Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace SUV
"If you want your Tiguan with more space, the VW Tiguan Allspace is the answer. It’s not quite as big as a Skoda Kodiaq, however"
- Good use of space in five-seat form
- Stylish design inside and out
- Decent build quality
- Expensive compared to rivals
- Not as practical as you’d imagine
- No ISOFIX points for third-row seats
The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is an enlarged, more practical version of the popular Volkswagen Tiguan SUV. It's a bit longer, with seven seats and a bigger boot, and is a real rival to the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Nissan X-Trail and Skoda Kodiaq.
We should be clear on one thing, though – the Allspace isn't billed as a full seven-seater. VW describes the Allspace as offering a "third row of fold-flat occasional seats" and these are really intended to provide extra passenger capacity when needed. If you want a year-round seven seater, you're better off with an MPV such as a Ford S-MAX or the Volkswagen Sharan.
You can choose between three trim levels, all of which have a generous list of standard equipment that includes climate control, parking sensors and 18-inch alloy wheels, as well as VW's Discover Navigation infotainment system with DAB and Bluetooth connectivity. There's Match and SEL, plus the sporty-looking R-Line Tech, with 20-inch alloy wheels and a distinctive body kit. Adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking are fitted to all models as standard.
Regardless of which model you choose, the Tiguan Allspace offers the same combination of quality materials and great design and build that make the standard version a standout model in its class. It’s far nicer inside than rivals like the Nissan X-Trail and Toyota RAV4, but its SEAT Ateca and Skoda Kodiaq cousins aren’t too far off in the quality stakes, and both are just as comfortable.
Engine options for the Allspace broadly mirror those of its smaller sibling, with the 2.0-litre TDI diesels likely to be the most popular choice and a 237bhp, twin-turbocharged BiTDI topping the range. As with the standard Tiguan, the best blend of performance and economy comes from the 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI, offering decent acceleration and around 46mpg (although four-wheel drive will detract from both). It can feel a bit sluggish on faster roads, though, so the 187bhp engine might be a better bet for more demanding drivers.
Those looking for a petrol Tiguan Allspace can choose between 1.5 and 2.0-litre TSI engines. There’s also the usual pick of either six-speed manual or DSG automatic gearboxes, while VW’s 4Motion four-wheel-drive system is available with all 2.0-litre engines.
If you like the Tiguan, there's very little not to like about the bigger Allspace. However, other SUVs in the VW Group family are bigger than the Allspace, cost less and are more practical, too – the Skoda Kodiaq undercuts the VW on price yet offers much more space inside, with quality that’s almost as good.
MPG, running costs & CO2
The Allspace's range of TDI diesels are quite fuel-efficient. The entry-level 2.0-litre 148bhp engine is claimed to manage 46.3mpg and 129g/km, or 39.2mpg and 147g/km with four-wheel drive and a DSG gearbox. While neither are cheap for company-car drivers, the latter is in the top 37% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) bracket. These figures are similar in most seven-seat SUVs - the Skoda Kodiaq and Nissan X-Trail almost match it.
If you expect to cover fewer than around 12,000 miles a year, the 1.5-litre TSI petrol may suit you well. Despite its size, it develops just as much power as the diesel above, offering fizzier performance and around 36mpg, plus 154g/km of CO2. Choose the DSG automatic gearbox, however, and the CO2 figure drops to 143g/km, which lowers company-car tax by two BiK bands.
Outright performance is strongest with the BiTDI diesel, a twin-turbocharged version of the 2.0-litre TDI, which produces 237bhp, albeit at the expense of economy and CO2 emissions. You can only expect to see 34mpg in mixed driving, with the top-end Tiguan BiTDI in automatic, four-wheel-drive form producing 167g/km of carbon dioxide.
In fact, as a rule, two-wheel-drive manual Tiguan Allspaces are more economical and cleaner (in CO2 terms) than the equivalent four-wheel-drive manuals, so it makes sense to consider your needs before deciding which model suits best.
All Tiguans cost £140 a year to tax after the initial CO2-weighted first-year payment (usually included in the ‘on-the-road’ price). If your Tiguan Allspace’s list price exceeds £40,000 (easily done with VW options lists), you’ll be liable for a £310 surcharge on top of this figure the first five times you tax it, making your yearly payment £450 during that period.
Engines, drive & performance
A key ingredient of the standard Tiguan's success is the the way it drives, so it follows that the Allspace version should also offer a great experience for the driver. In fact, if you’re used to the standard car, you probably won’t notice much difference.
The Tiguan Allspace is just as competent when it comes to relaxed motorway cruising, while more minor roads are dispatched easily by good suspension. Examples fitted with adjustable suspension have different modes to make the ride more comfortable or sporting and you're likely to want to keep it in Comfort mode almost all of the time. This really does improve ride quality, but doesn't sacrifice body control. Sports mode provides a 'sportier' feel, but not necessarily a more enjoyable one.
Without the adjustable suspension, the R-Line trim's stiffer suspension reduces body lean through bends, but does so at the expense of outright comfort. With big alloy wheels fitted as standard, the R-Line has a rather jiggly ride compared to other models in the range.
If going as quickly as possible is paramount, then the 237bhp 2.0-litre BiTDI is the obvious choice; 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds and a top speed of over 140mph mean you’ll have a family SUV that can outrun many hot hatchbacks, but don’t expect more than 35mpg from the highly tuned engine - especially if you make frequent use of its performance.
With plenty of power available low down in the gears, this engine would also be a great choice for towing or heading off-road and is pleasingly quiet when not being pushed hard. It's also well matched to Volkswagen's seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which is very responsive when a gearchange is required.
Interior & comfort
There’s plenty to like about the Allspace’s interior. It’s basically the same as you’d find inside a standard Tiguan, which is no bad thing – the quality of materials used is great, everything is well made and there’s a sense of solidity that’s absent in some rivals. Spend a bit more money on the SEL trim and you’ll be greeted by an interior that isn’t too far off the Audi Q5 quality, luxury and refinement.
The carried-over dashboard works just as well as it does in the standard Tiguan, with a central infotainment screen mounted high in the centre console that’s very easy to use. VW’s Active Info Display – basically a screen in place of traditional dials behind the steering wheel – is standard on SEL models and is a joy to behold, displaying everything from speed to sat-nav directions in a clear and convenient manner. DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity are standard on every Allspace, too.
Despite its name, the Allspace is not the biggest car in its class – rivals like the Skoda Kodiaq and are larger and make much better use of their interior space. However, if those cars are too large – or the standard Tiguan too small – then the Allspace makes a good case for itself as something of a happy medium.
R-Line is best avoided if you value comfort over all else, as its stiffer suspension can’t quite keep up with the worst of UK roads and those 20-inch wheels can crash into potholes. The standard suspension setup offers great ride quality, so we recommend you stick with it.
Practicality & boot space
Created first and foremost to appeal to American buyers, the Tiguan Allspace is bigger than the standard car. It’s not as big or well packaged as some other rivals, though – it’s probably better to consider it as a Tiguan with a bit more space than as a genuine rival for the Skoda Kodiaq or similarly sized SUVs.
At 20cm longer than the regular Tiguan, the Allspace uses its extra length to provide an extra 60mm of rear seat legroom, as well as to expand the boot far enough to accomodate a pair of folding occasional seats. With these in use, you're left with 230 litres of boot space - about as much as a typical city car.
These two extra seats are rather tricky to access, and – given their compact size, are best suited to occasional use and the boot is considerably more useful when they're folded out of the way. A feature of the SEL is that the second row of seats can be slid forwards to increase boot space still further – up to 700 litres when fully forward. This is 85 litres more than the regular Tiguan, and if none of the rear seats are in use at all, folding them down liberates 1,775 of luggage space in total.
Official towing figures are likely to be identical to those of the standard Tiguan, ranging from 1,600kg of unbraked towing capability for the least powerful petrol, all the way up to 2,500kg for the more powerful diesel options. Optional Trailer Assist will even reverse your trailer at a selected angle with no steering input required.
Reliability & safety
The five-seat Tiguan didn’t do as well as you might think in our 2019 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey; it came 48th out of 100 models. The car's infotainment and equipment were praised, as was its practicality and space, but the engines and suspension didn't score very highly. Over 22% of owners who took the survey reported at least one fault in the first year of ownership. Volkswagen as a brand fared similarly, finishing 17th out of 30 manufacturers and 20.2% of owners telling us about problems.
The standard version of the newest Tiguan gained five stars in its Euro NCAP crash test last year and while the Allspace has yet to be tested in isolation, this is a good indicator of what to expect. It scored an excellent 96% rating for adult occupant protection and 84% for child occupant protection.
Standard safety equipment carried over to the Allspace includes lane-keeping assistance, automatic emergency braking at low speed, plus the usual host of airbags and stability and traction control systems. The Allspace benefits from the same list of optional safety kit, too, with highlights including adaptive cruise control and LED headlights with Dynamic Light Assist – technology that allows full beam to be on permanently without dazzling oncoming drivers.