The Teutonic alternative
Just when the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V were making a killing in the crossover game, German giant Volkswagen decided to enter the game a bit late by introducing the Tiguan in the global market in 2007.
This Teutonic SUV managed to gain moderate success globally, and in 2013 the domestic market finally got a taste of the Tiguan. Unfortunately, the market felt shortchanged since the variant came with the old platform which is a deal breaker in my book. Volkswagen re-introduced the Tiguan this year with a lot of expectations from a misjudged market. Will it be a game changer and have more amenities that will justify its P2.2M price tag?
The folks at Volkswagen PH provided me with the smaller, standard wheelbase version of the Tiguan. Despite its compact measurements, this model has grown by 3.1 inches in wheelbase specs in comparison to the previous model. The rear seats also offer more space and have tons of it at the rear compartment. This unit is powered by a rather “lazy” 1400 cc turbo gasoline engine, pumping out 149bhp with 250NM of torque. Volkswagen Ph says it has a turbo diesel unit version and I have already expressed my intent of driving one out for a long weekend.
In terms of handling, the Tiguan will vie to be the most crisp and sporty entrant in its segment, and will give its competitors, including the Mazda CX-5 a serious run for its money. This 2017 version is 100 pounds lighter and engineers tuned the chassis just right for comfortable long drives with a bit of body roll during cornering. This baby can run circles around the RAV4 and can go head to head with the Honda CR-V with blood on its nose. The only downside for this unit is the gasoline engine, which sadly pales in comparison with its Japanese counterparts. I bet the turbo diesel is the best bang for your buck. Style wise, the Tiguan can confidently hold its head up high with its chiseled features, LED front and rear lamp clusters and most importantly, you get that solid German feel. It feels like a comfortable armored personnel carrier. The dashboard layout is well designed and driver controls are idiot proof.
As much as we like the new Tiguan, we lament the fact that it is actually less powerful than its predecessor. In this Euro- spec version, it has all the mix to be a segment leader, with its tasteful design, rich materials, and high-end features. If the Tiguan is to carve its own niche in this Japanese dominated market, Volkswagen needs to equip its models with a “wow” factor. Filipinos are a picky bunch you know.