Volkswagen Tiguan new car review

Volkswagen Tiguan new car review

Volkswagen Tiguan new car review

Volkswagen Tiguan new car review

The Volkswagen Tiguan is the company’s five-seater SUV, spacious, well-built, attractively styled and up against a lot of competition in a keenly fought sector of the market.

Since its launch in 2007, almost three million Tiguans have been sold worldwide, with 100,000 of them in the UK. The latest version – which has just won a top SUV award in its German homeland – competes against rivals such as the Renault Kadjar, Mazda CX-5 and Ford Kuga, all with their individual plus-points.

Yet the Tiguan’s big plus-point is that it comes over as a great all-round package, an appealing blend of premium looks, latest technology, durable construction, nice driving dynamics and excellent fuel economy.

Priced from £22,510, there are petrol and diesel engines on offer, though VW says it expects that 95 per cent of UK sales will be diesel. Longer and wider than the previous version, new Tiguan is built on the same platform as the VW Golf and the Audi TT. With fresh styling and a revised and upgraded cabin, Tiguan is all set to take on the best in the class and come out on top.

Most popular engine choice is the 148 hp 2.0 litre diesel, but my test model had the slightly more powerful version of this engine, offering 187 hp, and mated to a slick 7-speed automatic gearbox.

It’s a neat combination, delivering a quick 0-60 mph time of just 7.9 seconds, a top speed of 131 mph yet returning an impressive 49.6 mpg combined. In upper-range SEL 4Motion (all wheel drive) spec, the test model costs £34,060.

Out and about the Tiguan proves to be a relaxing drive, with light steering, good feedback, assured handling with minimal cornering pitch, and a comfortable ride. Standard suspension can be a tad bumpy on rough roads, but there is the option of adjustable dampers which help smooth the surface.

This new model has wider appeal, with more youthful styling which includes a sleeker front end and revised head lights. Equipment levels are generous with even entry-level S versions getting touchscren infotainment system, alloy wheels and air-con. My SEL model addded a raft of other kit including three-zone climate control, four driving modes including off-road and snow, panoramic sunroof, larger 19-inch alloys, sat-nav, roof rails and an array of additional safety features.

The roomy cabin easily takes three adults in the rear, a larger boot now offers 520 litres, increasing to1,655 litres with the seats folded. These seats also slide up to 170mm to adjust load/occupant space. With a lot of stowage compartments too, the Tiguan gets top marks for practicality.

FOR: Build quality, good driving dynamics, strong re-sale value.

AGAINST: Suspension can feel hard at times.

Volkswagen Up! new car review

VW Up! new car review

VW Up! new car review

Volkswagen Up!

The Volkswagen Up! is the company’s smallest model, a well-built and quite classy city car competing in a crowded sector of the market.

Two of the rivals are the Skoda Citigo and the SEAT Mii – also from the VW stable – and others include Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1, Hyundai i10 and even the Fiat 500.

The Up! – from £8,995 – may be small but you get the same immediate impression of top-drawer build-quality that hallmarks larger VW models. Available in three and five-door form, and with a choice of nippy yet frugal three-cylinder 1.0 litre engines of varying power outputs, the Up! is surprising roomy, and a real treat to drive.

Fluency and refinement

Some city cars can be noisy and jerky but the Up! has a fluency and refinement you usually get in cars from a class above. My test model was the smallest of the power range, just 59 hp, yet it never felt under-powered. The 0-60 mph time of 14.4 seconds may seem a tad slow on paper, but such is the agility of the car, it felt faster. Top speed is 100mph which means it can be a relatively quiet motorway cruiser, and its eco-clean too, with emissions just 96g/km. Fuel economy is impressive at 68.9 mpg combined. Continue reading