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Volkswagen adds DSG to Tiguan 118 TSI

Sweet spot: The entry 118 TSI Tiguan now comes with a DSG auto option.

DSG automatic version of price-leading VW Tiguan 118 TSI touches down at $30,990

9 Aug 2013

VOLKSWAGEN Australia hopes it has just the tonic needed to turn around a nearly 20 per cent drop in Tiguan sales this year: a new entry level, front-drive DSG automatic version.

The company this week launches a six-speed auto version of its base 118 TSI front-drive price-leader, which until now was hobbled by its manual-only configuration. Almost all small and compact SUV sales in Australia feature self-shifting transmissions.

The German-made 118 TSI DSG hits the market right in the so-called ‘sweet spot’, priced at $30,990 plus on-road costs, or $2500 more than the existing manual version. This is $5000 cheaper than the previous base automatic Tiguan: the more powerful and all-wheel-drive 132 TSI Pacific.

The starting price gives Volkswagen a mainstream rival for the front-wheel drive Hyundai ix35 SE ($29,990), FWD Mazda CX-5 Maxx ($29,880) and FWD Kia Sportage Si ($27,490).

As with the manual version, the 118TSI DSG is powered by a turbocharged and supercharged 1.4-litre engine (familiar from the previous Golf) developing 118kW of power at 5800 rpm and 240Nm of torque between 1500 and 4000rpm.

The claimed 0-100km/h sprint time is identical for both at 8.9 seconds, while fuel economy is up 0.4 litres to a claimed (and still very strong for the class) 7.3L/100km on the combined cycle. Fuel-saving measures such as idle-stop and brake energy re-generation are standard fare.

3 center imageDaytime running lights, Auto Hold (which stops the car creeping forward in traffic until you engage the accelerator), cruise control, Bluetooth streaming, a multifunction steering wheel and six airbags are all standard.

It’s no secret that small and compact SUV sales are booming in Australia. The Tiguan’s segment is up 16.5 per cent this year, making it one of the fiercest and fastest growing of any. However, Tiguan sales between January and July were down 18.3 per cent to 3822 units year-to-date.

Volkswagen’s contender is one of only three mainstream models down on sales this year – the other pair being the Yeti from subsidiary brand Skoda and the recently updated Mitsubishi ASX.

The addition of the auto 118 TSI will give these sales a welcome booster shot, although Volkswagen Australia general manager of communications Karl Gehling stopped short of predicting it would become the top-seller in the range.

“It is clearly well positioned, however, the diesel Tiguan 103TDI is the established leader in the range,” he said.

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