24.4.2019VW Tiguan Allspace review
Practical family SUVs are big business for manufacturers, and the VW Tiguan is one of the best around. With strong competition around however, particularly for those that prize practicality above all else, the Tiguan doesn't quite offer enough seats or boot space for some. That's where the Tiguan Allspace is designed to come in.
Review by Chris Lilly
The Tiguan Allspace has a traditional engine line-up, with a couple of petrol units and a two litre diesel in three states of tune. Tested is likely to be the best seller - the 2.0 TDI 150 hp, though the's an equally powerful petrol, and more powerful options in both fuel types. Also likely to prove popular is the seven-speed DSG gearbox mounted here, which works well with the engine for smooth changes, even if it can be a little hesitant to change down. With its 150 hp, the Tiguan Allspace will complete the 0-62 mph time in 9.9 seconds, the 4Motion all-wheel drive model tested here 0.1 of a second slower to 62 mph than the front wheel driver version. It's a punchy engine at low revs however, so it feels a little quicker than the times suggest on the road, and shorter bursts of acceleration are covered quickly. It's happiest when sitting at motorway speeds in the long seventh ratio, but the TDi unit is perfectly adept at dealing with slower traffic, particularly with the auto 'box fitted. The 2.0 TDI 150 hp unit deals with the extra bulk of the Allspace well enough, but some buyers will likely prefer the 190 hp or 240 hp options.
VW's standard Tiguan is a nice car to drive, and well balanced between comfort and sportiness. With the Tiguan Allspace, a different set-up is expected, since the new version is around 11 cm longer in the wheelbase than the Tiguan. As such, the agility that the Tiguan shows when cornering can't be matched in the seven-seater - but that's to be expected. Instead, the VW performs better at a cruise, with its extra length improving composure at motorway speeds or on faster cross-country routes. The Tiguan Allspace's length isn't to great for it to feel unwieldy in town or tight streets, but you will notice the extra mass should you be used to the Tiguan. Body roll is kept to a reasonable minimum, but this certainly isn't a sporty SUV. Few seven-seater SUVs are however, and the comfort and refinement available are very good.
VW's designers have done a pretty good job at hiding the extra bodywork and length in the wheelbase. At first glance, you will be hard pushed to tell a Tiguan and Tiguan Allspace apart. Longer doors mean the shut-lines broadly correspond between the models helping with the eye trickery, plus they also aid access to both rows of rear seats. The pair of seats in the third row fold into the boot floor, but are only really suitable for children - leg space is very much at a premium at the back. Use them as occasional seats or for a large family/kids' friends and there will be no complaints. The longer Allspace also boosts boot space, with a large load area for buyers. Further forwards, the middle row of seats will comfortably fit adults, and those in the front are well catered for.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
If the Tiguan Allspace has been a little different to the normal Tiguan model so far, here the differences halt. The cabin is as you would expect from both a Tiguan and a family-focused VW in general really. The interior design is as subtle as the exterior, and the materials used are excellent in quality. Controls and instruments are rather uninspiring to look at but work very well and are laid out nicely. Comfort is high on the agenda as you might have guessed from the handling set-up, and the seats are supportive even on long trips.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
The official fuel economy figure for this version of the Tiguan Allspace is 47.9 MPG. It's a reasonable score for a seven-seater SUV, and pretty accurate according to the trip computer too. Having covered almost 700 miles during my time with the VW, the score on the screen was showing 42.5 MPG, though a 50 mile route, of which about half was motorway, displayed 50 MPG. The 4Motion all-wheel drive set-up won't be required by many, and picking the same engine and gearbox combo here will see fuel economy increase to 55.4 MPG.
Emissions for the Tiguan Allspace tested come in at 153 g/km CO2 - though again, opting for th front-wheel drive model sees those drop to 132 g/km CO2. That said, the all-wheel drive system is a relatively efficient one with a coasting function available, and there are selectable modes that, when put into 'Road' mean economy is optimised. There's also a drive mode select system, with Eco, Normal, and Sport, with the former lessening throttle response and altering the transmission's gear changes for improved efficiency.
There are three equipment levels available for the Tiguan Allspace, with the SE Nav model tested the entry-level trim beneath SEL and R-Line. Included as standard are 18-inch alloys, rear privacy glass, folding tables on the front seat backs, the third row of seats, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, Bluetooth, USB, DAB, and smartphone compatibility, adaptive cruise control, and parking sensors front and rear. Move further up the trim levels and elements such as larger alloys, a digital instrument panel, leather trim, sport suspension, and panoramic sunroof become available.
While the added space available in the Tiguan Allspace will be welcome to some and a very good family car, the fact is the competition is too good for the model to be a class leader. As a five-seater, the Tiguan is one of the best around, but rivals from the likes of Skoda and Peugeot offer greater levels of space, at a lower cost, and in the case of Skoda's Kodiaq in particular, improved practicality with similar levels of quality.
Model tested: Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TDI 150 hp 4Motion DSG
Body-style: Seven-seater SUV
Engine / CO2: 2.0 litre diesel / 153 g/km
On-road price: from £29,370. Price as tested: £34,905
Warranty: Three year / 60,000 miles
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 3.5 Stars