Car reviews - Volkswagen - Tiguan Allspace
Value, performance, efficiency, choice, safety, quality design, multimedia ease, driver-adaptive tech, smallish footprint
Room for improvement
Some DSG lag off the line, firm ride without the adaptive dampers, some rattles, LHD-biased third-row entry/egress, limited warranty nowadays
Volkswagen’s Tiguan Allspace offers CX-9-rivalling space within petite packaging
3 Aug 2018
VOLKSWAGEN is forging ahead into new territory with a stretched seven-seat version of the popular Tiguan medium SUV known as the Allspace.
Sourced from Mexico instead of Germany, the newcomer brings an intriguing value proposition for buyers seeking a high quality, well-specified 5+2-seater crossover offering exceptional space and practicality for the size.
Volkswagen Group has come from nowhere to offer a pair of seven-seater superstars in the space of a year, first with the Skoda Kodiaq and now with the related Tiguan Allspace.
Both are based on the current Golf/Passat platform, bringing with them engineering and design smarts that help make them enjoyable as well as efficient alternatives to the somewhat larger offerings from Mazda (CX-9), Hyundai (Santa Fe) and Kia (Sportage), as well as the slightly smaller Nissan X-Trail and Honda CR-V.
A daft name for sure, but true to the claim, since the Tiguan Allspace is a surprisingly spacious and airy five-seater for adults, and a more-than-adequate +2 seater for people under 170cm tall.
The second-row bench benefits from a sliding and reclining pair of chairs offering impressive comfort and lots of vision, and all amenities like face-level ventilation, cubby holes, coat hooks and map pockets are present. As a regular SUV/wagon, this makes perfect sense.
It also has one of the largest cargo capacities when all seatbacks are in place, which is quite a surprise considering the comparatively compact 4.7-metre dimensions. And, of course, with the back two rows folded, there’s panel-van like space to stretch.
About the only minus points concern accessing and using the third row. If you’re over 170cm tall, or long-legged and wide of girth, forget it. Plus, to get there, two curb-side middle-row occupants have to get out rather than one, betraying the left-hand drive origins of this Mexican-made crossover. And once ensconced in that third row, the number of rattles and road noise from below the axle are quite noticeable. It’s a bit off-brand in that respect.
From the front-seat perspective, things improve markedly, as this could be any garden-variety Golf; this translates to high quality materials, excellent instrumentation (with the available ‘virtual cockpit’ digitised dials/multimedia), superb ventilation and all the storage space a family of six or seven could wish for. Or, in other words, the Allspace possesses all the premiumnness you’d expect from the VW badge.
The same goes for performance, since the engines are very familiar to anybody who has driven a modern VW. The 110TSI petrol opener is a sweet-revving, smooth-operating and lively performer with two bodies on board, and certainly sufficient as an urban runabout. Only the inevitable off-the-line lag that is endemic to DSG gearboxes irritate if you’re in a hurry to scoot off.
Where the newest VW really shines is in its dynamic alacrity, from the beautifully balanced steering and faithful handling to the supple ride – somewhat better in base form than the equivalent Tiguan SWB. Value plus to be explored here, we think.
Moving on to the expected best-sellers – the 2.0-litre four-pot turbo petrol 132TSI and wick-turned-up 162TSI range-topper – there’s more of everything – oomph, road-holding grip (aided by the all-wheel drive spec) and ride comfort if the 19-inch alloys are specified, since they also include adaptive dampers.
These introduce the sort of one-rung-above powertrain alternatives that elevate both the Allspace and the Kodiaq into premium territory. They’re not too expensive either, especially considering how much kit is standard for the money. The level of driver-assist tech is first class to boot.
The same applies to the 140TDI AWD diesel, which is a well-insulated and gutsy alternative for people who need the mile-munching ease that it so effortlessly provides. The front end is not quite as crisp as the athletic petrol versions, but as a relaxing cruiser, you can do a lot worse.
Which sums up the Tiguan Allspace perfectly. VW is clearly in for a fight among the burgeoning seven-seater set, offering the stretched-Golf experience that should suit buyers who want a bit of posh comfort and quality to go with everyday utility within a compact-ish package.
Like its Skoda cousin, the Allspace deserves to be a big hit.
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