By Patrick James on 2016-09-10 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
R-Line 2.0 TDI
VW's apparent philosophy of evolution rather than revolution has taken a bit of a hit with the latest Tiguan.
The medium-sized SUV has always been a practical motor, if not the coolest kid on the block.
That has changed with this makeover. The Tiguan is now seriously stylish, which would not normally be a major requirement in the utility vehicle market, but that segment is so competitive now, every little bit helps.
The new second generation compact SUV arrived in the UK in June, eight years after the debut here of the original car.
To say it was a success is a bit of an understatement, with more than 2.8 million examples sold, including 100,000 in the UK.
As well as being a practical SUV, models with the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system prove more than capable 'soft'-road and provide stability in challenging weather conditions.
There is also a wide range of petrol and engines offering power bands between 115 and 240ps.
The 150ps diesel on this model delivers both power and pace and is frugal with the fuel.
A claimed 50-odd mpg, did not seem a million miles off the mark with some steady driving. It pretty impressive from an off-road capable motor which carries that little bit of extra weight.
Mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox, it slips effortlessly through the gears, to produce decent acceleration, with 0-60mph achieved in around nine seconds.
Excellent torque means that acceleration and pulling power is maintained at higher speeds, particularly useful on the motorway for overtaking.
For an SUV, the handling is excellent, particularly with the optional dynamic chassis control, which tightens everything up to keep the vehicle firmly planted on the road and agile on bends.
The sharp handling matches the sharp look of the car. Despite being longer and wider, it is not as tall and as a result looks more sleek and dynamic with raked windscreen and swooping profile and eye-catching light cluster and alloys.
There are five trim levels from S, SE, SE Navigation, SEL through to the range-topping R-Line driven here. All models have 17-inch alloy wheels as standard as is the eight-inch colour touch-screen.
This allows Bluetooth connection and has a built-in DAB digital radio, CD player and 4 x 20 watt output through eight speakers.
The R-Line mdoel looks even more dynamic with 20-inch alloys, sports suspension, a body-coloured spoiler and ‘R-Line' styling pack. The interior also includes aluminium-look inserts in the dash and door panels, plus black roof lining and stainless steel pedals.
The rest of the dash and controls are logical, legible and well laid out. Another nice touch is the layout of the control panel on the test model which has a customisable TFT screen which allows several background displays, including changing speedo and rev counter view and sat nav display in various combinations.
The extra length of the vehicle gives better rear legroom and there is extra headroom despite the lower roof, while soft touch plastic finish to dash and doors complete an impressive interior. In typical VW fashion, everything feels solid and well put together.
In practical terms the SUV includes an adjustable 40:20:40 split bench rear seat that can slide backwards and forwardsâ¨up to 18cms. This maximises space in the boot from 615 litres, up to a maximum 1,655 litres, up 145 litres on the previous model. Seat height has also been raised eight mm.
Safety kit is comprehensive with driver and front passenger airbags, curtain system and front seat side impact airbags.
Also standard are automatic hazard light flashing under braking and stability programme.
Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line 2.0 TDI 4MOTION
Mechanical: 150ps, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 9.3 seconds
Combined MPG: 49.6
Insurance Group: 20
C02 emissions: 149g/km
Bik rating: 29%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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