Home / Drives / Volkswagen Tiguan TSI DSG 4MOTION Review – Above All?


The Volkswagen Tiguan enters the crowded premium mid-size SUV space. How many of the contenders have both the street and off-road cred to stand out of that crowd?

Volkswagen Tiguan TSI

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Apurva Ambep

Not many cars impress from the get-go. The Volkswagen Tiguan is back in five-seat form and this time it packs a petrol engine. The new model is a global update and we’ve got it here pretty soon and, the best part is, it’s made right here in India.

Based on the MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten or Modular tool-kit) architecture which underpins several VW Groups cars, including premium luxury offerings, the Tiguan offers no-nonsense modern styling with exceptional build quality and finish, with a roomy, spacious and functional interior with several thoughtful elements. There are some evident accessories and some not-so ones as well, primarily the cross roof-rails with the surfboard storage unit. While that looks like an aero disaster, rest assured it is extremely lightweight and didn’t affect the vehicle’s behaviour at highway speeds.

Volkswagen Tiguan TSI

The Volkswagen Tiguan has a new front grille that is larger with the three-row design flanked by a pair of “IQ.Light” Matrix LED headlamps. These elements, and the generous proportions, lend it a commanding presence. Across the 4,509-millimetre length, the lines are clean and clear and have an accented shoulder line with a chrome accent lower down the side profile. The Tiguan now has 18-inch wheels with slightly lower profile 235/55 rubber. The ground clearance is more than adequate at 200 mm, not evident in these pictures thanks to the accessory side steps. The tail section is wrapped tightly but there’s a generous boot with a wide loading lip. The boot is 615 litres with the split-folding rear seatback upright. The dimensions and capacity with the seats folded are massive with 1,655 litres on offer.

Volkswagen Tiguan TSI

The Volkswagen Tiguan is less about flash and drama and more about being a reliable, trustworthy, everyday companion. It’s more about how everything feels together and it certainly shines in that department. It’s extremely spacious. The proportions are more than what some popular seven-seaters offer and that makes for some generous room for every single occupant. The foot- and elbow-room is unmatched even by premium SUV standards and the Tiguan made me question the 10-20-lakh-rupee premium some far smaller offerings from the big names demand for their contraptions. The Tiguan has some very thoughtful elements such as the slanted central storage, the easy-to-use steering wheel, the centre convertible cup-holders and huge door pockets in addition to highly ergonomic controls and positioning of much-needed functions on the move.

Volkswagen Tiguan TSI

Speaking of moving, the Volkswagen Tiguan is being offered for the first time in India with a petrol engine in five seat guise. This 2.0 TSI — 1,984-cc turbo-direct-injection — four-cylinder engine is offered in everything from the previous Tiguan Allspace and Audi Q2 to the Škoda Octavia RS, Superb and Porsche Macan in different states of tune. Here, with 190 hp and 320 Nm, it’s paired to the excellent DirectShift Gearbox (DSG) dual-clutch transmission with seven-speeds. With one clutch each for odd and even ratios, the shifts are seamless and lightning-quick. The engine has good grunt and when driven on the boil in “Sport” mode, has a lot of quick performance on tap. VW claim a dash from zero to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds and a top speed of 213 km/h. The Tiguan feels planted and taut at all speeds, and is especially reassuring at highway speed holding its line flawlessly. It feels almost like a Polo XXL: nimble, agile and responsive with nary a hint of roll if at all. The suspension soaks up bumps and undulations and keeps the tyres adhesion with the road surface constant. It’s remarkable not just as a multi-purpose, all-round family car but also as car which is simply fun to drive and makes one look forward to getting out.

Volkswagen Tiguan TSI

Even in stop-go traffic, the Volkswagen Tiguan is so easy to manage. Besides, the auto start/stop calibration is excellent. Unlike many other cars, it works faultlessly in either drive (D), neutral (N) or even park (P), and gets the engine going only when I lift off the brake. This is particularly a point to note for those who speak of experiences where the “DSG overheats” it’s best to shift out of D when one is stationary. This helps reduce fuel consumption and load on the gearbox in any car regardless of make, model and transmission type.

Volkswagen Tiguan TSI

The offroad modes (Auto or Expert) prep the Volkswagen Tiguan for the rough. And it’s good. Even on the loose dirt, the Tiguan, with its traction control system easing off and allowing some leeway, it can hold its own and steadily make progress through the rough stuff. The control is commendable and the ease of manoeuvring and effortlessness is something that needs to be experienced to be appreciated.

Volkswagen Tiguan TSI

The inevitable talk of fuel efficiency crops up and, with a 2.0 blown petrol and 1.7 tonnes of metal and other materials to haul, the numbers aren’t all that surprising. In city traffic, the efficiency is around the eight-km/l mark with highway running seeing better double-digit figures. An overall 10 km/l is more than fine considering the quality and comfort it brings. I was in the “Eco” mode for the most part, to be fair. Diesel engines are being discouraged on an official level almost and, while modern engines are both clean and extremely efficient, such as VW’s own new 2.0 TDI units, the chance of them coming to India with the mandatory — and expensive — add-on diesel particulate filter and advanced NOx control selective catalytic reduction systems, means we don’t see them coming in soon; at least until Euro 7 norms force out petrol combustion engines altogether.

The Volkswagen Tiguan may have a reputation of a soccer-mom mobile overseas but it is what it is — a reliable, no-nonsense everyday all-rounder that’s high on space, quality and capability and doesn’t cost the Earth. Okay, Rs 31.99 lakh (ex-showroom) isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s clearly a smarter choice than so many others if one can look past the big badges and consider what they’re actually getting as a car.

Need to Know – Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TSI DSG 4MOTION Elegance

Price: Rs 31.99 lakh (ex-showroom)

Engine: 1,984 cc, in-line four, turbo-petrol, direct-injection
Max Power: 190 hp @ 4,200-6,000 rpm
Max Torque: 320 Nm @ 1,500-4,100 rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed, dual-clutch, automatic, all-wheel drive
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear
Weight: 1,703 kg



About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


Recent posts in Drives


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

AlphaOmega Captcha Classica  –  Enter Security Code

+ 5 = ten

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *