/ 14 April 2024

VW Tiguan: It’s old but it’s good

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The third-generation VW Tiguan may not appeal to the style-conscious, sporty customer who liked the previous iteration.

I recently took a close look at the third-generation Volkswagen Tiguan, which is planned to make landfall in Mzansi by the end of the year. 

This was at Volkswagen Group Africa’s recent Indaba media briefing held at its Kariega manufacturing plant in Eastern Cape. 

I was keen to pore over its contours, because I wasn’t particularly enamoured with what I saw in the photographs of it. 

It is laden with the latest tech — which is also used in VW’s ID.4 EV hatchback, due to find its way here later this year for feasibility studies by the media, dealers and others. 

We look forward to getting up close and personal with the product and seeing how it stacks up. 

But I digress. The new Tiguan, yes, looks all grown up, like a little Touareg, which is not a bad thing, but I do feel it will have less appeal for the stylish and sporty brigade who embraced the second-generation model for those reasons. Only time will tell — the jury is still out. 

This model is about to retire, so it is a good time to be looking at a new one. I’m certain that dealers will dole out favourable trade-in offers, so don’t be shy to haggle should you be in the market. 

Since our last update, we’ve put reasonable mileage under our wheels and it is no surprise that this remains VW’s bestselling model. 

It has just the right amount of space and is comfortable for daily trudges as well as commutes, all while offering a highly tactile cabin. 

One of our favourite optional items, which has been put to the test in recent times, is the IQ Matrix LED headlights fitted to our test car, which makes driving in poorly lit areas at night an absolute breeze. 

It automatically switches between high and low beams and adjusts the lights so that they don’t dazzle other drivers. Sure, this might not be a new tech but it remains, excuse the pun, brilliant. 

Then there’s the Harman Kardon sound system for audiophiles such as myself. The 480W and 16-channel amplifier unit offers good tonality and range and setting it up for your listening preferences is easy. 

My wife and I are making extensive use of both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, which is a welcome feature.

My only gripe with the interior is the haptic buttons on the steering wheel, which are not practical to operate on the move. 

It seems VW has realised this is a bad move because the updated Golf 8.5 GTI has ditched these for conventional, user-friendly tactile buttons. 

Our fuel consumption is hovering around 8.8 litres/100km, which is more than acceptable for an engine of this size and disposition. 

That said, we would still opt for the diesel version for an even more efficient and relaxed drive polish. 

We plan to take the vehicle on gravel roads soon to see how it fares and whether the 20-inch wheels are a hindrance, rather than an enabler, for exploring off the tarmac. Watch this space.

Pros and cons at a glance

Good stuff: Design. Standard equipment. Space.

Bad stuff: It is getting a little long in the tooth. Haptic buttons. Pricing has gone further north in recent years.

Mileage at start: 1   594km

Mileage now: 5   764km

Price: R843   000 (R958   749 as tested)