Volkswagen Tiguan 4×2 Trend & Fun 2.0 TDi BlueMotion
VW are good at spotting a little niche and creating a new vehicle from an existing platform. In the case of the Tiguan, they followed the rest of the pack and came up with a quite compelling package. It is in effect a Golf with a bit more space, higher ride hight and a much bigger boot, provided you fold the seats forward. A Golf for the business owner or outdoor person. If you look at it in this light, then the 4×2 version which we tested when compared to the Golf makes a lot of sense.
The equivalent golf, the 2.0 TDI Highline Manual costs R315 800, this Tiguan R294 800. I know the specs are a little different, but not much. If anything, the Tiguan’s basic spec list is more practical than the Golf’s.
The model we tested was the 6 speed manual 2.0 turbodiesel 4×2 Trend & Fun with 81kW and 280Nm between 1750 and 2750rpm. It has a top speed of 174km/h and takes around 12 seconds to get to 100km/h. The claimed fuel consumption of 5.3 litres/100km must have been achieved in dreamland. Expect around 6.5 litres/100km at best.
The courtesy lights built into the mirrors are a nice touch, makes getting in and out at night a breeze. The automatic light system which switches on when it senses fading light works well.
The dash layout and finishes are typical VW and I think are well thought out and well made. The feel of the switches is superior.
With the rear seats folded the boot becomes enormous.
The car we tested was a little sluggish at low revs and lacked oomph at manoeuvring speed. But once on the go and with the turbo in full song it is different matter all together.
The Tiguan has two blind spots. The “A” pillars are a little thick, causing a minor blind spot. The other blind spot is to the left and slightly behind the car.
The rear seats do not quite fold flat, but do fold enough to make an enormous boot.
We have heard numerous reports of turbo and water pump failures on this range of VW engines, but then they sell huge numbers of them.
The Tiguan is a Golf with serious space for shopping when the rear seats are folded down. It cannot compete with the likes of a Freelander or X-trail offroad, but rides higher than a Golf. It is almost as good as a Golf on tar.
I think it is a very real option to look at if you want a compact car but need a bit more space and practicality. I enjoyed driving it.
Also look at the Nissan Qashqai (R324 925, but is well appointed) and Juke (R226 925), Kia Sportage (R303 995, includes park assist etc) amd Mitsubishi ASX (R297 900).
List price R289 100, Price as tested R346 450, extras fitted: towbar, roof rails, front foglights, park assist with reverse camera, satnav and leather seats.
Warranty – 3 years / 120 000km
Service plan – 5 years / 60 000km