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Turbo-petrol variants of VW's first compact SUV show Tiguan is no one trick wonder

11 Dec 2008

AS THE dust is settling on the market shift away from the traditional large family car and large SUV, the compact SUV is beginning to appear as the new definition of the family car. Volkswagen finally introduced a competitor for this hotly contested segment earlier this year with its Tiguan 103TDI. While the Tiguan was released with this diesel model in May - as supply constraints meant Volkswagen could only have one engine variant to begin with - the range is now being rounded out with two direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine variants, the 125TSI and 147TSI.
Model release date: 1 December 2008 to 1 September 2011

Previous model

Volkswagen Golf Country

Released: Not sold in Australia
Family Tree: Tiguan

Given its very late arrival to the compact SUV segment, who would have thought that Volkswagen would have built such a vehicle well before anyone had even thought of the term? While VW was not the only manufacturer to experiment with a light-duty, high-clearance all-wheel drives - Toyota did with the Tercel and Subaru made its name with such vehicles from the 1970s on - the VW experiment was the 1989 Golf Country, built on the then-current A2 Golf platform. Using a viscous-coupled on-demand AWD system, the Country also features underbody protection plates, a suspension lift (to 180mm), bullbar, rear swing-away spare wheel carrier and a 77kW 1.8-litre eight-valve petrol engine (with a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel option). Only around 6500 Countrys were built - all in left-hand drive - with the majority sold in Europe and a handful making to Japan.

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