► Stretched Tiguan with more room
► Extended wheelbase and 7-seat option
► Bigger boot, extra passenger space
In the USA they’re only getting one version of the VW Tiguan, and it’s not the same one we have over here in Europe. It’s an elongated version that we’re having too, but over here it’s called the Tiguan Allspace.
Why sell two body styles of the same car? Well, why not? Wolfsburg’s mid-size SUV is a veritable sales success. It’s currently the third most popular Volkswagen in the UK.
Sales projections for the Allspace are that it’ll account for a fifth of UK Tiguan sales, which adds up to a significant enough margin to introduce it to the range.
Why would I buy a VW Tiguan Allspace?
The main reason is because it’s bigger. You’ve got the option of seven seats, though the third row really isn’t suitable for humans over playgroup size.
It’s demonstrably roomier in the back of the car in general, however – it might not look like it from the design, but from the B-pillar back this is a different vehicle to the regular Tiguan, with the wheelbase stretched by 109mm to make more room in cabin and boot.
In five-seat mode rear legroom extends by a welcome 60mm, while the boot grows in capacity from 615 litres to 760. Convert to two-seater mode and you’re offered a van-like 1920 litres, making the Allspace’s lifestyle credentials significantly more compelling.
And to capitalise on the extra usefulness, we’re expecting the Allspace’s trim levels to be a step up from the standard Tiguan. Precise details haven’t been finalised for the UK at time of publication – we’ll have to wait until order books open in December 2017 – but expect a base level called SE Nav, which is expected to be the most popular version when coupled with a 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel, six-speed manual ’box and VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system.
Hang on, aren’t SUVs like this usually more popular with two driven wheels?
In the main, yes, but VW reckons the added premium they’re building in and the obvious lifestyle appeal over the standard model will mean more customers want the extra capability of AWD. They might actually take their cars off road…
If that’s the case, there’s going to be a more extreme version catering for their needs. An off-road package will be offered just like on the conventional Tiguan, featuring extra underbody skid plates and a ramp angle increased by seven degrees.
Kit we’re expecting to appear on the Allspace pricelist, as part of the trim structure or options, includes:
- Gesture control
- Head-up display
- The latest VW Discover Navigation Pro infotainment
- Digital instrument display
- VW’s latest safety and driver assistance tech
So how does the Allspace drive?
Somewhat unsurprisingly, almost exactly like the standard Tiguan.
We tried a couple of diesel motors – both with seven-speed DSG - including the 148bhp mentioned above. And it’s fine, if a little vocal (and not in a good way) at idling speeds. The 237bhp diesel is a far more interesting proposition, as was ever thus. The extra punch makes its presence known on the road and since the price will be higher, we suspect sales will be stronger for this powertrain.
While we weren’t offered a chance to try any petrol engines, they’re projected to account for just 5% of sales – clearly Dieselgate has yet to impact VW’s family mid-SUV buyers.
Its handling is fractions of a degree more interesting, too. The stretched wheelbase has a positive effect on high-speed cornering performance in particular, allowing the adaptive suspension a moment longer to settle when encountering mid-bend bumps.
You’d be hard-pushed to notice any other dynamic differences, but that’s not a bad thing. The Tiguan might not be the visceral handling sensation that Alfa’s Stelvio would like to think it is, but VW’s effort is a safe, confident set-up that just works.
All in all, the Allspace’s differences add up to more than the sum of its parts. We can see a genuine market for it, but not just as a seven-seater – it doesn’t do that job particularly well anyway. See Seat’s long-serving Alhambra MPV for a lesson in how that’s done properly.
It’s more interesting as a five-perch practicality paragon; preferably in off-road spec.
The only issue here is pricing. At time of publication the jump from standard Tiguan (Stiguan) to Allspace (Biguan) is still to be determined. We’re told it could be around £1000-£2000 for equivalent-spec cars, but that’s certainly not set in stone. So we can’t tell you whether it’s worth it just yet – only that it’s a predictably polished effort.