Volkswagen has had quite an interesting year when it comes to drama, what with the emissions scandal and all that.
This hasn’t disturbed them one bit in giving us some pretty nice cars. Take the Golf GTI Clubsport and Passat for example, the latter being nominated as a South African Car of the Year finalist. Another car which was nominated wearing the VW badge is the new Tiguan.
Stylistically, it would seem that Volkswagen has taken a lead from a well-known tinsel town celebrity when it comes to transformation, only to then apply it backwards.
Whereas the previous Tiguan was a soft looking, rounded, pretty little city SUV which seemed to have to ladies, this new one features bold styling features, sharp edges and a more aggressive personality, especially when fitted with the R-Line kit like my test car was. Sure it’s an R18 000 option but an option you need to take.
The kit brings with it some sporty looking front and rear bumpers finished in a combination of gloss black and chrome detailing. The front bumper really gives the car a muscular look and the new, slim headlights with their unique daytime running LEDs finish off the styling.
Another angle that appealed to me was that of the side profile. The designers have really placed emphasis on the design of the Tiguan. At the rear, the design comes across as square and the LED tail lights extend further into the tailgate. I also rather liked the big sporty wheels that accompany the R-Line kit.
The interior of the Tiguan, which has also been fully redesigned, shows a decidedly sporty and yet conscious SUV character. I found the seating position to be raised, a lot more than that of its competitors, something customers within this segment rather appreciate.
Behind the steering wheel of my test car was Volkswagens optional digital Active Info Display. The system displays all the vital driver information as well as allows the driver to customise the display to focus on certain aspects of information.
Another ergonomic plus point is the fact that the infotainment system screen has been positioned higher in the centre and is angled toward the driver.
The new system offers an array of connectivity features, one which I’m starting to enjoy is Apple CarPlay. It synchronises my phone to the car giving me the ability to run some of my apps while on the move. Another convenient feature offered on the car was adaptive cruise control (ACC), which utilises radar-based control to accelerate the Tiguan or brake it and thereby always maintain the correct distance to traffic ahead
Now the new Tiguan has been based on the brand's MQB platform. What does MQB offer? Well it improves all aspects of the Tiguan. For instance, the vehicle's weight has been reduced by over 50 kilograms compared to the previous model. Another advantage can be found when considering the vehicle's interior space and boot space. For instance, it offers 615 litres of boot space; when the rear seat backrests are folded, that number increases to a capacity of 1655 litres.
Under the hood, the Tiguan made good use of its four-cylinder 1.4-litre TSI motor. At first I thought that 92 kW and 200N m would be a bit lazy, but it really wasn’t. I was also surprised to find a six speed manual gearbox instead of the ever common DSG gearbox.
Truth be told, I had no issues with the manual, the changes are smooth and the car seemed to offer a fuss free, get in and go feel. It was also quite compliant on the road. As for fuel consumption, well I managed to average 7.8 L/100km over my 650 km test week.
The new Tiguan not only impressed me but it also impressed many of the Autodealer staff. I also had people out on the roads giving me the ‘thumbs up’ stamp of approval. It seems that Volkswagen has given the Tiguan a new lease on life, a much needed refresh. It is full of safety features as well as technological features. I wouldn’t be surprised if it nabs the Car of The Year award.
1.4 TSI 92kW Comfortline Manual
Article written by Justin Jacobs