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First drive: Petrol power for new VW folks wagon

Price point: Tiguan 125TSI arrives priced from under $34,000.

Petrol versions of Volkswagen's compact SUV arrive to ease demand

11 Dec 2008

SIX months after releasing the Tiguan in 103TDI turbo-diesel, Volkswagen has just launched two petrol models of its compact SUV, in the 125TSI and 147TSI.

Both turbocharged models are expected to ease stock shortages that have pushed up the waiting lists for up to two years on specific orders since the 103TDI went on sale in late May.

The arrival of the petrol version gives Australia's newest compact SUV and the first from Volkswagen - the maker of the original 'folks wagon' - a cheaper entry price point in the category, which is quickly overtaking traditional wagons and SUVs as the preferred choice for families here.

The 125TSI manual is priced at $33,990 - $2000 less than what Volkswagen charges for the entry-level diesel model, the Tiguan 103TDI manual.

Like the diesel variants, the Tiguan petrol models are based on the B7 Passat model's front and mid-section floorpan and suspension, and use the current Golf V's tail section floorpan.

The driveline consists of a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic with tiptronic mode (standard on 147TSI), hooked up to a 4Motion Haldex-clutch all-wheel drive system.

The 125TSI is fitted with the turbocharged petrol EA888 2.0-litre engine that develops 125kW at 4300rpm and 280Nm of torque between 1700 and 4200rpm.

The 125TSI has a fuel consumption figure of 9.1L/100km for combined city/highway use, while the auto’s figure is 10.1L/100km. The 125TSI also has a 218g/km C02 emissions figure in manual form and emits 240gm/km as an auto.

The zero to 100km/h sprint time is 8.2 seconds for the manual and 9.2 seconds for the auto.

3 center imageThe 147TSI employs the same engine that's used in the Golf GTI, with maximum outputs of 147kW at 5100rpm and 280Nm between 1700 and 5000rpm, and comes with the six-speed auto transmission only.

The 147TSI consumes 10.1L/100km, emits 240g/km of C02 and accelerates to 100km/h in the same time as a 125TSI manual (8.2 seconds).

Both petrol engines require 98RON premium unleaded and fuel tank capacity is 64 litres for all Tiguan models.

Volkswagen says DSG automated manual transmissions are not fitted to the Tiguan because the heat build-up in potential off-road situations such as sand driving would put too much strain on them.

Although the Tiguan is not a rock-hopping off-roader, it has some track and sand driving capability. The Tiguan six-speed manual can be idled at 1000rpm with a vehicle speed of 6.69km/h, and for both transmissions an off-road option pack is offered which alters the throttle response, enhances traction control response, allows more lock-up of the ABS braking for better bite-through on loose gravel surfaces and activates Volkswagen’s version of hill descent control, that can set speed to a maximum speed of between 4km/h and 16km/h.

The rear bench seat is split 60-40 and it has 160mm of fore-aft adjustment.

The luggage area can store up to 395 litres in volume and up to 1510 litres when the rear seats are folded. Payload is 650kg.

Standard equipment on the Tiguan 125TSI includes 16-inch alloy wheels, black painted roof-rails, cruise control, a multi-function steering wheel, ABS brakes with EBD and Brake Assist, ESP stability control, front/front side/side curtain airbags, semi-automatic air-conditioning, an electronic park brake with hill-hold function and a radio/CD player with MP3 compatibility, auxiliary input and eight speakers.

There is also height adjustment for the front seats and the centre front armrest, powered and heated side mirrors, power windows and remote central locking.

To these features the 147TSI adds 17-inch alloy wheels with 235/55R17 tyres, chrome roof-rails, tinted windows at the rear (up to 65 per cent light absorbing), sports seats in upgraded cloth with Alcantara inserts and with height-adjustable lumbar supports, a folding front passenger seat, storage drawers under the front seats, a folding table and storage pockets on the rear of the front seats and low tyre pressure indicator.

There are some interesting options for Tiguan, such as the optional Park Assist. This parking aid system is not offered with any of the Tiguan’s competitors and is a handy device that steers the Tiguan into a car space in a reverse parallel parking manoeuvre, the driver simply operating the foot controls to modulate speed. When the driver grips the steering wheel the Parking Aid is deactivated.

Other options include the off-road technology package ($290), an electric panoramic glass sunroof ($1990), Volkswagen’s new RNS510 satellite-navigation system with Rear View Camera ($3490 for 125TSI and $2990 for 147TSI) and bi-Xenon headlights ($1990).

Colours include Candy White, Reflex Silver Metallic, Deep Black Pearl Effect, Wild Cherry Red Metallic, Catalina Blue Metallic, Silver Leaf Metallic and Mountain Grey Metallic. Pearlescent and metallic paint colours cost $790.

Volkswagen Tiguan pricing:
125kW TSI $33,990
125kW TSI (a) $36,290
103kW TDI $35,990
103kW TDI (a) $38,290
147kW TSI (a) $42,990

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