Tiguan brings style

to SUV battleground

Volkswagen Tiguan, front static
Volkswagen Tiguan, rear off road
Volkswagen Tiguan, rear static
Volkswagen Tiguan, dashboard
Volkswagen Tiguan, dash display
Volkswagen Tiguan, boot

HERE is a question for you. What is the name of VW's compact SUV? Its Mazda CX-3, its Qashqai, RAV4 or Kia Sportage. VW has hardly been on the tip of all tongues in this market.

There is probably no shortage appreciation for the big and busty Touareg, noted for its attributes as a poor man's Porsche Cayenne. Well not that poor. But since 2008 the Tiguan hasfilled the slot below this but you would be forgiven for not noticing because, honestly, it has not had a massive road presence despite selling 100,000 in the UK.

That is about to change. Taking price, range, finish and sheer prettiness into consideration the latest Tiguan enters the fight with the kick of an angry Euros fan.

The new Tiguan has looks to match its aspirations, performance and economy figures to satisfy and promising off-road credentials, if not the fully rugged workhorse, thanks to 4Motion active control whichallows the driver terrain options via a selector on the center console and keeps the car's performance at an optimum point on all surfaces.

It's is based on the same platform which underpins the Golf, Passat and Touran and offers seven engine options between 113bhp and 238bhp effectively taking in buyers from the cost-conscious family to business user.

There arefive trim levels, none of them confusing or new to the world. Entry level S models get alloys, a media system with touch screen, all the connections expected andis a generous foundation for the versions which follow. SE adds some leather to the existing air con ale and front assist, auto lights andcity emergency braking.

Navigation spec speaks for itself and SEL has bigger wheels again LED day lights, sunroof and high resolution dash display.

The whole lot, along with 20-inch wheels appears, on the R-Line with sports suspension and a general upgrade of alloy inserts and styling touches. But not including leather seats. At £35k? Are we sure, VW?

Safety is covered by front and curtain air bags, flashing hazards under hard braking, stability control, traction control and importantly because many will tow with the Tiguan, trailer assist.

A two-litre TDI is the entry level diesel engine but there is also a 1.4tsi petrol which is available in six-speed manual as the cheapest model in the two-wheel drive S costing £22,510. There is a two-litre petrol which promises a sub-eight seconds 0-60mph time.

The most popular choice is likely to be the Navigation trim two-litre four-wheel drive TDI at between £29,000 and £31,000 depending on gearbox.

The car is a practical option, too. Plenty of room and a bigger boot than the model it replaces.

The two-litre DSG automatic was given the once over on the road in SEL specification - more than adequate - and fully boosted R-Line trim.

It's is smooth and responsive, 9.3 seconds to 62mph is hardly the stuff of nose bleeds but good enough with little lean in the corners and excellent cruising ability. Official figures suggest an average of around 50mpg is possible.

It is a good place to sit with high quality finishes and comfortable seats. The R-Line had optional leather sports seats at £1,475 which is worth a punt if your budget allows.

The Tiguan brings a new authority to the sector, one VW could hardly claim to own in the past. You will see plenty about. And want one.

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