Feedback

Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 Highline Review: Clever Tig

Derryn Wong
09/02/2017

32607729042 b9fefdc9d5 zVolkswagen’s Tiguan gives rivals a clawing, with a full bag of evolutionary tricks and advantages

SINGAPORE – With the world gone crossover mad, it’s now a pretty tough SUV-wilderness out there. It’s all a buyer can do to not rush out, waving his or her chequebook at sales engineers, frothing at the mouth while shouting ‘High-riding seating position! More family utility! Off-road influenced styling!’

At least it seems that way to us. But there is another way to SUV ownership that won’t have you appearing unflatteringly trend-ist – the Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s always been a bit of an oddball, since VW has always straddled the ‘better than mainstream but cheaper than German luxury’ line.

But that also meansthe Tiguan needs to be convincing in its own realm or risk being overtaken by price on one end, and brand elitism on the other. Luckily, it is.

As covered in our First Drive of the Tiguan’s international debut on CarBuyer.com.sg, the new machine looks as if it’s been doing its time in the jungle gym. While height seems to be the defining factor for SUVs now, too much is ridiculous, and the Tiguan opts for the much more impactful method of going lower, wider and gaining space where it counts.
32381224490 15a94f14ea z
The tyres have been pushed outwards ala Mini, so while the car is 60mm longer than before, at 4,486mm, it gains a 77mm boost to wheelbase, measuring 2,861mm. All that would make no difference if the car looked old, but it’s obviously shed the anonymous design that plagued it before and gone with the much more technical, modern-looking VW design language, presenting a wide, horizontal face that ‘stacks’ the grille and headlights above a bigger, bolder front end.

There are also more figure lines in the body – a sort of show-off engineering ‘because we can’ feat – the Tiguan’s much more interesting to look at now, although it might not be the look-at-me cup of tea the Mercedes-Benz GLA is. It’s more sensible than swinging, and that goes with the car’s actual nature quite nicely.

The car’s sold here in two variants, the 1.4-litre Highline and the 2.0-litre R-Line (we review it in the following story), and as is often the case, the 1.4 is the more fascinating model of the two. It’s the first VW Group 1.4 to pack active cylinder technology (ACT), which is another name for cylinder deactivation where partial banks of cylinders are shut off during certain low-load periods to reduce fuel consumption.

Audi’s had the tech around for some time here in its 4.0-litre turbo V8, but ACT versions of its smaller engines didn’t make it here before the Tiguan.

32381179460 79bb5bcd69 z

We only had a short test drive in the Highline, so our efficiency figures (close to 8.0L/100km) were perhaps not an accurate indicator of the car’s true frugality, with photography and other slow-speed shenanigans.

Like the latest Touran MPV, the 150bhp 1.4-litre engine means there’s no Category A model for now, but at least drivers will enjoy the meaty performance of the turbocharged engine, with the sort of instant go we’ve come to know and love from all DSG-turbo-equipped VWs.

32381208420 7cce2d5e19 z

The Tiguan’s never been one to set a driver’s world alight with pleasure, and that characteristic continues here. It’s not boring but predictable, measured and capable, and like almost all new MQB cars, extremely refined.

But the larger size can be felt from the cabin, especially if you look at/drive the old and new models back to back. Where previously the Tiguan would be Qashqai-sized, now it rivals something a size up, like the BMW X3 or Volvo XC60 for interior space. To wit, boot space has been upped by 145-litres, for 615-litres which expands to 1,655-litres with the seats folded. Impressive, considering the larger Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3 both have space for 550-1,600-litres.

Along with this though, comes a newly firmed-up ride that delivers the occasional lump and bump into the cabin, though the Highline has a much comfier time of it than the R-Line. To be fair, few compact SUVs ride as well as larger ones do, so the Tiguan’s ride isn’t notably bad for this type of vehicle. Both cars are also limited, dynamics-wise, by the Pirelli Scorpion Verde mixed tyres, though they’re fine for daily driving.

32381217830 bc219e5dc9 z

It’s a good thing, then, that the aforementioned cabin has much in it to distract you from that. The full-length sunroof merely accentuates the already plentiful room, which will accommodate five adults comfortably. The thinner, flatter seats and adjustable second-row, plus three-zone aircon and integrated tables will make easy work of carrying the family around.

32381221100 d55f542572 z

That it’s well-built in the clean, horizontal VW fashion is one plus, while the plentiful features are another: It has a significantly populated standard equipment list, especially compared to more expensive luxury brand offerings. It includes a panoramic sunroof, infotainment system with navigation and Dynaudio surround sound system, keyless entry and start, automatic tailgate, LED headlamps and 18-inch wheels. Like other VWs of late, smartphone connectivity exists in the form of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or Mirrorlink. There’s even a heads-up display and active 12.3-inch instrument panel for the driver.

31947139953 31bfa13811 z
Active instrument display first seen in the Audi TT and VW Passat 

Cars like the Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Niro are going big on safety, and it makes upper-crust brands with fewer safety features to shame, but the Tiguan stands proud here even amongst SUVs costing north of $150k. It packs a reassuring loadout of six airbags, there’s the new ‘Front Assist’ which warns you of impending collisions and brakes to mitigate them automatically, much like Volvo’s City Safety.

By offering lots of space and more features than ‘true’ luxury, small SUVs like the BMW X1 the Tiguan should easily claw out its own niche by appealing to the thinking SUV owner.

32607701662 ef47062f9c z
Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 Highline
Engine 1,395cc, 16V, inline 4, turbocharged
Power 150bhp at 5000-6000rpm
Torque 280Nm at 1500-3500rpm
Gearbox 6-speed dual-clutch
Top Speed 200km/h
0-100km/h 9.2 seconds
Fuel efficiency 6.2L/100km
CO2 143g/km
Price $162,900 with COE
Availability Now

Tags:

1.4 Highline 5 seat 5-door petrol SUV tiguan volkswagen

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

Related Models

Loading...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CarBuyer – Revolutionizing The Online Car Marketplace In Singapore

Buy Used And New Cars Online
Start your car buying journey with CarBuyer as we connect you seamlessly to the industry’s best CaseTrust-SVTA accredited car dealerships. As a one stop car online portal you can now buy your new ride, be it a pre-owned car or a brand new car from trusted dealers all over Singapore, all in one place. Our ever expanding listing of quality and covet-worthy cars, new and second hand, from both owners and trusted car dealers, will leave you spoilt for choice. Refine your search by vehicle type, registration year, price, mileage, engine type, transmission, annual depreciation value and more to find the car that best suits your needs, taste and lifestyle. You can even search for your car by dealer or directly by owner.

Sell Your Car In An Instant With Confidence
We all know how selling a car in Singapore can be a daunting task especially for a first time car seller; from trying to get a valuation for your car, finding a trusted dealer, to getting the best quote on your vehicle. CarBuyer understands the hassle and even the costs involved and have as such partnered with Huawei to develop a FIRST in Southeast Asia AI car valuation tool that is able to provide a car’s resale value at the snap of a finger. Backed with a consortium of trusted CaseTrust-SVTA accredited car dealers you can be assured that you are getting the best price for your vehicle and do not have to worry about any hidden costs.

The Ultimate Car Shopping Experience Online
CarBuyer platform is the first of its kind to be backed by Huawei’s Artificial Intelligence and cloud computing, enabling it to be able to offer users transparency and enhanced security, all with the one aim of enhancing customer experience. So come on over to buy and sell used cars online at the best prices at CarBuyer Singapore. Connect easily with dealers in real-time via our online video call feature, or schedule a test drive when you’re ready. Have some questions? Get them answered instantly with our chatbot moderated by our responsive team. Stay in the loop with our car-related tips, reviews and news. Learn the ins-and-outs of your car, as well as global and Singapore’s car updates at your own pace.