The new Volkswagen Tiguan Estate is now in its second generation and carries on where it left off. This means it’s still got the corporate look, feels smooth and reassuringly quiet on the move, and boasts a gorgeously put together interior. It’s also as practical as ever and is more than a match for the Ford S-MAX, which we’ll be comparing it to.
It’s a slick, upmarket family car that turns the school run, the weekend break and the family jaunt through Europe into a pleasant experience.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan review.
On the road
The Tiguan is never going to excite you, but if you add the Dynamic Chassis Control as an optional extra, it’s as smooth and quiet as cars like this come. Switch to Comfort mode, and the Tiguan is essentially as comfortable as an executive saloon, even if you’ve had the bigger 20” alloys fitted.
That said, the expensive, range-topping R-Line is a different story. It gets sports suspension that, while it makes the car more agile and composed at high speeds, it doesn’t soak up lumps and bumps as well. Moreover, body lean becomes a bit of an issue.
All models benefit from plenty of feedback from the steering though which allows you to confidently plant the Tiguan with accuracy.
In terms of its engines, a 2.0-litre 113bhp is worth overlooking as it’s just too slow and underpowered for a car of this size. On a full load, it will struggle.
A 148bhp variant of the same engine is a much better proposition. It copes well with the car’s weight, and benefits from a responsive and smooth DSG automatic transmission. A more powerful, four-wheel-drive 187bhp is available, but its power delivery is uneven which compromises its smoothness. It does, however, get you from rest to 62mph in just 7.6 seconds.
A twin-turbo 237bhp diesel is mighty and gallops from a standstill to 62mph in 6.5 seconds while delivering its power all through the rev range with ease. It’s four-wheel-drive only and comes with a well-suited 7-speed dual-clutch auto ‘box. However, it’s a tough engine to recommend because it’s so expensive.
There are also two petrol engines available. A meaty 2.0-litre unit is four-wheel-drive only, and this has a negative impact on costs. The alternative is a 1.4-litre 148bhp unit that costs less, and which can get you from rest to 62mph in a respectable 9.2 seconds.
Interior, design and build
Inside, the Tiguan looks modern and is well-built – just like the VW range in general. Its interior design is reminiscent of the Golf and the Passat, and while it lacks a bit of flair, there is plenty to love about the quality on show.
That said, if you look hard enough you will spot harder plastics.
Overall, the layout is classy and should last a good few years, and we like the elevated position of the infotainment screen. Being so high means that it’s easy to read, but it’s a shame that the air conditioning controls are set so low down. The USB socket, meanwhile, is awkwardly positioned below the centre console.
In terms of how practical it is, the Tiguan is even more useful than last time. Its dimensions have been increased, which means rear seat passengers now have more head and knee room, while the back seats can easily be slid back and forth.
Storage spaces include decent-sized door pockets, a flock-lined cubby and a large glovebox
The boot, meanwhile, is 145-litres bigger than last time and now measures 615-litres once the back seats have been pushed forwards. If you specify a variable height floor you can hide your valuables out of view, while if you fold the rear seats you can increase boot capacity to 1,655-litres. A low loading lip makes access easy.
There are five trims available, starting with the S model that gets lane-keeping assistance, automatic lights and wipers, a touchscreen infotainment system, 17” alloys and air conditioning as standard.
The SE trim adds Apple CarPlay, 18” alloys, cruise control and front and rear parking sensors, while the SE Nav trim gets the same plus a £725 sat-nav.
The SEL ups the ante a notch with extra chrome, tinted windows, dynamic lighting assistance, a panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting, a 12.3” TFT display and heated seats.
The R-Line and SE L models round things off with the bigger engines, body kit and 20” alloys.
Is the Volkswagen Tiguan Estate safe? Euro NCAP awarded it all five stars for its crash test performance, while its standard safety kit includes the likes of electronic stability control, lane-keeping assistance and automatic emergency braking.
Costs of the Volkswagen Tiguan Estate
Prices for the new car start out from £23,250 and rise to £39,510. If you prefer to lease, you can pick up a deal from £235 + VAT per month. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the Tiguan does well. The front-wheel-drive version of the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine is able to return 60.1mpg and emits 123g/km of CO2, which are the same figures managed by the smaller 113bhp variant.
If, however, you decided to add four-wheel-drive to the 148bhp engine, economy is pegged at 53.3mpg. If you top things off with the DSG automatic gearbox, returns drop even further to 50.4mpg.
The bigger 187bhp and 237bhp diesels, meanwhile, return 49.6 and 441.mpg, while the least powerful petrol engine is able to return 47.1mpg. The bigger four-wheel-drive 2.0-litre 178bhp petrol engine, meanwhile, returns 38.2mpg at best.
Pros and cons of the Volkswagen Tiguan Estate
It’s levels of refinement contribute to an upmarket feel.
The cabin ticks a lot of boxes and oozes class.
Lots of space
The car is bigger than last time, which means plenty of head and legroom.
All cars in this class are on the expensive side, and the Tiguan is no exception.
Can be a bit bland
It’s bland to drive, while the lower spec models feel dull.
Volkswagen Tiguan Estate vs Subaru XV Hatchback vs Ford S-MAX Estate
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan Estate review.
Volkswagen Tiguan Estate vs Subaru XV Hatchback
The new Subaru XV Hatchback is a handsome, robust proposition that gets four-wheel-drive as standard and is good to drive.
Family cars of this size aren’t always the easiest to drive, but an impressive four-wheel-drive system and lots of agility ensure the Subaru is largely hassle-free. Its underpinnings are stronger than last time and it copes well in extreme conditions, something that’s helped by the introduction of a brand new X-MODE system.
In terms of its engines, there’s only one available at the moment, a 2.0-litre so-called boxer petrol unit. Its unusual design means it sits lower to the ground, which in turn improves the Subaru’s centre of gravity.
With no turbocharger in sight, the engine develops 154bhp and can get you from rest to 62mph in 10.0 seconds flat. It’s smooth and responsive but doesn’t have as much oomph as modern turbocharged rivals.
Subaru have paired the engine up with an excellent CVT auto transmission, and while this has no actual gears per say, Subaru offer it with 7 “virtual” gears for anyone who would prefer a traditional ‘box.
A 1.6-litre petrol engine is expected soon but there are no diesel options. As such, fuel economy is pegged at 45mpg, which represents a marginal improvement over the car’s predecessor. Meanwhile, the 2.0-litre petrol engine occupies insurance groups 21 and 22.
Inside, Subaru don’t really do style and imagination, and while the XV looks better than last time, it’s still functional more than aesthetically pleasing. There are more high-gloss pieces of trim and soft touch plastics this time, though, while everything feels sturdy and well-built.
An 8” touchscreen infotainment system is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the graphics on the screen look dated.
Is the Subaru XV Hatchback practical? It sure is. There is plenty of room for you and your passengers, there are storage spaces everywhere, while the boot measures a reasonable 380-litres. That’s smaller than most of its rivals, but if you fold the rear seats you can extend it to 1,270-litres and that should be enough for most buyers.
Headroom is better than last time thanks to the raised roofline, while the huge windows flood the interior with light. The windows also boost visibility, and the wide opening doors make access easy.
Volkswagen – £23,250 – £39,510
Subaru – £22,495 +
Volkswagen Tiguan Estate vs Ford S-MAX Estatea
The new Ford S-MAX Estate is one of the most popular seven-seater MPVs on the market, but is it as good as the hype says it is?
On the road is where so much of its appeal lies. For such a hefty car, it handles like a Hatchback which makes it easy for you to negotiate tight city turns. On the motorway, it’s relaxing while on twisting country roads it’s engaging.
Body roll is managed well, the suspension offers more comfort than last time, and insulation is excellent.
In terms of its engines, 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine develops a decent 158bhp, but the fact that it needs to be worked so hard makes it tough to recommend. If you’ll be spending most of your time in the city, it’s just fine but on longer trips it will struggle.
A 2.0-litre 237bhp petrol engine is also a bit underwhelming under hard acceleration and it’s relatively expensive to run. On the other hand, it’s whisper quiet.
Our top pick of the engine range is a 2.0-litre 148bhp diesel. It packs a punch, overtakes with ease on the motorway, and copes well with a full load. For more power, however, a 2.0-litre 178bhp diesel is a viable option.
In terms of its running costs, the 2.0-litre diesel that’s our top pick returns a respectable 56.5mpg, but there are more frugal rivals. When it comes to insurance, meanwhile, the S-MAX varies wildly, with the entry-level model sitting in group 16 and the range-topping model occupying group 29.
Inside, a raised driving position enhances the Ford S-MAX Estate’s sporty image, while user-friendly controls that are logically arranged, boost its usability.
The actual quality of the materials used is a bit questionable here and there, but build quality is good while there are an adequate amount of soft-touch materials on display. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and the top-spec Vignale model adds lots of luxurious touches, including laminated side glass that helps with noise reduction.
Is the Ford S-MAX Estate practical? The third row of seats are really for children, but the middle row can comfortably seat three adults. These recline and slide individually, while the third row comes with ISOFIX child mount points.
Head and legroom is a bit compromised, there are no airbag’s for the third row of seats, but the boot measures 2,000-litres with all seats folded down. With all seats up, load capacity is 285-litres.
Ford – £26,445 – £38,395
Verdict of our 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan Estate review
It’s not much fun but it’s handsome, spacious and classy. It ticks a lot of boxes, from interior flexibility to a premium image, and while it doesn’t have much personality there’s no getting away from the fact that the new Volkswagen Tiguan Estate has what most buyers in this market are looking for.
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