Volkswagen's Tiguan gets seven seats in this Allspace guise. Jonathan Crouch checks it out.
Ten Second Review
Volkswagen's second generation Tiguan widens its market reach in this lengthened 'Allspace' guise to include those who want the option of a third seating row in their mid-sized SUV. Could it be all the car you'll ever really need? Potential buyers will probably see this car in just that way.
Increasingly, it's no longer enough to just offer a single mid-sized five-seat SUV. The market's now demanding that mainstream makers also provide variants of such models that are lengthened enough to be able to incorporate a third seating row. Volkswagen couldn't ignore this trend - and hasn't, bringing us this bigger 'Allspace' Tiguan derivative.
It's not much larger than the standard version; 215mm of extra length has been added, with the wheelbase extended by 109mm. Still, as we'll see, it's enough to make quite a difference to the way you can potentially use this car.
There are no changes to the engineering of this Allspace model over the ordinary Tiguan and Volkswagen has also worked hard to ensure that this variant's extra 215mm of body length doesn't upset that car's reassuring handling balance. The engine range sees buyers seeking petrol power offered in 150PS 1.4-litre TSI form, plus there's a minority-interest 180PS 2.0-litre TSI unit. Most UK buyers though, will want a diesel, probably the 150PS version of the familiar 2.0 TDI powerplant. Volkswagen also offers this engine with 190PS and 240PS.
There's wide availability across the line-up of a fifth-generation four-wheel-drive 4MOTION system that provides fast apportioning of power to all four wheels via a process that provides pre-activation of the rear clutch and slick operation of the electronic differentials. In recent times, nearly three-quarters of Tiguan buyers in the UK have shown a preference for AWD. In 4x4 form, the car has 200mm of ground clearance, 11mm more than it would have in 2WD guise.
Design and Build
So it's a slightly longer Tiguan. What are the benefits of that inside? The obvious answer is that this Allspace model's extra 60mm of overall length has made possible the fitment of a third seating row. As with rivals, these additional pews are really only really intended for children, but they're no more cramped than those you'll find in obvious direct rivals like Skoda's Kodiaq or Nissan's X-Trail. You'll need to use the middle row's standard liding mechanism and push the centre bench right forward if lanky adults are to be accommodated at the very back.
This Tiguan's added length has also boosted boot space. With the rearmost seats in place, boot capacity is 230-litres; with the two seats stowed away into the boot floor, capacity has risen 85 litres-from the five-seat version to a total of 700-litres. Drop the second row as well and capacity reaches 1775-litres. These will be satisfyingly spacious numbers for potential family buyers, even if they can't quite match the figures of the Volkswagen Group model this car shares its engineering with, that Skoda Kodiaq.
Market and Model
Prices start at just under £30,000 at rates that represent a premium of around £2,500 over an ordinary Tiguan. Most buyers will focus on the 150PS version of Volkswagen's familiar 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine, priced from around £31,500. If you want 4MOTION 4WD with this variant, then an extra £1,600 will secure it and there's also the £1,600 option of DSG automatic transmission. As for trim levels, there's a choice of 'SE Nav', 'SEL' and 'R-Line' options. All models come with alloy wheels, 'Climatic' semi-automatic air conditioning, a trip computer, all-round electric windows, an alarm, power heated door mirrors and a 'Composition Media' infotainment system.
Safety kit includes a clever 'Automatic Post-Collision Braking System' that automatically brakes the car down to 6mph after a collision - so if, say, someone hits you and, understandably, you go to pieces, the car will automatically sort itself out. There's also a 'Front Assist' system that at speed, scans the road ahead as you drive for potential accident hazards, warning you if one is detected and automatically braking if necessary. You get that same kind of functionality at urban speeds too, as part of a 'City Emergency Braking' system included as part of the 'Front Assist' package.
Cost of Ownership
Expect the 2.0 TDI 150PS 2WD variant many will want to deliver 58.9mpg on the combined cycle and 123g/km of CO2. Go for the 2.0-litre TSI 180PS DSG 4MOTION petrol option and the figures are 38.2mpg and 170g/km. Later on, the economy champion will be the GTE Plug-in hybrid petrol/electric version you can ask your dealer about. Overall, though the upfront sticker price isn't cheap, whichever variant you choose, you'll probably be better off choosing this Volkswagen than a cheaper South Korean alternative when you factor in depreciation and whole life costs.
And warranties? Well the standard package is three years and 60,000 miles. If you plan to see a bit more of the world in your Tiguan, there's a five year / 90,000 mile package. Whatever your decision, your car will come with three years of pan-European Roadside Assistance that has no mileage restriction. The paintwork warranty lasts for three years and, as you'd expect, this car is protected by a 12-year anti-corrosion package.
As with the ordinary Tiguan model, providing you don't expect this Allspace derivative to be among the cheaper choices in this segment, then there's very little not to like here. For the cost of, say, a five-seat Audi Q5 or Mercedes GLC, you can get yourself, in this seven-seat Volkswagen, a family SUV with almost equal badge equity but quite a lot more versatility. What's not to like?
All the established Tiguan virtues remain - high residuals, impressive efficiency and strong build quality. And as ever with this model, there's an extra dash of polish in everything it does that'll make you feel as good when you open the bedroom window as you will when you're at the wheel.