Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace review: still the standard SUV choice?
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Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace TSI R-Line
- Impressive standard safety tech
- Great practicality
- Entry-level model dodges clean car fee
- More expensive than the Skoda Kodiaq
- Lack of buttons across the dash
- Is quite thirsty
Not too long ago, the idea of a small SUV that could seat seven occupants would’ve been laughed off in the same way that light bulbs were when old mate Tesla pitched the idea. Fast forward a few years, Tesla is attached to an entirely different product, and the compact seven-seat SUV segment is picking up steam by the minute.
Though there are now three main players in this niche segment, Volkswagen was the brand that started it all with the Tiguan Allspace, and continues to demonstrate its prowess with the latest model.
In New Zealand, the Tiguan Allspace is offered in three specs, with the cheapest ‘TSI Life’ model starting at $49,990. Though this model gets a smaller 1.4-litre turbocharged engine with just 110kW, it sits in the ‘zero band’ meaning that it dodges a fee under the Clean Car Scheme entirely.
Moving up a tier will get buyers into the ‘TSI Style AWD’ model, which starts from $63,990. This one gets a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 132kW, but faces a fee of $1725.
At the top of the range is the ‘TSI R-Line AWD’ model, which gets the same engine, but ups the power to 162kW. Despite the extra grunt, it gets less of a fee at $1610, but starts from $73,990.
For our time in the Tiguan Allspace, we were in the range-topping R-Line model which offers the most premium experience.
On the outside, this new Tiguan Allspace doesn’t look too much different to the last model, and that’s because it has received a mid-cycle facelift. Slight changes here and there brings it in line with VW’s current range styling.
Auckland | Auckland City
$238.70 p/w $954.79 p/m
More changes are visible on the inside, where it now gets a large 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto as standard. In the range-topping R-Line model, this is upgraded to a 9.2-inch display with the connectivity options going wireless.
As a whole, the interior of this Tiguan is a great place to be, but like most modern Volkswagen models, the lack of buttons across the cabin is a slight frustration. The haptic touch multifunction steering wheel looks fantastic, but accidentally pressing things while making turning maneuvers is far too easy for my liking.
In terms of space, the first two rows feel identical to a regular Tiguan SUV, with four adults fitting comfortably, but things get tight at five. Third row seating should be reserved for children, as space is at a real premium back there, but I’m sure two adults will squeeze back there if Ubers are surging.
On the road, the Tiguan Allspace is a great drive. Volkswagen’s pairing of a turbocharged 2.0-litre with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is a tried and true combination that works well here.
With 162kW and 350Nm at its disposal, the R-Line model has more than enough grunt for a city SUV, and the DSG transmission will always find it if a passing maneuver is needed.
In terms of safety tech, in comes packed with everything you’d expect from a modern SUV. Adaptive cruise control and emergency braking is standard across all three models. Other things like Lane keep assist and blind spot monitoring are also standard across the range, so you don’t need to worry about forking out for extra optional tech.
If you’re looking at buying a compact seven-seat SUV, the pickings are rather slim. The only model that comes directly up against it is its VW Group sibling; the Skoda Kodiaq, which starts at just $48,990. There’s also the Mercedes-Benz GLB to consider which starts from $82,100, but offers a step up in luxury.
As a whole, this new Tiguan Allspace is a fantastic offering in its niche segment, but there’s a reason why it seems to be the most popular. Good pricing, great practicality, and an awesome driving experience means that it’s hard to beat.
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace TSI R-Line
ENGINE: 2.0-litre turbo
GEARBOX: 7-speed DSG, AWD