► Updated Tiguan Allspace revealed
► Prices from around £30,000
► Semi-autonomous driving mode available
Keep reading to learn about the new VW Tiguan Allspace. Or skip to the standard Tiguan, Tiguan R, technology masterclass, VW Tiguan hybrid, petrol and diesel engine options
The wraps have come off the seven-seat version of Volkswagen's bestselling car – the Tiguan.
The Tiguan Allspace now has the same updates fitted as the regular Tiguan (more info below). Chief among the changes are a sharper front end, new interior technology, and added safety equipment.
Trim levels and prices are yet to be confirmed, but expect prices to start from around £30,000. Orders will begin in late May 2021, with first deliveries in the UK pencilled in for October 2021.
The main difference between the Allspace and regular Tiguans is the size. The XL Tiguan's wheelbase is 110mm longer than the standard car's, making space for the seven-seat option. Models with back-row seating have a 700/1755-litre boot (seats up/seats down), while standard five-seat cars get 760/1920. Towing weight is up to 2.5 tonnes.
Cosmetic changes are in line with the rest of the Tiguan range. There's a restyled front end including VW's sophisticated matrix LED headlights, plus new 18-inch alloy wheels. There are two new colours to choose from, too – Onyx White and Kings Red.
Inside it looks a lot more modern. The climate controls are now touch-sensitive sliders, much like you'll find elsewhere within the VW Group. Volkswagen's latest infotainment system is installed too. It's available with an eight-inch or 9.2-inch screen. Size will depend on trim level.
The biggest technology upgrade is the addition of Travel Assist. This is VW's semi-autonomous system. It can take control of the steering, throttle and brakes at up to 130mph. Opt for an auto and it'll work from a standstill.
The Tiguan Allspace will receive a 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine, a 187bhp 2.0-litre, or a 242bhp 2.0-litre. The 2.0-litre engines get four-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
There are two diesel options. Both are 2.0 litres. One has 148bhp while the other has 197bhp. The more powerful comes with four-wheel drive as standard, but it can be optioned on the 148bhp model too.
The e-Hybrid model (more below) will also be available with the Allspace.
2021 Tiguan updates
In 2019 alone, more than 900,000 Tiguans were built, making it the best-selling car in the entire VW Group. So any update, any change to the formula is a critical moment.
A thoroughly revised Tiguan range for 2021 reflects that, with a bit of plastic surgery on the front end to bring the SUV closer to the rest of the VW family, along with tidied up bumpers and trim to keep it fresh from all angles, as well as bold badging that's in vogue for so many marques now.
It isn't just the exterior that's been cleaned up. As you might expect, the powertrains mostly focus on emissions and cleaner motoring, from dual-AdBlue systems (twin-SCR) for reduced NOx to a full plug-in hybrid model (the eHybrid, breaking the GTE nomenclature of other VWs, but retaining a GTE mode).
Whether the larger variant will come with the same choice of plug-in hybrid and high-performance R models will have to be confirmed.
Hot new Tiguan R, for fast families
There's one powertrain that's new to the Tiguan and not focused on fuel-saving first, and it's in the all-wheel-drive, torque-vectoring, cross-country racing R. That's not to say it isn't green – efficiency is crucial for getting 319bhp from the revised 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder – but there's a Race mode, rather than a prominent Eco one.
Visually, the Tiguan R goes further than the R-line 'sports' appearance package, with 21-inch Estoril alloy wheels, R-specific bumpers and arch extensions, and a rear diffuser. Upgraded dynamic chassis control (DCC) adaptive suspension places it 10mm closer to the ground, with more powerful brakes, featuring 18-inch discs (barely) concealed by the immense wheels providing stopping power to match the expected performance.
Want one? VW says it'll cost you £45,915 in the UK.
Across all versions of the Tiguan, the refreshed interior reflects a greater focus on in-car technology and driver assistance, though it's not quite as dramatic as the Innovision cockpit or the Golf 8.0's dominant dual-display set-up. More processing power and connectivity for the latest 'MIB3' infotainment system translate into over-the-air software updates, voice control and direct music streaming services for the driver. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available.
Modernising the Tiguan further, the control surfaces are now touch panels instead of hardware buttons, some offering multiple functions; the same ability is reflected in the new optional steering wheel controls.
Striking a balance between touchscreen modernity and common sense, though, the climate control panel is still a separate entity – just touch sensitive, rather than poke-sensitive. All-new Golf-style controls have been mapped across an older generation of interior, and it remains to be seen how effective this will be.
There's a lot more going on underneath the reassuringly functional dashboard design; upgraded driver assistance and autonomy, with a touch-sensitive steering wheel for driver detection, and upgraded LED matrix lighting. The latter includes scrolling indicators front and rear, 'greeting' animations and dynamic illumination of the road ahead. It even has illuminated USB-C ports.
VW claims the upgraded Travel Assist includes better 'soft' verge detection, making the lane-keeping more useful in rural environments – complementing the predictive adaptive cruise control which uses GPS and road signs to adapt to bends, roundabouts and junctions. Improved pedestrian awareness for the autonomous emergency braking adds to the safety features when using the semi-autonomous modes.
So, there's an R for those who want to drive, and for everyone else the Tiguan will do more of the driving for you.
Practical performance: Tiguan eHybrid
The Tiguan plug-in uses the proven combination of 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and 13kWh battery pack, offering up to 31 miles of zero-emission electric range. The combination isn't exactly low-power, either – it develops around 243bhp, but reflecting the desire to reduce local emissions starts in E-Mode when fully charged.
While speaking at a digital presentation of VW’s PHEV plans, Dr Kai Philipp – the brand’s project manager for electrified powertrains – told us that ‘surveys with Volkswagen customers have shown that a total electric range from 50 to 70km [31-43 miles] fits the need of our customers.’
It also fits the current benchmark for plug-in cars to save a meaningful amount through the UK's benefit-in-kind taxation system, so that's convenient...
Why not use the newer, 1.5-litre TSI Evo engine with cylinder deactivation tech? Philipp explained that the 1.4 TSI has been specifically designed to be part of a PHEV.
That PHEV roll-out also includes a Golf ‘eHybrid’ for continental Europe, and an Arteon PHEV – both in four-door coupe and shooting brake estate shapes.
Traditional power: petrol and diesel options
As VW's best-seller, it makes sense to cover the most bases with the powertrain, particularly as this is a 'world-car' that is offered – and produced – in a wide variety of territories. For Europe and the UK, you can expect a relatively narrow range of engines, optional 4Motion all-wheel-drive, and competitive pricing somewhere between Seat and Audi's five-seater SUVs.
TDI engines benefit from 'twin-dosing' SCR (AdBlue) for lower NOx emissions.
There are four trim levels – Tiguan, Life, Elegance and R-Line; all feature LED lighting, autonomous emergency braking and a minimum of 6.5-inch infotainment, with features such as adaptive cruise control, roof rails, climate control joining the specification on Life.
Higher-end models get larger infotainment, a 10-inch digital instrument display and additional convenience features. Advanced IQ features – such as the LED matrix headlights – are reserved for the highest specifications, though that may vary with the option packages offered in the UK.
One option that is confirmed is a 480W Harman/Kardon sound system.
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