Volkswagen Tiguan SE

Navigation 2.0 TDI

SCR 4MOTION

Volkswagen Tiguan, front
Volkswagen Tiguan, front
Volkswagen Tiguan, front
Volkswagen Tiguan, front
Volkswagen Tiguan, rear
Volkswagen Tiguan, rear
Volkswagen Tiguan, boot
Volkswagen Tiguan, interior
Volkswagen Tiguan, front
Volkswagen Tiguan, interior
Volkswagen Tiguan, interior

I DOUBT this year can end quick enough for Volkswagen.

The ‘dieselgate' emissions scandal, which broke in the US in 2015, has seen the German company recall millions of cars worldwide and set aside billions of pounds to cover costs.

In the midst of this mayhem the German company launched the latest version of its popular Tiguan SUV earlier this year.

And, unlike some of the dodgy decisions that have tarnished VW's name, it is excellent.

Because if you are after a stylish, affordable and practical family SUV, then the latest larger, smarter-looking Tiguan is a must for the shortlist.

The all-new model is more desirable than it has ever been before and that's saying something as, since taking to the road in 2007, it has become a huge hit for VW in the UK making the most of soaring demand for SUVs with almost 22,000 sold in Britain last year.

The improvements start with a reworked exterior featuring a chrome-vented grille, wide but narrow headlights and a defined shoulder line stretching back to the rear lights.

Slide on to the comfortable driver's seat and push the ignition button and the first thing you notice is how refined this SUV is.

The engine is nice and quiet while there is little in the way of wind noise kicked up by the chunky door mirrors which fold in neatly after you park the beast.

The modern cabin is a relaxing place to spend a journey with little in the way of distractions allowed to interrupt your enjoyment.

Despite ‘dieselgate', 95 per cent of Tiguans rolling off the showroom forecourt are still expected be powered by an oil burner.

The 148bhp 2.0-litre turbo diesel under the bonnet of my test car - linked to a slick six-speed manual gearbox - is smooth and quiet with plenty of pulling power allowing 62mph to be reached from a standing start in a shade over nine seconds.

It's not blindingly quick but has enough about it so you're not left standing at the traffic lights and overtaking is never a problem.

It is efficient for an SUV thanks to a start-stop system with miles per gallon during my week of mixed motoring averaging in the mid-40s while emissions are 141g/km.

The Tiguan is fitted with adaptive dampers which in layman's terms means a supremely relaxing ride selected through comfort mode via a rotary control on the centre console aft of the gear lever. When you are on VW's 18-inch Patagonia alloy wheels something to take a bit of the edge off proceedings is no bad thing.

The steering strikes a nice balance between weight and feel but in line with most of its ilk the Tiguan is not particularly sporty to drive.

Off-road the 4MOTION four-wheel drive technology kicks in making the SUV fit for purpose for the rare few who will abandon the school run for the great outdoors.

For dedicated off-roaders a 360 degree camera option is a must giving an excellent view of any tricky situations.

Decent approach and departure angles and good clearance make the Tiguan one of the more accomplished off-roaders in its class.

It is a touch pricey, but the latest model does represent a step up in quality including a multi-function TFT display behind the steering wheel keeping it up to the mark in terms of natty technology.

The dash is centred on an 8.5-inch touchscreen giving access to the many goodies included for your entertainment.

Up front there is plenty of adjustment to attain the perfect driving position while there is acres of space in the back for three adults to sit in comfort as head and legroom are both excellent. This is down to VW's new MQB platform which makes the Tiguan wider and longer than before.

As for the boot there is plenty of capacity with 615 litres available - up by almost a fifth on its predecessor. You can slide the rear seats forward slightly if you need more room or fold them creating a cave-like arena. My car also had the optional power-operated tailgate which was nifty.

FAST FACTS

Volkswagen Tiguan SE Navigation 2.0 TDI SCR 4MOTION

Price:£29,745

Mechanical:148bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:125mph

0-62mph:9.3 seconds

Combined MPG:52.3

Insurance Group:15

C02 emissions:141g/km

Bik rating:28%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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