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First Drive

First Drive: VW Tiguan

The story: Volkswagen has revised its biggest selling model worldwide, with an external and internal refresh of the Tiguan, which launched in its current form in 2016.
Key rival:Ford Kuga
On sale:Now

An exterior and interior update, as well as new plug-in and performance powertrains to follow, are the headlines for the mid-life refresh of the Volkswagen Tiguan SUV.

VW’s number one seller worldwide gets a new nose with LED headlights and what the company describes as a “more defined” bonnet that extends over the radiator grille, while the model branding on the rear is moved to the centre underneath the VW badge. There is also a selection of new alloy wheels on offer.

Much like the revised VW Arteon (see p36), the updated Tiguan has new gloss black digitised climate control switchgear, including a slider for temperature control, while the latest infotainment system also adds wireless connect for Apple Carplay and Android
Auto for the first time. It makes for a good-quality look and feel, and functions well on the move compared with the systems in other VW models, or even from rival manufacturers.

First Drive- March 2021- Volkswagen Tiguan- Image 1

The Tiguan is an SUV that doesn’t blow you away initially, but is really good at all the boring bits of life. It’s got bags of space up front, in the rear and the boot, and the 150hp 1.5-litre petrol engine driven here is a sweet thing. No wonder it’s the biggest seller of the four on offer; there are 130hp and 150hp 1.5 petrols and 150hp and 200hp 2.0-litre diesels. The last of these is offered in 4Motion four-wheel-drive form only, while the lower-powered diesel comes with front- or four-wheel drive.

The 150hp petrol is £2500 cheaper than the diesel with the same power, and only costs an extra £6 per month on BiK, so it’s probably the fleet choice as well as the retail favourite. That said, high-mileage drivers should still lean towards the diesel.

The only complaint from behind the wheel is that, at least with the R-Line model, the ride is firm. Other specs might not have the R-Line trim’s extra styling features, but the improvement in ride quality may be worth the sacrifice.

paul barker

The verdict

Sleeker nose and mild improvements to cabin and technology make for a sensible if not spectacular update to a successful SUV. However, it could do with being a bit more efficient.