Volkswagen’s new Tiguan is bigger and more refined
Text by Jeremy Chua, The Straits Times.
Volkswagen says the Tiguan's name is a cross between "tiger" and "iguana". But the first-generation Tiguan, launched in 2007, was exotic only in name. It was a solid compact crossover, but was functional and unexciting.
The second-generation Tiguan is different. It is not only well- equipped, but boasts a level of refinement which might worry even Audi. It looks sharper and more dynamic than before. It is 33mm lower and 30mm wider, giving it a more athletic stance.
As I stood next to the car, I was surprised by how much larger it appears compared with the previous one. But according to VW, it is 82kg lighter, which is impressive.
Adding to the Tiguan's road presence is its overall length, which is extended by 60mm. And its interior is roomier because its wheelbase is 77mm longer. Which means the overhangs are now shorter.
Indeed, the new Tiguan's second row accommodates three adults more easily than its predecessor. There is more headroom and legroom, and the backrests can be reclined further too. Backseat passengers can also set their own air-conditioning temperature.
Also roomier this time around is the car's boot. Thanks to clever design, capacity has increased by 145 litres to 615. And mind you, that is with the rear seats upright.
Even more impressive is its cockpit, which can be specified with Active Info Display - an all- digital instrument cluster similar to Audi's "virtual cockpit".
All-round visibility is improved, thanks to its lower dashboard. At the wheel, I no longer feel like I am perched on the seat.
The Tiguan's front seats are also more comfortable. They offer a cushier springing action, which supposedly makes you feel better when you are driving off-road. Most Tiguans, however, will be driven only on tarmac, so VW made sure it has good on-road manners.
The test-car is equipped with a turbocharged 2-litre petrol engine that produces 180bhp and 320Nm. There is plenty of low-end poke, but, more importantly, its delivery is smoother and more linear compared with the previous 2-litre. Certainly, it feels slightly jerky when moving off from a standstill.
The benchmark century dash takes 7.7 seconds, but the car's overall refinement makes it seem slower. But it also means that this VW will feel solid and composed even when you are cruising at 180kmh.
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