption average of 8.1 l/100km on our test which is close to Volkswagen’s official 7.5 l/100km.

The 6-speed transmission is very smooth and performs well in normal, sport, or semi-auto modes shifting seamlessly.

The steering feels jerky at parking speed like the power-assistance is not sure whether it should be on or off. At speed however, the steering feels linear and gives adequate feedback.

The Tiguan’s party-piece is something pretty cool but also slightly disturbing;

it can parallel-park itself. You can’t jump out and watch it manoeuvre into a parking space – that would be silly – but to watch the steering-wheel spin quickly around unaided is a spooky experience, made even more intimidating because with its sensors, the Tiguan parks faster and better than you can.

Now, as a trick, the parking assist is cool, you can freak your friends out with it. But if you were a driver so bereft of parking ability that you routinely needed this function, I would have to come and confiscate your licence myself.

The options we had were the panoramic sunroof ($2500) which made the car feel more spacious and had multiple adjustments, and the upgraded stereo ($750) which a colleague liked but I though was just middling.

The Tiguan is not all things to all men. The boot space isn’t as large as a full-size SUV and the parking assist may eventually evolve into a cyber-tronic robot and steal your soul (or just your driving ability) but it does work very well for its intended market.

The fact that the Tiguan comes into a market place full of Japanese CUV competitors but few German or American rivals also makes it unique, for the time being.

Being a luxurious, smallish car packed with technology and some off-roading ability, the Tiguan looks like a good choice as a family wagon to take to the snow, but all this comes at a price.

At a base price of $53,990 it is at the sharp end of the CUV market and makes the less flashy Japanese alternatives look like good value, but then again the Tiguan has features that the competition doesn’t.

So for now the Tiguan is the top of the CUV heap for all the tech and luxury it packs into a small space, but it will face more serious competition when Audi (?), BMW (X1), Volvo (XC60) and Mercedes-Benz (GLK) release their forthcoming CUVs. Can’t wait.

Price: from $53,990. As tested: $57,240

What we like

  • 6-speed transmission
  • Parking assist
  • Sunroof
  • Interior ambience

What we don’t like

  • Jerky low-speed steering
  • Parking assist
  • Air vents have small range of motion


103kW TDI

1968cc 4-cyl

103kW @ 4200 rpm

320Nm @ 1750-2500 rpm

Diesel Particulate Filter

6-spd Tiptronic Retail Price (including GST) – 103kW TDI $53,990

Performance & Fuel Consumption

¢ 0 — 100 km/h 10.7

¢ Top speed km/h 182

¢ Combined l/100km 7.5

¢ CO2 g/km 199

Safety equipment

¢ 3-point automatic seat belts, height adjustment and seat-belt tensioners for front seats

¢ ESP (electronic stability program) with ABS, EDL (electronic diff lock), ASR and Brake Assist

¢ Driver and front passenger airbags, with front side and curtain airbags

¢ Electromechanical steering with safety steering column (steering wheel height & reach adjustable)

¢ Flat tyre indicator

¢ Front passenger airbag deactivation

¢ ISOFIX mountings on rear seat

¢ Outer rear view mirrors, electrically adjustable and heated

¢ Rear fog light

¢ Three rear headrests

Functional equipment

¢ Automatically dimming interior mirror

¢ Automatic headlight control with coming home/leaving home function

¢ Backrest release for fold-flat front passenger seat

¢ Climatronic dual-zone air-conditioning

¢ Comfort sports front seats with height adjustment

¢ Cruise control

¢ Drawers under front seats

¢ Electric park brake

¢ Folding tables on front seat backrests

¢ Front centre armrest with storage box

¢ Illuminated vanity mirrors

¢ Interior lights in front footwells

¢ Leather multifunction steering wheel

¢ Luggage compartment cover

¢ Multifunction Indicator Plus

¢ ParkScan Parallel Parking Assistant

¢ Privacy glass (65% tint), B-pillar aft

¢ Rain sensor for front windscreen wipers

¢ RCD 300 audio system with 8 loudspeakers, MP3 CD compatible

¢ Remote central locking with immobilizer, tilt sensor and interior monitoring alarm

¢ Silver anodised roof rails

¢ Storage pockets on front seat backrests

¢ “Visible” cloth upholstery


¢ 17″ Boston alloy wheels, 235/55 tyres with space-saver spare wheel

¢ 4Motion all-wheel drive

¢ 4-link independent rear suspension

¢ Towing weights (unbraked / braked / tongue weight): 750kg / 2200kg / 100kg

Warranty and Assistance

¢ 3 year / unlimited km mechanical warranty, 12 year anti-corrosion

¢ 3 year Volkswagen Roadside Assistance

Words Ben Dillon, photos Darren Cottingham

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