Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Tiguan review - Engines, drive & performance

“The Tiguan feels stable composed and comfortable, making it a good all-rounder to drive”

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

The Volkswagen Tiguan has never been intended as a car to set your pulse racing, but rather as a comfortable all-rounder. As such, none of its petrol and diesel engine options are particularly spicy from launch, but should be perfectly capable of propelling a car of this size quickly enough to keep up with traffic. Later on, Volkswagen will introduce two plug-in hybrid models with either 201bhp or 268bhp, though as is the case with most plug-in hybrids, these are likely to feel less sporty than their high power figures might suggest given the added weight of their batteries.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Overall, the Tiguan felt very stable and secure to drive, with good levels of comfort and refinement – even with the 19-inch wheels of our Elegance model fitted road and wind noise was kept to a minimum, but the true test will come when tested on UK roads.

When a model’s focus is on comfort – especially with regards to an SUV – you’d usually expect composure to suffer when pushing it to the max, but we found that the Tiguan felt stable, with minimum body roll on windier roads, though it’s still best driven in a more relaxed manner as it feels more suited to this driving style.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The damping can be adjusted between a staggering 15 levels, but in all honesty we’d stick to the more comfort-focused end of the spectrum, because the trade off in ride quality on the firmer settings doesn’t result in a more engaging driving experience.

Is the Volkswagen Tiguan good to drive in town?

Visibility is good in the Tiguan, which should make manoeuvring around town easier, despite the car’s dimensions. From launch, your best option for urban driving is one of the mild-hybrid petrol engines as they’re much better suited to shorter trips. The plug-in hybrids that arrive later should also fit the bill as they are estimated to be capable of up to 62 miles of electric driving – though we’ve not yet driven these, driving in electric mode tends to be quiet and smooth, and saves fuel on more local trips.
 

Is the Volkswagen Tiguan good to drive on long journeys?

With plenty of space in the cabin and an airy feel, the Tiguan is well suited to longer journeys. The 2.0-litre diesel engine is a great pick if you regularly drive on the motorway, offering a smooth power delivery, excellent refinement at speed and plenty of grunt to pass traffic. Keep the adaptable suspension in Comfort mode and the Tiguan is at its best for this type of driving.

Is the Volkswagen Tiguan good to drive on B-roads?

The Volkswagen Tiguan isn’t really a car you’d buy with the intention of thrashing it on a B-road, but if you do, you’ll find it feels very stable for an SUV. The steering doesn’t offer much in the way of feedback, though, and the diesel engine in our test car isn’t really suited to this kind of driving. The car’s Sport mode firms up the dampers and makes the steering feel more weighty, but it doesn’t increase driver engagement all that much, so we’d keep the Tiguan in Comfort mode and stick to driving it more gently.

Petrol models

From launch, entry-level cars are offered with a 1.5-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine, badged eTSI, with 128bhp – this gets the Tiguan from 0-62mph in 10.6 seconds. For a little extra power there’s also a 148bhp version of the same engine that does that sprint in 9.2 seconds. These engines will be better suited for those doing a mix of motorway and town driving, at least until the plug-ins arrive.

Model 

Power

0-62mph

Top speed

1.5-litre eTSI 

128bhp

10.6 seconds

123mph

1.5-litre eTSI

148bhp

9.2 seconds

130mph

Diesel models

Unlike many manufacturers who have turned their back completely on diesel engines, the new Tiguan is available with a tried-and-tested 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine with 148bhp. We drove this version in France and found it to be well refined, though as is expected of a diesel, it’s much more suited to a constant, lazy cruise on a motorway than propelling you through the twists and turns of a B-road, as it’s not the most responsive in these scenarios.

Model 

Power

0-62mph

Top speed

2.0-litre TDI

148bhp

9.4 seconds

128mph

Plug-in hybrid models

There are no plug-in hybrid models from launch but Volkswagen is set to later introduce a 201bhp and 268bhp model which will allow for up to 62 miles using electric power alone, which will make it ideal for shorter trips around town if charged regularly.

Carbuyer notes

“The new Tiguan feels a lot like the old one, but that’s more of a compliment than a criticism. It’s still a refined and practical SUV, although it’s far from the best to drive in its class, and in diesel form it’s not as efficient as before." Alastair Crooks, Senior News Reporter

Skip advert
Advertisement

Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Facelifted Ford Kuga SUV for just £273 per month: Hot car deal
Facelifted Ford Kuga front tracking
Deals
23 Apr 2024

Facelifted Ford Kuga SUV for just £273 per month: Hot car deal

All-new Vauxhall Grandland SUV gets EV option with 435-mile range
Vauxhall Grandland front quarter
News
22 Apr 2024

All-new Vauxhall Grandland SUV gets EV option with 435-mile range

Peugeot 3008 review - a great all-round family SUV
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
In-depth reviews
22 Apr 2024

Peugeot 3008 review - a great all-round family SUV

Bentley Bentayga review – an opulent and comfortable SUV
Bentley Bentayga Hybrid
In-depth reviews
17 Apr 2024

Bentley Bentayga review – an opulent and comfortable SUV

Most Popular

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
17 Apr 2024

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

All-new Citroen C3 Aircross squeezes 7 seats into small SUV body
Citroen C3 Aircross front quarter
News
18 Apr 2024

All-new Citroen C3 Aircross squeezes 7 seats into small SUV body

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
19 Apr 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
best electric cars
Best cars
28 Mar 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024