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Detroit show: VW stretches Tiguan SUV

Spaced out: The Tiguan Allspace is has a 2+3+2 seating configuration, with the vehicle now 215mm longer from end to end at 4704mm.

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace seven-seater emerges ahead of 2018 Aussie debut

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Volkswagen logo9 Jan 2017

By TERRY MARTIN

VOLKSWAGEN has presented the long-wheelbase seven-seat version of its Tiguan mid-size SUV at the Detroit motor show this week, ahead of its North American and European release later this year and an Australian debut set down for the first quarter of 2018.

Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) has confirmed that the stretched version of the second-generation Tiguan launched in September last year will carry the European ‘Allspace’ moniker upon its arrival here and will be offered with a high level of specification, meaning all-wheel drive and higher-series engines are to be expected.

Details accompanying its presentation in Motown this week show the 2+3+2 Allspace has had its wheelbase lengthened by 110mm – now measuring 2791mm – and overall length extended 215mm to 4704mm to accommodate the third row.

Volkswagen describes the vehicle as a “supremely spacious car” and “a true space giant” that offers an extra 60mm of knee room for rear passengers and an additional 115 litres of cargo volume, the latter now ranging from 730 litres to 1770L.

The five-seater version offers up to 615L of luggage space with all seats in place, extending to 1645L with the second row seats folded down.

The sliding/reclining seat feature in the second row carries over to the seven-seat model, which is built on the same MQB modular transverse architecture underpinning a host of VW Group models, including the Mk7 Golf.

While the US market will only sell the long-wheelbase Tiguan, VGA will follow Europe in offering the Allspace alongside the regular five-seat version which racked up some 3400 sales in the four months that it was on sale in Australia last year – an 850-unit-a-month return that, if VW can maintain, will see it crack 10,000 this year and become the brand’s second-biggest-selling model behind the Golf.

The stretched version is certain to boost sales further, and will carry other distinguishing traits such as styling revisions – the model shown in Detroit was tweaked to look similar to the larger new Atlas SUV (also appearing at the show, but not on the agenda for Australia) – as well as a “much enhanced standard specification”.

Slight modifications to the design of the bonnet and grille are evident, the former built higher and with a different contour at the front end while the chrome bars on the grille were adapted to blend in with the styling change.

At the rear end, the longer overhang is obvious and the side window in the rear pillar is also described as “much larger” than in the short-wheelbase version.

In Europe, where the Allspace will debut at the Geneva motor show in March ahead of a sales launch in the second half of 2017 (with base pricing from around €30,000/$A43,200), the long-wheelbase Tiguan will be available with both front- and four-wheel-drive variants and across three trim levels: Trendline, Comfortline and Highline.

Three petrol (TSI) and three diesel (TDI) engines will be offered in Europe, with the TSI output ratings at 110kW, 132kW and 162kW, and the oil-burners available in 110kW, 140kW and 176kW guise.

Australian specifications are still to be finalised. However, as GoAuto has reported, VGA will concentrate on AWD and higher-output engines, which indicates that the 110kW versions will not be offered here.

In Europe, all versions above 110kW come with AWD and a DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission as standard.

Further to the high level of safety and comfort and convenience features already built in to the Tiguan as standard, Volkswagen is using the Allspace to introduce a new generation of infotainment systems, including a top-of-the-line unit that has no conventional switches or buttons and is instead operated using a tablet-like glass surface.

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