Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace review: An SUV that’s hard to gloss over

The Tiguan was always a very likeable premium SUV, with its Germanic looks, high-quality interior and pleasant driving experience. Now, it has been replaced by the Tiguan Allspace you see here. You can think of the Allspace as an XL-sized Tiguan; it’s 110mm longer in its wheelbase and 215mm longer overall and sees the all-important addition of a third row of seats as well.

However, there is a catch. Where the Tiguan ran on diesel, which is the fuel of choice for Indian SUV buyers, the Allspace is a petrol-only model. So, how does the package come together?

At first glance, the Allspace isn’t too different from the standard Tiguan. The front end is unchanged, with the only real point of difference being the absence of cladding lower down. It’s in profile that the Allspace looks like the stretched-out Tiguan. The larger cabin section and longer rear overhang mean the proportions aren’t quite as appealing as the taut Tiguan, but the design is still neat and clean. The tail end is also similar to what we’ve seen before, with the addition of chrome surrounds for the faux exhausts.

Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace review: An SUV that’s hard to gloss over

The cabin too is quite familiar, and the first thing you note, as before, is the level of quality. All control surfaces feel long-lasting, the doors shut with a reassuring thunk and there is generous use of soft-touch materials around the cabin too. The dashboard doesn’t look cutting-edge today, but it is thoughtfully designed and puts all controls within easy reach. An important upgrade on the Allspace is the Audi-like digital instrument cluster. The readout is crisp and clear, and gives the option to toggle between layouts. You are not sat all that high up (as SUVs go) but the large windscreen and big glasshouse still offer a great view out. The front seats are pretty firm, but they are nicely sculpted and hold you tightly in place, offering fantastic all-round support.

The middle-row seats, too, are supportive, with generous bolstering to hold you snugly in place. There’s loads of legroom (with the 60:40 seats slid back, that is), and you even have the option to adjust the backrest angle, albeit via flimsy tags. There’s enough room for a middle passenger too, though the seat is best for two. Fold-out trays and a 12V charging socket at the back are handy inclusions, though sunscreens for the large rear windows would have been nice.

Moving to the third row, access via the rear doors requires some twisting and turning, and once inside, you’ll find that space is strictly limited. You’ll need to work out a knee-room compromise with the middle-row passengers, and headroom is also tight for anyone above average height. The space is fine for children, and perhaps adults on the occasional intra-city jaunt. The third row is best left folded down, and doing so increases the Allspace’s reasonable 230-litre luggage space (with all seats up) to 700 litres. You can also fold the middle-row seats to free up cargo van levels of room.

Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace review: An SUV that’s hard to gloss over

There is plenty of kit on offer too. Features of interest include the aforementioned digital dials, a full-length panoramic sunroof, three-zone climate control, powered driver seat with memory, a powered tailgate, a slick 8.0-inch touchscreen and hands-free parking. The safety kit includes seven airbags, ESC and ASR (anti-slip regulation), while front and rear parking sensors and LED headlights with dynamic cornering function are also standard fit.

The Tiguan Allspace is powered by a 2.0-litre, turbocharged, direct-injection TSI petrol engine that delivers 190hp at 4,200rpm and max torque of 320Nm from 1,500-4,100rpm. Power is channelled to all four wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Drivers might miss that ready low-end pulling power of a diesel engine, but, nonetheless, progress is brisk with the engine coming into its element post 2,000rpm. Like all TSI engines, the unit feels its best in the mid-range, with a thick swathe of torque at your disposal. Power comes in strong, making overtaking a non-event. Of course, the quick-shifting gearbox chips in by keeping the engine in the meat of the powerband. Press on, and it’s a lot of fun extending the engine to 6,000rpm. Drive modes help alter the experience, but you get the most out of the powertrain in its ‘Sport’ setting. Paddleshifters and manual shifts via the gear lever also add a nice degree of driver involvement.

Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace review: An SUV that’s hard to gloss over

The Allspace is quick, too, and posts a 0-100kph time of 8.8sec. For reference, the old Tiguan diesel with 143hp and 340Nm did the 0-100kph sprint in 10.55sec. Similarly, acceleration in kick-down is also faster than the outgoing diesel. Of the other things, the petrol engine is smooth but gets a bit vocal at middle revs, which some might find sporty.

Handling is neutral and with good grip at all times, but the Allspace is not as agile as the smaller Tiguan. The steering also feels too inert to really involve you, and while you can add weight to it via the settings on the touchscreen, a more connected feel would be welcome.

The Allspace rides like a typical European car. That is a polite way to say that the suspension can’t filter out the worst of our roads, with a firm edge at low speeds. On the plus side, high-speed stability is really good, making the Tiguan Allspace a competent highway cruiser. In fact, for long-distance trips, the swift, spacious and surefooted Tiguan Allspace is a great companion.

Like the standard Tiguan, the Allspace also gets off-road modes, selectable via a dial, that controls engine, steering, AWD and electronics settings. Hill-descent control is also included.

Priced at ₹ 33.12 lakh (ex-showroom, India), the Tiguan Allspace costs about ₹ 2 lakh more than the outgoing Tiguan TDI Highline. Like the Tiguan, the Allspace is not an SUV for everyone. It’s not the largest of SUVs for the money, nor is it the best 7-seater around. The absence of a diesel engine option is also sure to be a red flag for many.

Yet, the Allspace is an SUV that’s hard to gloss over. The depth of engineering, the tough build, and the borderline exciting engine are qualities that will appeal to discerning buyers. If you are one, act fast because the Tiguan Allspace is being brought to India as a limited-run import.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 7:56:36 PM |

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