We bought the VW as an interim car necessitated by the arrival of our first child, while we await delivery of vehicles impacted by COVID-19 delays.
We bought the VW as an interim car necessitated by the arrival of our first child, while we await delivery of vehicles impacted by COVID-19 delays (RAV4 Hybrid 13 months and XC90 Recharge four months).
In the circumstances we bought the ‘base’ model as frankly we needed something. This meant availability was a significant factor in the purchasing decision. Some Tiguan models are impacted by ongoing semi-conductor shortages.
What I would say, however, is that the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 110TSI Life is base model mostly in name only, as the level of technology and convenience in this model is genuinely impressive. The lack of leather seats is the only obvious point that reflects the more cost-conscious aspect of this variant.
Wireless Apple CarPlay, digital cockpit, tri-zone air-conditioning, auto LED headlights and wipers, radar cruise control, lane-keep assistant, blind-spot monitoring, plus AEB forward and back are all standard inclusions.
The interior and storage space in the Allspace are simply excellent. The rearmost seats six and seven are clearly designed for children not long out of child seats as the amount of space is minimal. I imagine these are more for when you have to pick up a couple of extras after footy training, rather than as a vehicle that would regularly be used as a seven-seater. However, when these are folded flat into the boot floor, the 700L boot is very spacious and a usable shape.
Most impressive, however, is the space in the second row. As a new parent, I was aghast to discover just how much room a rearward-facing child capsule takes up, especially as I am 192cm tall. But I can sit in front of the rear-facing capsule as a passenger in comfort (though it would be somewhat less ideal behind the driver’s seat).
Honestly, had this been other than a forced purchase, I would have been likely to avoid the 110TSI engine fearing that 1.4 litres, turbocharged or otherwise, is insufficient litreage for a 4.7m SUV. Having now lived with the car for two months, however, I am very pleased to report just how wrong I would have been in that assumption!
Most of our motoring is urban or urban fringe around Sydney, and in this setting, speed and power are fairly moot elements given average congestion levels. Urban motoring is seeing the car return fuel usage of ~7.5L/100km using 95RON. Taking the car on the highway with two adults, two dogs, baby and assorted paraphernalia required for a weekend away (i.e. the entire contents of our house), I expected the performance to be blunted, but I was genuinely surprised at how well the Tiguan did.
Roll-on acceleration is decent, and we had no issues maintaining highway speeds on inclines. Engine and road noise on the highway is minimal. If you did a lot of country driving, loaded, and had frequent requirement for acceleration from 80–100km/h to overtake on two-lane roads or crawler lanes, then this is not the engine for you.
However, I would hazard that for any ‘average’ urban family, the additional power offered from the 132TSI is not sufficient to warrant either the increased price nor the economy penalty. Cars of this variety frankly do not require 4WD/AWD – given the only benefit to AWD is acceleration from very low speeds, I do not see how this is congruous with buying a family SUV.
Equally, if traction conditions are sufficiently poor that there is a risk of breaking traction under acceleration, then I would suggest you are driving too fast for the conditions. For conditions such as going to the snow, chains or snow socks will provide better traction than four driven wheels wearing summer tyres. For the average urbanite, 4WD is little more than a marketing concept that we have all bought into under the auspices it is somehow safer.
Now, for complete transparency, I should state I am not a fan of dual-clutch gearboxes. For the majority of the driving I undertake, a torque converter permits a much smoother driving experience. However, the DSG boxes from Volkswagen are clearly maturing in their refinement given it is almost 20 years since one first appeared in a production VW.
Slow-speed manoeuvres require a degree of sympathy and anticipation to avoid looking like a learner driver coming to grips with a manual gearbox for the first time, and similarly for roundabouts and junctions. Without sufficient attention to what the car is doing, rolling up to a roundabout and then attempting to squirt into a gap can result in a hole in power delivery. This is then exacerbated by launching forward with undue haste, having given in to the natural desire to push the accelerator further as the gearbox hesitates to choose between the first and second ratio.
Some people might never notice this, but for others it might feel like an insurmountable problem. I find it easy to drive around through paying attention to the revs and what the car is doing. All of this said, I find the engineering of the engine and gearbox in the 110TSI to be really rather impressive and would recommend that you take it for a test drive if you have any concerns.
I think the ultimate compliment I could give this car is we’re now no longer certain whether we’ll actually take delivery of the RAV4 Hybrid we have been waiting on for over a year, such is the breadth of capabilities the VW has shown.
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