Facelifted Volkswagen Tiguan runs wild in Singapore

Derryn Wong

Updated version of VW’s small SUV now on sale in Singapore from S$180k with COE, packs new visuals and lots of digital updates inside. Plus: We test it on a mild offroad course!

  • Two trim levels, Elegance, R-Line, and one engine choice (2.0 all-wheel drive)
  • Digital cockpit and newest touchscreen infotainment seen on VW Golf 
  • Mini-Touareg styling, looks price competitive with German small SUVs

SINGAPORE – The facelifted version of Volkswagen’s second-gen small SUV, the Touran Tigueg Touareg Tiguan, is now on sale in Singapore with prices starting from S$179,900 with COE.

There is one drivetrain option with two trim levels to choose from. There is an Elegance variant (S$179,900 with COE) and top-line R-Line version (S$193,900 with COE).

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan launch Singapore
2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Elegance (left) and R-Line (right)

The engine is a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline four-cylinder with 190hp, as seen on the previous car, and it packs 4Motion all-wheel drive as standard. 

Both cars have identical drivetrains. In this case, the 2.0-litre turbo makes 190hp and 320Nm of torque, with 0-100km/h in 7.4 seconds and a 214km/h top speed. Fuel consumption is 6.9L/100km with a VES B rating. That’s 30hp less than the pre-facelift 2.0 R-Line model, which could explain the shift from a VES C1 (penalty) to B (neutral) rating. It has start-stop and energy recuperation, but no motor assist, so it could be considered a very mild hybrid (though the LTA doesn’t classify it as one).

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan launch Singapore

The 4Motion system comes with additional drive modes – on-road, off-road, off-road individual, and snow. The ‘on road’ mode has dedicated sub-modes as found on other models, like Sport, Eco, Comfort, and Normal. They came in handy on our off-road test drive (see end).

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan launch Singapore

Abroad, the new Tiguan comes with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) model dubbed the eTiguan, and the high-performance, 320hp Tiguan R. There’s also a 150hp 1.5-litre with the same VW Golf mild-hybrid engine. But VW Singapore says there are no plans to bring in those at the moment. The previous Cat 1.4 had 150hp, so the Tiguan wasn’t Cat A eligible before this, either. 

Get up to speed with the Tiguan: We’ve tested the pre-facelift 2.0 R-Line and 1.4 Comfortline in Singapore 

Here’s another Tiguan in Elegance trim

As standard the Elegance model comes with 19-inch wheels, LED lights (dynamic curve lights, cornering light function) and roof rails. Inside, the cabin sees an 8.0-inch Composition Media touchscreen infotainment system running on the latest VW Group MIB3 hardware. It’s capable of Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Mirrorlink connectivity.

R-Line interior shown here with the larger 9.2-inch screen

As standard, there’s a electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, keyless entry/start, three-zone air conditioning, panoramic sunroof, adjustable ambient lighting and 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro active instrument panel. 

A notable omission is in active safety systems – there’s no basic AEB (autonomous emergency braking), though there is a driver fatigue detection system, 

Elegance rear, R-Line front

The R-Line, as the sportier variant, adds the expected bits to make things more exciting. There’s the R-Line styling kit, which includes the body kit (front and rear bumpers, side skirts, rear roof spoiler) and contrasting black wheel arches. Inside there are electrically-adjustable comfort seats with ‘Vienna’ R-Line leather, the R-Line flat-bottomed steering wheel with new touch controls, R-Line mats, and black roofliner. 

R-Line interior again

Additionally, it also has dynamic chassis control (DCC) i.e. adaptive suspension, a 360-degree view parking camera, and head-up display. Its infotainment system is the larger 9.2-inch Discover Pro system which has wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Adjustable second row still a clever feature

Like before the Tiguan comes with an adjustable second-row of seats – they can be moved fore and aft, as well as adjusted for backrest angle, and can also split fold 40/20/40. Boot space is similar to before, 520-litres, which is very large for the segment, and if you move the seats forward it expands to 615-litres, while folding them down delivers 1,655-litres. The tailgate is automatic, with a kick-to-open function. 

Walk on the mild side

We also had the chance to test the Tiguan in mild off-road conditions for the first time, putting it through an off-road course at Sarimbun Scout Camp, which we first encountered way back in 2018 as the site of BMW Motorrad’s Grand Slam event.

The course consisted of deep ruts, mild inclines and some slippery mud. It looked mild for sure, but we wouldn’t have risked a regular car there for sure. What we walked away with was a renewed opinion of the Tiguan’s soft-road abilities – the car’s adjustable off-road programmes were great at getting us out of trouble. The car has 4Motion, hill descent control and an auto electronic differential lock. The latter locks the car’s wheel if it detects a lack of traction, helping send torque to the other wheels to help the Tiguan climb.

There’s quite a bit of mud underneath – but the Tiguan proved the ‘iguan’ bit in its name here

It might not be hard-core off-roading of the likes that the Suzuki Jimny, Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, or Land Rover Defender can hack, but it does go to show that you can theoretically go further in an all-wheel drive SUV – or at least much further than a sedan could.

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small tiguan volkswagen VW

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism. Previously, he was the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. He's contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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