11 June 2018

Volkswagen Tiguan 2018 Car Review

Volkswagen’s Tiguan has long been a favourite of some of our testers, not for a flashy engine or standout looks, indeed it’s a bit unexciting, but because its designers clearly thought long and hard about its likely intended function – as a family runabout.

vw Tiguan jm3 18
VW Tiguan
vw Tiguan jm5 18
VW Tiguan
vw Tiguan jm6 18
VW Tiguan
vw Tiguan jm9 18
VW Tiguan
vw Tiguan jm10 18
VW Tiguan
vw Tiguan jm13 18
VW Tiguan

They then designed-in many small, user-friendly features that won’t appear large on petrolhead lists, but will always ease family life, and were careful to think each likely use through to its end. Not for Tiguan the luggage blind which removes so third-row seats can be used – then has nowhere to go. Here’s a space beneath the boot floor, behind the third row, tailored to fit. Not for Tiguan mums and dads the struggle to clean spilled sticky drinks from carpet, clothes and upholstery – there’s not just a fold-down picnic table for two row-two kids, but pull-out cupholders on each to keep those drinks stable.

This Allspace seven-seater launched back in mid February, and we sampled the R-Line petrol 4WD version, selling for $72,990, an eye-watering $25,000 more than the entry-level Allspace 2WD.

But that sells with just a 1.4-litre engine, and considerably less fruit. Our test mount instead packed the 1984cc turbo, mated to VW’s seven-speed double-clutch auto to deliver 162kW and 350Nm to all four wheels. Perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise, then, that the R-Line is rated as the sportiest Allspace, and this petrol version – there’s also a diesel – packs a claimed zero to 100kph time of 6.8 seconds.

Though virtually all the Allspace’s body panels are different to its five-seat stablemate, it’s pretty much a stretched version of the Tiguan we’re now familiar with.

But as well as the extra space, it comes with a fully digital instrument cluster display and an eight-inch screen with which to access the touchscreen infotainment. Those pews are as comfy as expected – certainly according to a passenger we trapped aboard for a three-hour trip, plus return. Better still, the bendy, bumpy rural stretch which featured large during our test period proved that at a brisk and efficient pace it feels confident, accurate, and generally able to absorb most of the lumps and bumps which would show up a cut-price set of suspenders.

As for the useful bits, there’s a handy lever to fold the rear seatbacks down, and right next to it, proof that VW filched a few ideas from Skoda, hence the boot light which doubles as a pop-out torch that charges as you drive. Hence row-two seat bases that slide to and fro into five different positions, and row-two backrests which lean further to improve passenger snoozes.

Either the passenger side second row seats, or the driver side, slide and lean forward a fair way to ease access to row three, which has a reasonable footwell compared to many, there’s a third-row cupholder and cubby atop each wheel arch, shopping bag hooks which fold out from the boot sides, vents and temperature controls for the rear seats, plus USB and a 12-volt charger. Tiguan Allspace kids are far from the second-class citizens they are in many ostensibly family vehicles, in part because row-two leg room is up considerably from the five-seater.

If a three-child family needs to assist with a car pool school run, the two third-row seats are spacious enough for kids: lanky teens and adults may disagree. If luggage is their priority, row three folds away completely flat, and if the kids are left home while that boxed bicycle is collected for Christmas, both rear rows easily fold as flat as the proverbial pancake.

No wonder this is the world’s third-placed model for this breed, behind Toyota’s RAV4 and Honda’s CR-V, and no wonder it’s been New Zealand’s most popular VW when there was only the five-seater to hold the Tiguan fort. The Allspace is spacious, practical, and though it’s hardly exciting, it’s very good at what it does – and after all, the last thing you want when driving a fully loaded seven-seater is thrills: that it deals to the transport requirements which come with parenting without fuss is generally more than enough.

VW expects Allspace variants to double Tiguan sales here. The lower-priced versions may face stiff competition from its Skoda Kodiaq stablemate, but despite its higher price, this R-Line will find fans among those who may appreciate safe and sensible, but still hanker after some extra power.

At a glance


VW Tiguan Allspace R-Line


1984cc turbo petrol



ANCAP safety rating

Not yet tested

Power and Torque

162kW at 4420rpm to 6250rpm, 350Nm from 1500rpm to 4400rpm


Seven-speed DSG auto

Fuel economy


Towing capacity




Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

700 litres with two seat rows in use, row 2 pushed forward, 1775 litres with rear two rows folded

Safety systems

Forward collision warning and auto emergency brake

Lane Assist and rear traffic alert

Park distance control front and rear with parallel park assit and area view camera

Cruise control with speed limiter and rest assist

Driver featigue protect

Bluetooth with voice control

Head-up display

Tyre pressure monitoring system

Previous review
Next review
Toyota Hilux 2018 Car Review
Read more
Toyota Prius 2018 Car Review
Read more