Volkswagen's all-new 7-seat Tiguan Allspace driven - 'most sophisticated family car in SA'?
Pietermaritzburg, KZN - Volkswagen has launched its all-new Tiguan Allspace in April. Since the Touran is no longer sold in the local market, the Allspace is now the only seven-seat vehicle in the automaker's local range.
According to VW, the Tiguan is the best-selling SUV in its range in Europe. Since its launch in 2008, 25 600 units have been sold locally.
Why launch a bigger Tiguan?
VW SA's head of product and marketing, Stefan Buehrmann, says: "The company's market share in the segment is at a record new high and that international markets such as China, US and South Africa saw the need for a bigger and more versatile seven-seater.
"Thus making the Tiguan Allspace the most sophisticated family car in SA."
Image: Wheels24 / Janine Van der Post
Buehrmann says while the older generation model was selling between 250-300 units a month, the second-gen version was racking-up "450-500 cars per month resulting in a 14.2% of the segment market share."
There are only four models in the Allspace line-up, while the NWB retains its original range. The Allspace line-up comprises - 1.4 TSI 110kW DSG in Trendline trim, A 2.0-litre 132kW 4M DSG and a 2.0-litre 110kW TDI 4M DSG both in Comfortline and a 2.0-litre TSI 162kW TSI 4M DSG topping the range.
What's new on the Allspace
There are quite a number of changes to the Allspace compared to the NWB - normal wheel base Tiguan; notably, the bonnet is more raised, the grille revised the under-body protection is now available in grey/body colour, there is decorative badging and trapezoidal tailpipes.
How is it different?
The Allspace is longer than the NWB by 215mm and the wheelbase has increased by 110mm while the luggage space has grown by 115mm taking the total space to a whopping 1775 litres while the vehicle's width and wheel sizes have remained unchanged.
The second and third rows have a full flat configuration, with even the front passenger seat being able to go down. Legroom for front occupants has also increased by 60mm compared to the NWB.
If you're loading the boot with the third-row folded down and you realise you actually need more space, the second-seat backrests feature remote folding seats at the touch of a button. There's also a removable and rechargeable lamp in the rear.
Safety features include a trailer assistant system, parallel parking assist and adaptive cruise control while all models feature a 4Motion all-wheel drive off-road mode. There's also an off-road individual mode and modes for snow driving - if you're planning on visiting Lesotho with your Allspace.
Other goodies include hill assist and hill descent and an optional off-road package.
What's it like to drive?
We started off with the 110kW TDI diesel version, which is the only one in the line-up. The four-cylinder diesel unit, mated to a 7-speed DSG has 340Nm of torque available between 1750 and 3000rpm. Its prodigious torque means overtaking is a breeze.
VW reckons a combined fuel consumption of 6.6-litres/100km.
And while most SUVs these days drive like a hard-working bakkie, this feels more like driving a small sporty hatchback, despite its size. In fact, Buehrmann believes it drives more like a GTI...
We also sampled the 2.0-litre 132kW TSI model, but whether you're driving any of these models, when you put your foot down there's instant reaction from the engine. And for a car that's 4.48m long, that's awesome.
Image: Wheels24 / Janine Van der Post
The 132kW TSI engine is unique to the Tiguan range and VW reckons it's a more powerful alternative to the 110kW TDI Comfortline version with 320Nm at 1500 - 3940rpm. It's also mated to a 7-speed DSG and 4Motion, and also features stop/start technology with brake energy recuperation. VW claims a 7.7-litre/100km combined fuel consumption. The DSG 'box is seamless when changing gears with very little turbo lag hindering its performance.
The Tiguan Allspace handles exceptionally well despite its size and the GTI comparison is really not unfathomable once you're behind the wheel. The SUV is prepared to accept any challenge you present to it whether using cruise control on the long open road, or chucking it through KwaZulu-Natal's twisties surrounded by tall corn fields, it holds its own.
Its boot space is a sweet treat for those with families. The more stuff I can fit in the boot, the better. And like VW says there's "room for everything you need, and everything you don't" - that would definitely apply to me.