/ 9 June 2024

This VW ticks all the boxes, from daily commuter to long trips on the open road

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The car has become the carapace, the protective and aggressive shell, of urban and suburban man - Marshal McLuhan

Mid-size SUVs are a dime a dozen, and one need only look at our roads to see just how many of these are out there. 

While Japanese offerings have long been the mainstay in the segment, the recent Chinese offerings are something to behold. 

The second-generation VW Tiguan presents a desirable option for buyers who rank attributes such as styling and build quality high, not to mention reputable residual value. 

Scouring through many pre-owned web portals confirms that the current generation Tiguan has great residual value and thus is a good proposition, especially with the third-generation waiting in the wings. 

We recently decided to stretch our long-term loan Tiguan’s legs to see how it fares as a long-haul, family commuter and also how it copes with undulating roads and overtaking manoeuvres. 

So it was that we packed the Tiguan and nosed it towards North West to visit family. 

As soon as we had Gauteng behind us, and had meandered through Hartbeespoort and onto the pristine N4, the fuel consumption dipped considerably from the high 8 litres per 100km to a commendable 7.8l/100km. This, if little else, proves even petrol-powered vehicles can be efficient in the right setting.

The ride quality remains impressive, while road and wind noise are more than acceptable for a vehicle of this disposition. 

Overtaking slower-moving vehicles proved a cinch, requiring only the slightest push on the throttle, with the smooth DSG transmission shifting down a cog or two before leaping forward and past traffic. 

For fans of adaptive cruise control, the Tiguan’s system is reasonably good, if not the most intuitive, but I prefer using manual throttle inputs. Yes, that might sound old-fashioned but I have always got better fuel consumption with this method.

 Having four USB ports on board meant there were enough for my family to charge their phones and gadgets en route, ensuring some semblance of sanity on the long journey. 

The haptic climate control settings remain a bane to operate on the move but Apple CarPlay has made access to my tunes an easy affair. 

The panoramic roof gives the cabin a very airy feel. 

As temperatures begin to dip, early mornings call for the use of the heated seat function, which proved to be an invaluable and welcome item. 

To say the family has grown fond of the Tiguan would be an understatement. From school runs and extramural activities to grocery shopping and, now, long-distance trips, the Tiguan is a consummate medium-family SUV and we will be sad to see it leave our garage.

The pros and cons

GOOD STUFF: Comfort. Convenience. Fuel consumption.

BAD STUFF: Haptic buttons


MILEAGE NOW: 7 865km

PRICE: R843 000 (R958 749 as tested)