VW stretches Tiguan

credentials

THERE'S lots of life left in diesels; just ask the people likely to buy a new seven seat Tiguan Allspace, the stretched SUV from Volkswagen.

For the predicted best seller in the range is forecast as the model with a diesel doing the work, despite a similarly powerful petrol version available for less money.

But cost is not likely to weigh heavy on the purchaser of a Tiguan Allspace, pitched at £2,645 more than the shorter, five-seat Tiguan but with a higher specification and absence of a truly entry level model.

Instead, the Allspace is going to appeal to larger families with a couple of children no more than 5ft 2ins tall - the maximum height VW reckons will comfortably slip through the extended rear side doors and find long journey contentment in row three.

Pushing front and rear seats further apart and stretching the bodywork by 215mm means there's room for a couple of children in the new third row, and still useful luggage space behind them.

With every seat occupied there is 230 litres of luggage space, a bit more than in the boot of the just superceded VW Polo hatchback. With the third row folded flat this increases to 700 litres (non Allspace Tiguan, 615 litres) and to a positively commercial sounding 1,775 litres (1,655 litres) with rows two and three flattened.

The middle row slides back and forth by 180mm to give extra legroom or more luggage capacity. There are going to be some lively family discussions over this one.

You'd have to line up both versions side by side to spot the difference, apart from the obvious extra length of the Allspace. In fact, the bonnet of the newcomer is a touch higher at the front and there are modest grooves in the roof, versus a flat metal panel in the shorter Tiguan.

Most Allspace models sold in the UK are likely to have all-wheel drive - showing that owners are serious about the practicality they need in a family car.

An option is a differently shaped front bumper that allows the Allspace to tackle steeper approaches; it also includes extra underbody protection for some action off-road.

Prices start at £29,270 for a two-wheel drive Tiguan Allspace SE Navigation with 1.4-litre petrol engine and manual gearbox and top out with the £39,965 asked for a 2.0-litre diesel with 4Motion all-wheel drive, automatic gears and a comprehensive SEL specification.

A third trim level - R-Line - brings sports suspension, 20ins alloys, roof spoiler and sporty body pack and alloy look splashes inside. It arrives later in 2018 at a yet-to-be announced price.

Every UK bound Tiguan Allspace has the third row of seats and an electric tailgate that can be triggered by waggling a foot under the rear bumper (useful if you've got your hands full of supermarket shopping).

Also on the spec sheet across the board is an eight inch touchscreen, satellite navigation, DAB radio, CD player (an increasing rarity) and Bluetooth connection for a couple of phones.

Power outputs range from 150 horsepower petrol and diesels to a 240 horsepower twin-turbo diesel with the choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic transmissions.

The likely best selling 150hp diesel with two-wheel drive (from £31,550) is good for 131g/km in the emissions test; the all-wheel drive version (£33,115) ups this to 153g/km, while touching a 123mph top speed and sprinting to 62mph in 9.9 seconds.

Out on the road it has all the characteristics that make modern VWs such solid sellers, from a no-nonsense approach to driving (clear dials, slick switches, no fripperies) to a firmly supportive ride and enough performance to keep any sensible owner happy - and Tiguan Allspace owners will be sensible people.

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