WITH more than 2.8 million global sales since it first appeared on the scene back in 2007, the Volkswagen Tiguan has already established itself as one of the most popular SUVs on offer.
Now the appeal has got even greater.
The latest model, which is the first Tiguan to sit on VW's MQB platform, boasts new styling, extra space, additional on-board technology along with some new safety features.
The new platform means the Tiguan is now lower, longer and wider than its predecessor and it certainly looks much sharper and dynamic.
Eye-catching features include LED headlights with daytime running lights, 19-inch alloys, roof rails, a steeply raked windscreen, distinctive grille, rear tinted windows and plenty of chrome trim.
Move inside and the car is both bright and spacious with ample room for five adults to travel in comfort, and there's plenty of on-board technology included as standard.
This version featured an upgraded sat nav system, keyless entry and electric tailgate, a heated steering wheel, Vienna leather upholstery, a winter pack to heat the rear seats, an outdoor pack to improve off-road capabilities and a few extras that bumped the asking price up from £32,810 to £38,460.
It was powered by a punchy 2.0-litre 150ps diesel engine mated to a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox and could sprint from 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds and topped out at 124mph.
According to official figures, it can deliver combined fuel economy of 49.6mpg with carbon emissions of 149g/km.
In and around town the car is a delight to drive and the high-seated driving position offers excellent all-round visibility. Despite its size, the Tiguan is nice and agile and makes light work of any parking issues.
Then out on faster roads and country lanes, the car is very responsive. The road-holding is confident with next-to-no body roll even when pushed hard into tight bends. The steering is light and precise and the efficient suspension helps to iron out any uneven road surfaces.
There is some engine and road surface noise as one might expect in an SUV, but it's not too bad. Comfort levels are extremely high and the driver even benefits from a massaging seat function to help reduce the strain of longer journeys.
There are different driving modes - Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Individual - that alter the way the car handles and the Sport setting certainly sharpens up the responses.
One feature that did concern me was the sat nav. I used it to check a familiar route that involved simple instructions for motorway and dual carriageway driving and at one stage the map had my location as about two miles out at sea! Thankfully, I knew where I was going and when tested at other times, the system was problem-free.
The car also featured VW's 4MOTION all-wheel drive system and although very few owners will venture far from the Tarmac, it does add the reassurance that the car will keep you on track should the weather take a sudden turn for the worse.
Safety specifications on the Tiguan are comprehensive and it's the first VW model to be offered with an active bonnet which reduces the risk of injury to pedestrians and cyclists by lifting upwards 50mm in the event of an accident.
Other safety systems include front assist with city emergency braking and pedestrian monitoring, automatic post-collision braking and lane assist, plus lots more besides.