VW Tiguan 2.0 BiTDI 240 4Motion R-Line (2016) review

Published:11 August 2016

2016 VW Tiguan 2.0 BiTDI R-Line review
  • At a glance
  • 3 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 2 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5

By James Dennison

Head of automotive video for CAR magazine and our sister website Parkers.co.uk

By James Dennison

Head of automotive video for CAR magazine and our sister website Parkers.co.uk

► New twin-turbo diesel Tiguan tested
► 0-62mph in 6.5sec, claimed 44mpg
► Hot Tiguan on sale now for £38k

Another version of the new Tiguan? Will they ever stop?

We know, they’ve been coming thick and fast – but this Tiguan is the latest car in the Volkswagen model range to be blessed with the group’s 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel motor. Consequently, this version stands somewhat of a chance of being more interesting than a cardboard box.

After all, the Tiguan has so far failed to fire us up. That’s not to say it’s a flawed car – the likely biggest-selling 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel version has proven itself a competent steed, as have other versions – but just one that’s devoid of character. 

While the compact SUV sector may not be crammed with the last word in flair and excitement, alternatives such as the Mazda CX-5 offer up more interesting methods of dispatching the supermarket dash, school run and motorway hack. This new Tiguan, however, can sprint from 0-62mph in just 6.5sec. So, is this the unruly cousin that’ll liven up the family party? 

Tell me more about this new engine, then.

It follows the little-turbo-big-turbo blueprint, the first providing boost under 3200rpm and the second taking over when things get serious. Delve into the engine’s oily bits and potential buyers would be forgiven for thinking they were looking at the latest hot-rod hatchback rather than a diesel family car – as well as a new high-performance cylinder head, modifications have been made to the crankshaft, block, connecting rods and pistons.

Any new tech on offer?

Volkswagen is rolling out its security and service feature for the first time on its non-electric cars. This means the twin-turbo Tiguan benefits from an emergency service response system similar to Vauxhall’s OnStar system; run into trouble and sensors fitted around the car will detect an impact, automatically sending help to your precise location.

In addition to the emergency call function, the car will inform its local dealership of an impending service, alert the driver to where it’s parked via a smartphone app and provide other vehicle status updates – such as fuel level and odometer reading.

Another potentially useful feature, if you’re handing the keys over to a shifty-looking airport valet, is the area notification function. This allows the owner to set a location that vehicle shouldn’t enter or leave at a given time. If it does, you’ll be notified. The system can even send alerts should the car exceed a pre-set speed limit.

Speaking of fun, what’s it like to drive?

Just like a regular Tiguan, so stable, safe and – alas – not particularly exciting. The 237bhp diesel does a passable job of livening things up, but it never feels quite as muscular as you might expect – no doubt in part due to the Tiguan’s 1.8-tonne kerb weight. The engine also doesn’t sound any different to the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel, either, denting its appeal.

Stand on the throttle from a standstill and you’ll get a timely reminder of the 369 ft lb on offer, with the wheels chirping at the upshifts into second and third. Such squeals are about as exhilarating as it gets, unfortunately; the Tiguan’s safe handling doesn’t stray far from the predictability of lower-powered models. You could argue that this makes sense, given its target market and usage – but a little more involvement or excitement, particularly given that it’s a flagship version, wouldn’t go amiss.

A word about the optional 20-inch wheels – as decent as they might look, give them a whiff of broken road surface and the sensation of broken bitumen is translated into the cabin with jarring accuracy.


The Tiguan remains a competent car which carries much, cruises elegantly and provides enough toys to keep the whole family entertained. Spec the twin-turbo TDI engine and you’ll be awarded with an extra dose of speed and little else, with its lesser single-turbo brethren doing everything else just as well for less money.

Read more Volkswagen reviews


Price when new: £38,000
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 1968cc twin-turbo 4cyl diesel, 237bhp @ 4000rpm, 369lb ft @ 1750-2500rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, all-wheel drive
Performance: 6.5sec 0-62mph, 142mph, 44mpg, 167 g/km CO2
Weight / material: 1795kg/steel and aluminium
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4486/2099/1632

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  • 2016 VW Tiguan 2.0 BiTDI R-Line review
  • 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan BiTDI R-Line review
  • 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan BiTDI R-Line review
  • 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan BiTDI R-Line review
  • 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan BiTDI R-Line review

By James Dennison

Head of automotive video for CAR magazine and our sister website Parkers.co.uk