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Size matters: The new Tiguan Allspace

Size matters: The new Tiguan Allspace

Volkswagen’s new Tiguan Allspace proves to be a versatile and comfortable utility wagon that’s well-suited to South Africa’s outdoor adventure lifestyle. Wynter Murdoch reports.

With sales of SUVs on the rise, Volkswagen recently brought a new contender to market – the Tiguan Allspace. Based on the brand’s familiar five-seat Tiguan model, the new derivative accommodates up to seven occupants thanks to a longer body and a stretched wheelbase.

“The model represents a continuation of our SUV offensive,” says a spokesman for the brand. “It is aimed at closing the gap between the compact Tiguan and the premium class Touareg.”

Measuring just over four metres in length, the Allspace is 215mm longer than the vehicle on which it is based, with its wheelbase extended by 109mm. The bonnet is higher than that of the sibling’s, with a taller radiator grille that incorporates chrome strips to distinguish it from that of the standard model. Other styling differences include structural ribs on the roof, longer back doors, and larger side windows at the rear.

 

Inside the cabin the two extra seats at the back can be folded flat into the floor, extending luggage space from 230 litres to 700 litres. If the second row is folded, capacity increases to 1,775 litres and covers a length of 1,921 metres – long enough to accommodate a surf board. 

It’s that kind of versatility that Volkswagen is hoping will attract customers – but there are other advantages associated with the model. For instance, the longer wheelbase helps to improve comfort, smoothing out bumps to offer a limousine-like ride.

 

In terms of engine derivatives, the line-up comprises one diesel and three petrol variants – each of them turbocharged four-cylinder units similar to those used in other Volkswagen products.

Base engine on the petrol side is the 1,4-litre TSI, which produces 110kW and 250Nm. Coupled with six-speed DSG transmission, it is capable of propelling the car from zero to 100km/h in 9,5 seconds and, according to Volkswagen’s figures, consuming 6,5 litres of petrol every 100km.

 

 

The 2,0-litre TSI engine is said to offer 132kW and 320Nm, reducing the car’s 0 to 100km/h time to 8,2 seconds, but increasing fuel consumption to 7,7 litres per 100km in the combined cycle. The unit drives through a seven-speed DSG gearbox. 

The range topping TSI engine – which also displaces 2,0 litres – has been tuned to produce 162kW and 350Nm. It, too, drives through a seven-speed DSG gearbox, and is said to be capable of shifting the Allspace from zero to 100km/h in 6,8 seconds. Fuel economy is rated at 8,1 litres per 100km.

 

The diesel engine – another 2,0-litre unit – is the most economical in the range, Volkswagen claiming that it delivers 6,6 litres per 100km. Again, it drives through seven-speed DSG transmission. Unlike its siblings, however, the TDI derivative is available only in Trendline specification – which means a front-wheel drivetrain – while the remainder of the range comprises Comfortline and Highline configurations, each of which includes Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

On the launch I had the opportunity to drive the 132kW and 162kW derivatives – and came away impressed at the ride quality each offered. Both vehicles were quiet and smooth on the road, their cabins light and airy and their engines responsive. Steering was sharp and accurate, brakes excellent.

 

Whether travelling on tar, dirt or through thick mud, the 4Motion system worked well to keep each version of the Allspace on track and stable. On this point, an off-road package (which offers underbody protection as well as an improvement in approach angle) is available as an option for those who may want to take the vehicle off the beaten path.  

 

 

As far as the interior is concerned, however, be warned. While there’s plenty of leg-, elbow- and headroom in the first two rows of seats, the extra set at the back has been designed to accommodate children rather than adults. And, despite longer rear doors, access to them could be difficult.

That said, the remainder of the interior is well configured and packaged. My overall impression is one of top quality materials, excellent build quality and a range of useful connectivity and infotainment fixtures and options that add to driving pleasure.  

 

The Tiguan Allspace is sold with a five-year/90,000km service plan; three-year/120,000km warranty; 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and a space saver spare wheel. Service intervals are 15,000km.

PRICES

1,4 TSI 110kW Trendline DSG – R463,400

2,0 TSI 132kW Comfortline 4Motion DSG            –  R523,800

2,0 TDI 110kW Comfortline 4Motion DSG – R571,100

2,0 TSI 162kW Highline 4Motion DSG –  R604,800

 

In all, in my view Volkswagen’s new Tiguan Allspace proves to be a versatile and comfortable utility wagon that’s well-suited to South Africa’s adventure lifestyle – it’s just the kind of family vehicle you wish you had when exploring the great outdoors. 


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