Tiguan S 2.0 TDI 4Motion
Better still, its
easy to drive and
easy on your pocket...
NEW YEAR PRESENT to the British motorist is the kind you'd give your
worst enemy. Firstly, the Department of Transport has just admitted that less
than £1 in every £3 collected in motoring taxes goes towards road maintenance.
So in 2012 the deterioration of our roads will continue unchecked.
And to add insult to injury, and with similar sleight of hand, local Councils
collected £1.3bn in parking charges in 2010 from drivers. Not much of that went
back into repairing the potholes, either... And don't forget that throughout
2011 most councils ramped up the cost of parking.
Of course, both the Government and Councils are using the cash to balance their
books at the taxpayers expense. Highway robbery is alive and well across the
In light of this what can motorists do? For a start, the majority of car buyers
and users should set a New Year's resolution to adopt a strictly sensible approach
to car owning in 2012.
by 'sensible' we mean owning a car fit for purpose in other words a vehicle
that's fit for the pocket, retains a good residual value, is rugged enough to
survive our degraded roads (because widespread gritting seems a lost cause)
and with an all-weather capability. It should also be fuel efficient and certainly
With an on-the-road
price of £23,280
and with a strictly
approach, we tested
what is probably the
best buy of the range
the 138bhp 2.0 TDI
4Motion in S
specification with a six-
speed manual box...
Fortunately, Volkswagen's new Tiguan crossover is just such a model, particularly
in 2.0-litre TDI 4Motion guise, powered by the best selling engine in the line-up.
Nine out of ten Tiguans bought in the UK are powered by a diesel engine and
although this new Tiguan generation does offer two-wheel drive versions, only
20% of customers are expected to buy them.
Sales of crossovers and SUVs are one of the few market sectors showing continually
increasing sales and the crossover/compact SUV sector currently accounts for
one in every 14 new cars purchased in the UK. The Tiguan's competitors cover
a huge range of prices and a very wide range of 4x4 abilities, particularly
for off-road driving, and includes the Audi Q3, BMW X1/X3, Ford Kuga, Honda
CRV, Hyundai ix35, Kia Sportage, Land Rover Freelander, Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan
Qashqai, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota RAV4 and the new Range Rover Evoque.
UK customers go for these vehicles because they're durable, offer versatile
seating and load carrying abilities and have better on-road traction in ice,
snow, mud and rain. And, thanks to the ever-increasing demand for used medium-sized
4x4s, they have better trade-in values than conventional cars. New or used,
and despite the depressed economic climate and mushrooming tax penalties, we
Brits like our SUVs.
Depending on how you specify your new Tiguan two- or four-wheel drive;
engine size, trim level; manual or auto transmission you'll pay between
£21,088 and £28,020 to put one on your drive. There are three petrol and three
diesel engines along with four trim and equipment levels: S, SE, Sport and Escape.
The Escape version has a slightly more rugged front-end with more ground clearance
and additional off-road driving features.
The most popular engine choice is the 138bhp 2.0 TDI. This turbodiesel unit
delivers significantly improved CO2 emissions for lower taxes. Tailpipe emissions
have dropped from 164 to 150g/km, consequently road tax is down from £165 to
a very reasonable £130 per year. BIK company car tax on this new Tiguan is 23%.
an on-the-road price of £23,280 and with a 'strictly sensible' buying approach,
we tested what is probably the best buy of the range the 138bhp 2.0 TDI
4Motion in S specification with a six-speed manual 'box.
may be the lowest spec but that doesn't mean 'S' stands for sparse when it comes
to kit you'll find climatic AirCon, DAB radio/CD sound system, power
windows and mirrors, electronic stability control (with electronic differential
lock and traction control), electronic parking brake, on-board computer, split
folding rear seats, central locking, alarm, a full set of airbags, stop/start,
battery energy recapture during braking and 16-inch alloy wheels.
all goes to prove that paying the minimum price for the best diesel engine (in
terms of performance against fuel economy and CO2 emissions) makes sense, particularly
as 4Motion four-wheel drive is also standard-fit. The only downside is that
the cabin looks a tad neutral with not much in the way of detailed trim
but then why pay more for glitz which doesn't add to a vehicle's capabilities?
With 236lb ft of torque
on hand from 1,750rpm,
And partnered with
the six-speed manual
easy to drive.
Maximum speed is
makes light work of
no slouch getting
there: zero to 62mph
is done and dusted in
I briefly drove the new Tiguan a few months ago at its UK press launch
and was immediately impressed by the precise control of its taut and well-balanced
chassis, the ride quality, and the responsive engine. All characteristics of
the Golf hatchback, upon which the Tiguan is based.
Following on from my first drive, I wanted to see if it was just as impressive
to live with on a longer period. And apart from the bland interior and conservative
exterior styling, it is. It just lacks visual impact.
However, in the real-world that shouldn't matter too much because the 43mpg
fuel economy is a major plus point. Officially it should do 48.7mpg in the Combined
Cycle, but then very few cars ever match the official figures. But it's close
The 4Motion system is seamless, running through the front axle with the rear
axle only getting 10% of the drive most of the time just enough to provide
secure cornering and keep the car balanced. As more grip is called for, the
rear axle is automatically brought into play step-by-step. In extreme cases,
almost 100% of the drive can be directed to the rear wheels.
driving in snow or deep mud, the differential lock prevents torque power being
lost through the spinning wheel (or wheels). And while it's not a sophisticated
heavyweight off-roader, the Tiguan's 4WD does a good job in adverse conditions
and improves both on- and off-road driving safety.
138bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder, direct injection turbodiesel unit is well known
throughout VW and its other in-house brands. With 236lb ft of torque on hand
from 1,750rpm, it's responsive with progressive power delivery. Partnered with
the six-speed manual 'box, it's easy to drive. Maximum speed is 116mph
enough to makes light work of motorway cruising and it's no slouch getting
there: zero to 62mph is done and dusted in 10.2 seconds.
For some drivers the bland looks inside and out may count against it. Other
gripes are the limited rear visibility and, for me at least, the not-so-user-friendly
On the plus side it has a lot in its favour starting with the strong and responsive
engine and the seamless 4x4 variable traction system. It's also well equipped
with a comfortable ride and well balanced handling. In other words, the new
Tiguan is easy to own, easy to drive, and easy on the pocket and offers a sensible,
relatively less taxing buy and that alone is a big help for a frugal New Year.
Tiguan S 2.0 TDI 4Motion | £23,280
Maximum speed: 116mph | 0-62mph: 10.2 seconds | Overall test MPG: 43mpg
Power: 138bhp | Torque: 236lb ft | CO2 150g/km