Tiguan - First drive: the all-new Volkswagen Tiguan

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First drive: the all-new Volkswagen Tiguan

Top Gear

04 February 2016

These first impressions - all collected on Swedish snow and ice, so they’re not yet definitive - are strong. It’s an immediately classy car, albeit one with an unashamedly functional streak. The design and layout of the interior both edge sense above style, but that’s not to say it’s not all exceedingly well finished.

There’s still room for shiny goodies, such as Apple Carplay (and other smartphone link-ups), a fancy head-up display, and the Virtual Cockpit dials pioneered by the Audi TT. None are revolutionary, we admit, but they’re all executed nicely. It’s a pleasant place to be.

While the least powerful Tiguans come with front-wheel drive, AWD is available on most engines. It’s a system related to the Golf R’s, favouring front-wheel drive, but able to send every bit of power to the rear axle when necessary. It also hikes the Tiguan up by 11mm, for better obstacle clearing.

There will be a mix of petrol and diesel engines, ranging from 113 to 237bhp, the latter cranked out by a twin-turbo diesel, which will be the performance high point of the range. And there will be no GTI or R badges appearing on any of ‘em, despite the Tiguan now being so core to VW.

It’s the first VW SUV based upon the ‘MQB’ architecture that underpins so many of the group’s cars. There’s a good chance you’re sick to death of those three letters appearing in car reviews, so we’ll cut to chase: MQB-based cars invariably steer sharply and are intuitive and easy to drive. These, you’ll be aware, are all good things.

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