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Volkswagen Tiguan Singapore Review 2022 - 2.0 TSI DSG Elegance (A)

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

In its latest iteration, the base Elegance trim of the Volkswagen Tiguan mid-size SUV gets a 2.0 TSI petrol engine - up from the previous 1.4 TSI petrol engine as well as 4-Motion all wheel drive over its predecessor's front wheel drive. Standard features include automatic climate control, heated front seats, 8 inch infotainment system, 19 inch alloy wheels, and a multi-function steering wheel - Oddly though, there is an obvious omission of safety features such as blind spot monitoring, lane keep assistance, or any sort of collision braking system. The Tiguan comes with adjustable driving modes allowing you to select between 4 driving modes.

The Volkswagen Tiguan has enjoyed a rather illustrious history in Singapore that reaches as far back as 2009, and has consistently been a popular choice among value minded consumers who were seeking a continental driving experience - but at reasonable prices. One could say that this formula of being a well built, family friendly continental SUV, priced among less capable Japanese counterparts has served the Tiguan well. It is therefore no surprise that the latest Volkswagen Tiguan has continued to bring forth this same value proposition to buyers in Singapore.

For me, one of the shortcomings of Tiguans in the past has always been styling in the way that the front end never looked quite in sync with its rear end. Thankfully, this has changed, and the Tiguan's design today could be described as more complete, and more well rounded. Visually, the Tiguan looks bigger now, thanks to muscular and boxy lines that make the car look larger than it is - a positive thing when it comes to perceived value. In the test car's Elegance trim, I find it hard to feel excited about the design, but I must say that the R-Line car is extremely handsome and abundantly beautiful to look at.

The interior is simple, clean, and well built. There aren't a lot of premium materials around, but whatever you can see and touch is screwed on tight, with the build quality of something much more premium. Everything is also logically laid out in the car, and there are no surprises when it comes to the functionality of the Tiguan's cabin, except maybe the fact that the infotainment unit still only offers wired Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Some might argue that the squared out approach to the Tiguan's styling is a little boring, but it is a logical design, and one that quite succinctly sums up the Tiguan's target demographic - Logical, practical, and discerning people.

You see, the Tiguan offers up a really solid resume, and for its price, offers consumers extremely good value. For starters, one must consider the segment that the Tiguan sits in. In terms of size, the Tiguan sits in the ballpark segment of the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5. However, in terms of price, it sits in the same segment as the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3. To put things simply, the Tiguan punches above its weight, and absolutely demolishes most other continental SUVs in its price point. While it does lose out in terms of wheelbase length to the X3 and the Q5, the Tiguan does have a significantly larger boot - which is actually due to the need to accommodate the Allspace 7 seat variant of the Tiguan which we don't get here in Singapore. All things considered, the Tiguan is still extremely spacious in the rear, offering rear occupants a generous amount of legroom and headroom that will serve a young family very well indeed. As far as 5 seater SUVs go, the Tiguan could be, pound for pound, one of the best choices out there today.

Personally, I quite liked the 1.4L R-Line version of the Tiguan from before, and I thought that the car offered a good balance of performance, economy, and aesthetics. The new Tiguan however, comes with a 2.0 turbocharged power plant mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission with 4motion all wheel drive as standard. While the additional power is always appreciated and helps propel the Tiguan from 0 - 100km/h in a spritely 7.4 seconds, I don't think that the Tiguan's drivetrain is as well specified as it could have been. If you subscribe to the idea that the average Tiguan buyer is logical, practical and discerning, then the extra gains from the 2.0L power plant feels a little bit unnecessary for the demographic that it serves, especially when consumers already know that the Tiguan performs perfectly well with a smaller power unit. While all wheel drive functionality did offer me a little bit more confidence during rainy days, I ultimately also found it a little bit redundant, especially if it exists at the expense of fuel economy. It is also unrealistic to imagine that a Singaporean would ever use their Tiguan for any sort of off-roading.

Don't get me wrong - the Tiguan is an excellent car to drive, and to me, offers a driving dynamic that is decidedly superior to any Japanese SUV in the same price bracket. It also handles very well around corners thanks to relatively stiff shocks that help the Tiguan stay level. However, the Tiguan I would buy would be the one that comes with Volkswagen's excellent 1.5L mild hybrid engine in a front wheel drive setup, and in R-Line trim. That way, its still adequately quick, decently economical for its size, and looks awesome.


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