The seven-seat Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace has been updated, but is it now better than ever? We find out…
3.5 out of 5
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If you liked the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace before, then the latest changes are unlikely to put you off this time. It’s well-built, spacious, refined and agile, and – in diesel form – is quite frugal for a seven-seater. Unfortunately for VW, the mechanically similar SEAT Taracco is all of those things too, but much better value for money. Unless you really care about the badge on the nose, the Allspace doesn’t quite hit the mark.
Volkswagen’s mid-life refresh cycle has now hit its Tiguan Allspace. The seven-seat SUV is up against a tougher group of rivals than ever before, including the Kia Sorento and a refreshed Skoda Kodiaq, and it’s forced VW’s hand into improving the Tiguan – even if it means making the smallest incremental changes.
That’s certainly the case when it comes to the styling. The main difference comes at the front; slimmer, wider LED lights ape those of the latest Golf, while ‘IQ.Light’ matrix units are available on higher trims. Other than that, it’s the same sharply creased but sensible shape as before.
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The game of spot the difference continues inside. The basic layout is identical and therefore the cabin quality is above average for the class – but look closely and you’ll spot two detail changes. The first is a new steering wheel, the second is a revised control panel for the climate settings. Both feature touch-sensitive tech, and while the volume control on the steering wheel is okay, the climate panel’s slider is frustrating to use. It’s much harder to make a quick adjustment to temperature or fan speed than the previous physical dials – those could be used without even taking your eyes off the road.
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On the plus side, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now offered, making it easier than ever to use your smartphone.
Little has changed on the practicality front, so the Allspace remains a usable seven seater. It takes a fairly agile human to squeeze into the back, and for an adult to fit the middle row will need to be slid forward.
Even when loaded with seven occupants, the boot space is a reasonable 230 litres, and this expands into a vast 700 litres when the back pair of chairs aren’t in use.
The engine line-up is familiar, too – unlike the Kia Sorento, there’s no plug-in hybrid option, which makes it a pricier prospect for company car users. Petrols include 1.5 and 2.0-litre turbo engines, but for a car that needs to cope with some heavy hauling carrying seven passengers, the torquey diesel options make sense.
The 2.0 TDI 4MOTION model we’re driving (a front-wheel drive car is also available) delivers 148bhp and a hefty 360Nm of torque, and the engine hauls the Tiguan along perfectly adequately. It’s fairly smooth compared with some four-cylinder units found in its rivals and is helped by a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox which shifts seamlessly once up to speed – though it can be jerky and hesitant at low speeds. Officially, it’ll manage 42.8mpg, which seems completely achievable.
The key change to the way the Tiguan Allspace drives is that, for the first time, it can do some of the driving itself – albeit with constant supervision. VW calls it IQ.Drive Travel Assist, and it allows the system to assist with the steering acceleration and braking for short periods, from a 0-130mph.
Elsewhere, it’s much the same as before. While handling is low down on the list of priorities for a seven-seater, the Allspace feels more agile and less bulky than many rivals, and the light steering makes it easy to manoeuvre at low speeds. The ride is quite soft for the most part, but shorter, sharper bumps like potholes can send a shock through the cabin.
There’s plenty to appreciate about the Tiguan Allspace, then, and while we’ve already spoken about the 5008 and Sorento, the Tiguan’s biggest competition comes from within the Volkswagen Group. That’s because the Skoda Kodaiq, and our Large SUV of the Year, the SEAT Tarraco, offer much the same in terms of driving and practicality, but do so at a lower price.
The Elegance trim tested here sits above Life and below R-Line in the range, and comes with a standard equipment roster that includes 19-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic roof, a digital dash, a reversing camera and a powered tailgate.
Place a £4,000 deposit on a three-year PCP deal limited to 10,000 miles per year and you’ll pay £633 per month – including a £3,000 contribution from Volkswagen. Compare that with the SEAT Tarraco which, when paired with a 187bhp version of the Tiguan’s diesel, and in top-spec Experience Lux trim (which features leather seats and a 360-degree parking camera), costs just £581 per month on matching terms.
|Model:||Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace Elegance 2.0 TDI 4MOTION|
|Engine:||2.0-litre 4cyl turbodiesel|
|Transmission:||Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, four-wheel drive|
|Top speed:||122 mph|
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