The latest Tiguan is an outstanding machine that has elevated its appeal thanks to its good looks and benchmark technology. There was however just one slight problem; it is a compact SUV.
What about those who want more in terms of space but can't afford the larger Touareg? Well, there is now a seven-seat Tiguan available in the form of the new Allspace and I travelled to Durban to give it a go.
What is an AllSpace?
The Allspace has been implemented into the Volkswagen SUV segment as a bridge between the more compact Tiguan and the larger, more premium Touareg. At first glance, the Allspace looks near identical to the Tiguan, but upon closer inspection, you will notice that the car is slightly longer, around 215mm in fact, while gaining an extra 109mm in terms of its wheelbase.
Other design changes
The designers didn't just increase the car's length though, a few other details have been altered too, which gives the Allspace a slightly more mature look compared to it its smaller sibling.
Features such as the front grille and bonnet have been given a more rugged look. There is also some new side badging on the front quarter panel like that found on the Golf R. Larger side windows and a raised contour line behind the C-pillar are also notable changes. There are also trapezoidal tailpipes at the bottom-end of the rear bumper for a sportier looking rear.
Stepping into the Allspace, one will notice the typical Volkswagen design and outstanding quality. The dashboard is uncluttered and this is mostly down to the fact that, as with many modern cars, most of the vehicle's functions can be controlled via the infotainment screen.
Like most of the new Volkswagen models currently on sale, the Allspace has three screens available; a 6.5-inch system with one USB port (standard on Trendline and Comfortline), an eight-inch setup with three USB ports and App-Connect smartphone integration (standard on Highline) and the optional top spec 9.2-inch Discover Pro Navigation system with three USB ports, App-Connect and gesture control.
I also liked the digital instrument cluster which can now be ordered as a stand-alone item. Other features include a drive select dial with lets you select between on and off-road configurations. This system works in conjunction with the 4Motion all-wheel drive system fitted to some models.
In terms of spec, even in base Trendline spec, the Allspace features a commendable amount of kit such as LED lights, Adaptive Cruise Control, City Emergency Braking and Heads-Up Display to name but a few.
The reason for this larger-than-normal Tiguan is the fact that Volkswagen has squeezed a third row of seats into the rear. This now makes it a seven-seater, which according to Volkswagen increases its appeal, however, the third row isn't exactly capacious and is likely best suited for children.
With the third row folded-up though, there's 115-litres of extra luggage space compared to the regular Tiguan. The luggage compartment varies from 230-litres to an impressive 1775-litres depending on the seating configuration.
The Allspace will be launched to market with four engine options; the entry-level 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre TSI in Trendline guise, the Comfortline powered by either a 2.0-litre TSI developing 132kW/250Nm or a 2.0-litre TDI with 110kW/340Nm and at the sharp end, the Highline powered by a 162kW/350Nm version of the Golf GTI’s 162kW 2.0-litre turbo.
Out on the roads of KwaZulu-Natal, the Allspace performed admirably and our drive even saw us meander up a muddy gravel road. I had a chance to test-out the models equipped with the 4Motion system, those being all the 2.0-litre variants, and can report that it provides adequate grip, as well as added safety as we found out when driving back to the airport in heavy rain. The ride is comfortable and quiet, refined and leisurely, as with the standard Tiguan.
The regular Tiguan is already an impressive product. The Allspace adds another dimension to the model range, however, I must again emphasise that the third row is a tight fit for adults and more suitable for children.
If you desperately need the extra space or if you don't really need the extra row but prefer the larger look of the Allspace, then expect to fork out a reasonable R463 400 for the Trendline. The Highline will set you back R604 800 and the Comfortline R523 800, although I would opt for the TDI which retails for R571 100.