This second-generation Tiguan moves the SUV into a broader segment. They’ve made a lot of changes, and this could be a viable competitor to the all-conquering Qashqai. We’ll find out after a full test but, on snowy arctic roads, the first signs are impressive.
The Tiguan is based on the new MQB platform, which proves its worth. Dimensions are predictably greater than they were. The wheelbase is up 77mm, the track is wider, the length overall is up 60mm and width by 30mm. Since the first model sold hugely and was extremely popular, it seems likely that a larger, more modern second version is going to find a receptive audience.
At launch there will be a choice of two four-cylinder engines, both with turbos. The petrol will be the 2.0-litre TSI, the diesel the 2.0-litre TDI in SCR and SCR 4Motion guises. The most popular choice in the UK will probably be the diesel, in a vehicle which is the first all-new model to come from VW since the whole emissions scandal.
As part of the response to that, the company has fitted a tank holding 12 litres of a fluid that helps in selective catalytic reduction – hence the SCR moniker. Power will be 148bhp with 251lb ft of torque. With the diesel you have the choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch auto, plus you can choose between two- and four-wheel drive.
The petrol engine, producing a useful 178bhp and 236lb ft of torque, comes as standard with the auto transmission and four-wheel drive. That’s enough to produce a fairly sparkly 0-62mph time of just 7.7sec on the way to 129mph. That compares to the diesel’s 9.3sec and 124mph respectively.
To be honest, we weren’t in an environment where we could explore those performance claims, but one thing that does shine through is the excellence of the handling package. This is a reasonably big and high SUV yet all that body and longer suspension movement is damped and controlled really well.
This is backed up by a sophisticated and smooth ride, with a lot of sound-deadening, control and comfort. The four-wheel drive system instils confidence at all times, even over icy asphalt, and on first meeting this seems an excellent package.
The cabin has had a definite upgrade from the previous version. There are hints of the latest Golf and Passat and it’s all the better for it. The quality seems higher than before, and everything looks nicely contemporary.
VW looks to have made the new Tiguan a considerably more accomplished SUV than it was – and it was a good an popular performer before. The diesel may prove the bigger seller, and its economy will swing many votes. A claimed 42mpg and 147g/km of CO2 is good for a vehicle like this.
But that diesel is a bit more vocal, where the more powerful TSI petrol engine is quieter, more powerful and more refined. But that’s matched by figures of 38.7mpg and 168g/km. There will be more engine variants offered after launch, so we’ll leave the choice to you. However, the new Tiguan, whatever the engine, deserves to be on the shortlist, based on our brief introduction.
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