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Volkswagen Tiguan (2024 - ) review

Volkswagen has launched an all-new Tiguan SUV, with a much-improved plug-in hybrid system and artificial intelligence in the dashboard

Running costs for a Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen reckons the plug-in hybrid has enough electric range to cover 99 percent of an average driver’s journeys

What’s going to trip up the Tiguan in this section is its price. The most affordable version, using a 1.5-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine, is priced well above rivals from the likes of Hyundai and Kia. The posh R-Line specification and the plug-in hybrid engine cost considerably more. Some of that will be defrayed by running costs, at least potentially so, and that’s thanks to the Tiguan’s impressive 62-mile electric-only range on a full charge of its 19kWh battery. Indeed, Volkswagen reckons that’s enough electric range to cover 99 percent of an average driver’s journeys, so owners may not need to resort to petrol power very much at all. As with all plug-in hybrids, keep the battery charged up and running costs will be minimised. Those sticking with the diesel model are likely to get around 50mpg in daily driving but will pay a higher VED road tax rate than for the e-Hybrid. The mild-hybrid 1.5 petrol is likely to get around 40mpg on average.

Expert rating: 3/5

Reliability of a Volkswagen Tiguan

All of the engines are carried over from well-proven previous models

Volkswagen seems to have rediscovered its build-quality mojo with this Tiguan, and the impressive solidity of the cabin — and the fact that aside from the plug-in hybrid, all the engines are carried over from well-proven previous models — suggests that long-term reliability shouldn’t be an issue for the Tiguan. Choose the simplest 2.0-litre diesel version if you want the ultimate in reliability, but we doubt that the hybrids — which use the well-known 1.5-litre TSI petrol engines as their core — will give you much trouble. The much-improved infotainment system should also cause fewer headaches than before.

Expert rating: 4/5

Safety for a Volkswagen Tiguan

Even the most affordable versions come with an impressive suite of safety equipment

The latest Tiguan has not yet been assessed by Euro NCAP, but even the most affordable versions come with an impressive suite of safety equipment, including ISOFIX anchors on the outer two rear seats for child seats and the front passenger seat. Active safety systems include driver attention and drowsiness monitoring, road sign and speed limit recognition, lane change assist and lane keeping steering, emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, and a system that recognises if you’re about to turn across another car at a junction. All models get front and rear parking sensors, plus a reversing camera.

Expert rating: 4/5

How comfortable is the Volkswagen Tiguan

Comfort is the new Tiguan’s stock-in-trade

Comfort is the new Tiguan’s stock-in-trade. It starts with exceptionally supportive front seats (which are more or less identical to those used in the more luxurious Volkswagen Touareg SUV) which can be upgraded with heating, cooling and massaging functions. Space in the front of the cabin is excellent, but it’s even better in the rear where you’re unlikely to run out of legroom or headroom even with very tall passengers on board. The boot is large, holding 652 litres for diesel and petrol models, but shrinks a bit (to 490 litres) for the e-Hybrid model, as the high-voltage battery eats into boot space. Those in the back seats also get plenty of storage, with small pockets on the backs of the front seats for phones and earbud cases, as well as useful door bins. Crucially for kids and their comfort, the windows are also large and give a good view out.

Expert rating: 4/5

Features of the Volkswagen Tiguan

Major features are much easier to find, and the on-screen climate controls are far easier to use

Volkswagen, following several years of complaints about its fiddly and awkward infotainment systems, has gone back to scratch and developed a new system, called MIB4. The effort shows. Whether you’re using the standard 12.9-inch touchscreen or the monster 15-inch optional screen, the software now seems much more responsive and quicker to use, and its menu layout is more sensible. Major features are much easier to find, and the on-screen climate controls are far easier to use. The touch-sensitive ‘slider’ controls for heating and stereo volume below the screen are now backlit, so are easier to use at night, but they can still be over-sensitive to touch. Down on the centre console, and behind the twin (cooled) wireless phone charging pads, the Tiguan now gets a new physical switch — a neat little rotary controller that can take care of stereo volume or, at the swipe of its small built-in screen, also change the driving modes from Eco to Comfort to Sport. Swipe again, and it controls the ‘Atmospheres’ — a series of pre-loaded settings (labelled ‘Lounge’, ‘Joy’ and the like) which alter the interior lighting, stereo settings and climate settings to change the interior atmosphere. It’s a bit gimmicky, but you might have fun with it. There’s also integration of ChatGPT AI into the ‘IDA’ voice control system. The ChatGPT software doesn’t control anything on the car — so there are fewer worries about privacy or the machines taking over — but it’s there to provide entertainment (it’ll make up a story for your kids, for instance) or information (such as the history of a local landmark). It’s a bit clunky to use, and the overly robotic voice is a bit off-putting, but Volkswagen says it will improve and become more useful with software updates.

Expert rating: 4/5

Power for a Volkswagen Tiguan

The cabin’s comfort and the impressive refinement make it an effortless long-haul cruiser

Buyers can choose from a 2.0-litre 150-horsepower TDI diesel, or the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol mild-hybrid engine in two different power outputs at the basic end of the Tiguan lineup. These are bolstered by more powerful 2.0-litre petrol engines, and a more powerful diesel, but the stars of the show are likely to be the two plug-in hybrid e-Hybrid models. Both use the same 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine as their basis, and there’s a choice of versions. We’re testing the 204-horsepower version here. The battery pack has been increased in capacity over the old Tiguan plug-in hybrid (from 10kWh to 19kWh) and the effect of that is considerably more range — as mentioned, you can go for as much as 62 miles on one charge according to the official number, and that’s a realistic proposition, too. Get both the engine and the 85kW electric motor going at the same time, and there’s reasonable performance, but inevitably the Tiguan e-Hybrid’s chunky kerb weight takes the edge off things. Think of it as reasonably swift, rather than out and out fast. While the Tiguan handles safely, if unexcitingly, on a twisty road, it really comes into its own on a main road or motorway, where the cabin’s comfort and the impressive refinement make it an effortless long-haul cruiser. Buyers can fit the Tiguan with DCC Pro adaptive suspension as an option, with the promise of sharper handling and a softer ride, but most people will probably just leave the system in Comfort mode anyway, so it might not be worth the extra outlay.

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