Auto Review

The VW Tiguan Review, Is This The Real Life? Or is This A Fantasy?

  • quick
  • Model spec: VW SE Nav
  • Price: £26625
  • Engine: 2.0-L, 4-cylinder TDI
  • Max Speed: 125
  • facts
  • 0-60: 9.3 seconds
  • BHP/Torque: 150 / 340
  • Economy: 62mpg combined
  • C02: 125g/km
  • Tax: 205/year

OK, so we got our first long-termer thanks to the VW Gods. It’s a Volkswagen Tiguan SE Nav. A mid-range model. The VW Tiguan is available in a choice of 5 trims and 8 engine options either petrol, diesel, or hybrid. Pricing for the Tiguan SE Nav starts from £26k, the only optional extra we specified was for front heated seats. I like a warm arse in the morning. This won’t be an in-depth review. There are plenty of those on offer. Initially, we had the option of a Volvo V90 (NOT FROM BEN FOULDS!) or the VW Tiguan. Very obviously we opted for the Tiguan because it was available sooner to us. God damn it we really wanted the Volvo. So the VW Tiguan… it is what it is?

VW Tiguan SE Nav standard equipment is good. Lane assist, radar-guided cruise control, that Sat Nav system and heated electrical wing mirrors. You also get a decent amount of connectivity for your smartphone, Android or Apple device.

The only thing that irritates is the lack of a wireless smartphone charging dock. You have to pay a ridiculous £250 if you want one for this trim level. It should come as standard.

Avoid paying the irritating rip-off prices VW charge and buy an external wireless charger for £10 and plug it into the USB port. Job done, money saved.

And that’s the thing about the VW Tiguan, I find it irritating. I find it too daily-mail-middle-class… as if this is all you are worth in life. And then you vote for Brexit.

I find the exterior irritating for a start. It’s way better looking than the first generation. But I still find it irritating. And dull. But I do like the 18-inch alloy wheels… That is all.

I suggest you go for the power-assisted boot. The boot-lip overlaps the grab handle and initially, it’s easy to hit your wrist as you manually close the boot.

So you develop a new technique to avoid the wrist slamming. I find this irritating, in an every-thing-is-perfect-middle-class-but-it-isn’t kind of way.

The interior is generally functional. Neatly designed, in a middle-class-accepting kind of way. It appears very ordered yet, in reality, it is dysfunctional.

I find that really irritating.

One of the major gripes is the telephone switch on the steering wheel. Hooking up your smartphone to receive calls is simple enough.

However, when you receive a call the telephone button is awkwardly positioned on the steering wheel. And you always have to outstretch your thumb.

And then you develop a weird hand contortion move. It’s never intuitive. And the biggest gripe is that there is no mute button.

I find that irritating.

OK, it’s just a button but this is VW, we are told they spend hours refining their designs. So naturally, we expect the very best in ergonomics.

I find that irritating.

And then there is the Sat-nav System. it’s good enough. Clear graphics, easy to use touchscreen. However, it has two physical rotating dials that stick out. Why?

Why not just go full-on-touch-screen? You always have the option of using the steering-wheel-mounted controls. Just why with the dials?

I find design by focus groups irritating.

Then there are the cloth seats. They are uncomfortable over long journeys. And they feel too narrow.

I find that irritating.

Then there is the drive. The diesel engine is good enough, plenty of power, as smooth as a VW diesel gets. Economical. However…

The standard ride and handling is shambolic. It’s too firm so over the bumps or uneven surfaces it’s not very comfortable. And it rolls in the corners.

I am not going to detail the technical aspects of the suspension setup, but my professional opinion is that it the Tiguan rides well only over the smoothest of roads.

I find that irritating.

So, over six-months into the VW Tiguan journey, I have found it to be irritating. Motoring journalists say a car and it’s faults will “grow on you”. That you will learn to love and live with its many downsides.

I find that irritating.

I haven’t learned to love or live with the VW Tiguan’s admittedly few faults. But the few faults it has… I find them to be overwhelmingly irritating. So much so that the whole Tiguan entity is unacceptable to me.

The only upside to this middle-class monstrosity is the exceptional fuel economy for a compact SUV. I am getting 62mpg on long jaunts. Nearly 50mpg tootling around locally. However…

I find that irritating. Irritating in the sense that I am overjoyed about mpg figures and not addressing the Elephant in the room. Dieselgate.

Ignoring wrongdoings and carrying on as normal is such a middle-class thing to do. That’s why we had the Iraq war, that’s why we are Brexit, that’s why Italy is being run by Mussolinis.

And that’s why I find the VW Tiguan so irritating. Will I learn to eventually love it? Right now I find it too overwhelmingly irritating to form an objective middle-class view.

 


 

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