Volkswagen Tiguan

2.0 TSI R Line Tech

4Motion

Volkswagen Tiguan, front
Volkswagen Tiguan, front
Volkswagen Tiguan, side
Volkswagen Tiguan, front
Volkswagen Tiguan, side
Volkswagen Tiguan, rear
Volkswagen Tiguan, rear
Volkswagen Tiguan, interior

NOT so long ago when diesel was dominant, it was the engine of choice for most SUVs.

The successful VW Tiguan range was no exception and the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre TDIs flew off the shelves like proverbial hot cakes.

Move on a few years, post-Dieselgate and petrol power has become cleaner and meaner, giving it an edge in showroom appeal. Keeping pace with events, VW currently offers a tempting line-up of petrol versions, both frugal and performance orientated.

Falling into the latter bracket, the 2.0 TSI R Line Tech delivers hot-hatch clout alongside van-like practicality. Powered by a 230bhp engine - similar to that propelling the iconic Golf GTI - it comes with stiffer suspensions, wide alloy wheels shod with low profile rubber, and body tweaks that make it stand out from the herd.

With a price tag of approaching £40,000 it nudges into a high sector than the lesser Tiguan models, but it's well able to compete with the likes of BMW X3 and even Mercedes GLC in terms of space and power.

Maybe the badge doesn't quite have the cache of its fellow German brothers, but the quality and specification is perhaps even more impressive for those buyers who are less image conscious.

For a start, the five-seater Tiguan has a 615 litre boot making it one of best load carriers in its sector. Room inside the cabin is generous with plenty of shoulder room, height and space to stretch out your legs. No shortage of bins, cubbies and trays to swallow up clutter too.

The interior is cleanly styled and unfussy rather than luxurious, but this is after all meant to be a practical vehicle rather than a limo.

The gutsy, free-revving four pot engine is zesty and eager but refined enough to trundle along the motorway at the legal limit with little more than a distant murmur. Coupled to a seven-speed, twin-clutch automatic gearbox that reacts quickly to a dab of the accelerator, it's fun to drive swiftly.

Power is of the creamy flowing variety rather than the cat-after-a-rat hot hatch type. And don't expect the athleticism and dexterity of the squatter, lower Golf GTI - the taller stance and greater girth of the Tiguan - it weighs in at 1.7 tons - inevitably reduce the dynamic handling capability somewhat.

Steering is more communicative and less numb than most high-riders but doesn't quite have the fingertip response of the Golf.

Permanent, intelligent four wheel drive has the dual effect of allowing all the power to be easily transferred to the road and guaranteeing better traction over slippery surfaces.

For a five-seater which will cover the 62mph dash in close to six seconds, fuel consumption is impressively modest. Our average of 36mpg probably mirrors most owners' experience. This allows a useful range of more than 350 miles between filling up.

In R Line Tech guise there's bags of kit including wide 20-inch alloys shod with low profile rubber, roof rails, sat nav, black wheel arch covers and silver exhaust surrounds.

FAST FACTS

Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TSI R Line Tech 4Motion

Price: £37,365

Mechanical:230bhp, 1,984cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 141mph

0-62mph: 6.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 34.6

Insurance Group: 27

C02 emissions: 175g/km

Bik rating: 35%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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