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Driven: VW Tiguan Allspace seven-seater checks in

Aided by freer supply, the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace could double series’ volumes

Volkswagen logo3 Aug 2018

VOLKSWAGEN Australia is expecting its long-wheelbase (LWB) Allspace seven-seater to make up at least half of all Tiguan sales as production issues continue to constrict supplies of the regular wheelbase version.

 

Aimed at a disparate bunch of rivals from the Nissan X-Trail to the Mazda CX-9, the Mexican-made medium SUV starts from $40,490 plus on-road costs for the base 110TSI Comfortline 2WD petrol.

 

Given VW has had to halt sales of the base 110TSI five-seat Tiguan due to an industry-wide fuel consumption and emissions testing backlog brought on by the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), the entry price for the seven seater actually undercuts its German-built five-seater sibling by $2000.

 

With all diesel-powered short-wheelbase (SWB) five-seat Tiguans dropped for the same reason, VW Australia believes the unaffected Allspace will soak up consumers that might have otherwise gone to another brand, while bringing new buyers to the marque.

 

According to Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) managing director Michael Bartsch, the Allspace has the potential to double total monthly Tiguan volume to an unprecedented 1500 sales a month, but he expects 1200 units is more likely.

 

“If I had to say ‘gut feeling’, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be selling 1500 a month, but we’re not planning on that,” he told GoAuto at the Tiguan Allspace launch in Melbourne this week.

 

“We think if we can do a steady 1100 to 1200 units per months we’ll be doing quite well, combined short and long wheelbase.

 

“At this stage we think the (sales split) will be at pretty well 50/50. We’re not actually 100 per cent sure how that will materialise. We’ve never had a seven seater in the range, so we’re expecting that we will get a lot of considerers that we’ve never had before.

 

“I don’t think there will be so much substitution (between the two Tiguans) … people who haven’t considered a Volkswagen before will come into it. We’ll wait and see how that goes.

 

“On the SWB we’ve been running 700 to 800 (units per month), but the problem we have is we haven’t really tested the market because we haven’t had supply. That’s a real challenge … almost across (the range), certainly in Golf, Polo, Tiguan – we don’t really know at the moment what the potential is.”

 

With 6146 registrations so far this year, the Tiguan SWB has managed an average monthly rate of 878 units, but all remaining 110TSI Comfortline and diesel stock is expected to dry up by October.

 

For now, the German SUV outsells the Subaru Forester (5782 units) for seventh place behind the segment-leading Mazda CX-5 (16,080), Toyota RAV4 (13,623), Nissan X-Trail (12,127), Hyundai Tucson (11,770), Honda CR-V (10,100), Mitsubishi Outlander (9187) and Kia Sportage (8301).

 

Mr Bartsch said sourcing out of North America rather than Europe favours the Allspace as the Mexican plant is not subject to WLTP.

 

“The Tiguan has really been selling as that classic one or two cars short of demand,” he said. “We haven’t had the pipeline that we ideally want.

 

“We’re expecting Mexico to be a better supply line, it has not been impacted quite by the same WLTP issues and obviously the supply priority has always been the northern hemisphere when it’s coming from Germany … so we’re expecting to be a little bit better provided for out of Mexico.”

 

As with the Tiguan SWB, VW expects the Allspace sales split to favour petrol variants, with the range-topping 162TSI Highline AWD ($52,990) expected to snare about 40 per cent of volume, followed by the 132TSI Comfortline AWD with about 25 per cent, leaving the 110TSI Comfortline 2WD and 110TDI Comfortline with 15 per cent apiece and the 140TDI Highline diesel AWD on 10 per cent.

 

VGA Passenger Vehicles product marketing manager Jeff Shafer said buyers will not care about the Allspace’s Mexican heritage given they are engineered the same way as the German-built five-seat model.

 

“I don’t think it will have any effect in the marketplace,” he said. “We’ve got cars from a number of different countries, and you can see the quality of the vehicle when you’re looking at it … and I don’t know you’ll be able to pick it from observing the cars.”

 

Key visual differences between the five- and seven-seat Tiguans are the 215mm of extra length (to 4701mm), a corresponding wheelbase stretch (by 109mm to 2790mm), different bodywork aft of the B-pillar that brings with it wider rear doors and C-pillar side glass as well as 106mm of more rear overhang, a raised bonnet and more chrome in the grille. Weight penalties are in the region of 130kg-plus, give or take.

 

As reported back in June, the Tiguan Allspace five-tier line-up demands a $3000 to $4000 premium over the SWB equivalents, but Volkswagen says that its CX-9-matching wheelbase and a near class-best 230-litre luggage capacity in full seven-seater mode (and a 115L jump in five-seater configuration) go a long way in justifying the extra outlay, particularly to families requiring the extra load abilities.

 

Both share the same MQB modular transverse architecture underpinning the current Golf, so MacPherson strut-type front and a four-link multi-link rear suspension designs proliferate. Steering is via an electro-mechanical set-up offering an 11.5 metre turning circle.

 

The 110TSI’s 1.4-litre direct-injection petrol engine produces 110kW of power between 5000-6000rpm and 250Nm of torque between 1500-3500rpm, offering cylinder-deactivation technology to save fuel.

 

Only the front wheels are driven via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DSG), and averages 6.6 litres per 100km of fuel consumption, while emitting 151 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide emissions, and requiring 9.5 seconds to sprint to 100km/h.

 

All are a few degrees shy of the Tiguan SWB equivalent.

 

The 132TSI switches to an EA888 2.0-litre direct-injection petrol alternative delivering 132kW from 4387-6000rpm and 320Nm from 1500-4387rpm to all four wheels, via a seven-speed DSG and 4Motion part-time AWD system with off-road functions (including a Snow mode).

 

The results are 7.9L/100km, 181g/km of CO2, and 8.2s to 100km/h.

 

Next up is the anticipated best-selling 162TSI, using the same basic powertrain, but pumping out 162kW of power between 4300-6200rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1600-4200rpm.

 

It offers a 6.8s 0-100km/h time and averages 8.3L/100km and 191g/km. All petrol engines require 95 RON premium unleaded or higher.

 

Meanwhile, the Tiguan Allspace’s 2.0-litre TDI 4Motion turbo-diesel AWDs with seven-speed DSG come in two choices – a 110TDI making 110kW between 3500-4000rpm and 340Nm between 1750-3000rpm.

 

The 140TDI version offers 140kW and 400Nm (to 3200rpm).

 

Intriguingly, despite the latter’s stronger outputs, the 140TDI is slightly more frugal at 6.0L/100km (versus 6.1L); both average 159g/km for CO2 emissions, but there is a 1.3s gap to 100km/h at 8.6s). Both diesels require AdBlue urea solution.

 

Only the bigger diesel has a towing capacity of 2500kg, 100kg more than the petrol AWDs, 500kg better than the 110TDI and 700kg greater than the 110TSI.

 

All model year 2018 Tiguans now gain an electric tailgate, while the Allspace also features third-row airbags, an inch-larger alloys at 18-inches, keyless auto-entry with push-button start, and LED headlights.

 

Scoring a five-star ANCAP rating, these come on top of autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-keep assistance, front and rear parking sensors with auto reverse-park assistance, satellite navigation, three-zone climate control and auto on/off headlights and wipers already standard.

 

Another Tiguan range-wide update is adaptive dampers on all models offering 19-inch wheels (unavailable on the 110TSI), while adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert, a 9.2-inch touchscreen (up from 8.0in) and heated rear seats are also available.

 

Service intervals are every 12 months/15,000km, whichever comes first, while the warranty is for three years/unlimited kilometres.



2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace pricing*

 
110TSI Comfortline $40,490
132TSI Comfortline $45,490
110TDI Comfortline $46,990
162TSI Highline $52,990
140TDI Highline $54,490

*Excludes on-road costs


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