First Drive

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan India review, test drive

VW’s second ever SUV in India is a posh but pricey affair. But, in this capably populated price range, should you consider one?

DETAILS
15
photos

What is it?

You may remember the Volkswagen Touareg, or perhaps you may not. It was a handsome, well-built and seriously capable luxury SUV that was built on the same platform as the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne, no less. There were two generations of the Touareg, and both were sold in India, but sadly, you won’t see as many of them out on the roads as its cousins from Audi and even Porsche. That’s because, though cheaper than those two, most Indian buyers still found it too expensive for something with a humble VW badge. It was discontinued in 2014 and that was the start and end of VW’s foray into SUVs in India. Until now.

This is the Tiguan – at the moment VW’s entry-level SUV – until smaller ones arrive in the coming years. It's also the company's ticket back into the booming Indian SUV market. Thing is, it's not a cheap ticket, and certainly not an entry-level SUV by our market's standards. Priced between Rs 27.98 lakh and Rs 31.38 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), it is in the same range as seven-seat 4x4s like the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour, but then, it's an altogether different offering. It's a front-wheel-drive-biased five-seater that uses a monocoque chassis (the VW Group's fast expanding MQB, in case you're wondering). So it's closer in size and nature to the Hyundai Tucson, but far more expensive, but then unlike the Korean, it gets all-wheel drive as standard. VW, meanwhile, positions it as a cheaper alternative to compact luxury SUVs like the BMW X1 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA!

 

 

So the Tiguan’s positioning is a little ambiguous, but VW cars’ appeal generally lies in their solid build quality, the latest technology and typically restrained German styling. The latter is immediately apparent. Save for the wheel arches, the Tiguan's exterior design is made up entirely of straight lines. Any added character simply comes from the use of thicker, more pronounced straight lines, like the deep shoulder crease that flows into the LED tail-lamps. The grille with the big VW logo at the front is standard VW fare, but at least the large LED headlamps do stand out a bit. And though the 18-inch alloys on this Highline trim look good, the Tiguan has more of a hunkered down crossover stance than that of a full-on SUV. It's a design that grows on you and its clean simplicity should allow it to age well, but it just doesn't have the flamboyance of the Hyundai nor is it as imposing as a Fortuner or an Endeavour, which unfortunately, will make a big difference in our image-conscious market.

Fact File

Engine

Fuel Diesel
Type 1968cc, 4-cyls, turbocharged
Power 143hp at 4000rpm
Torque 340Nm at 1750-2750rpm

Transmission

Type Four-wheel drive
Gearbox 7-speed dual-clutch automatic

Dimensions

Length 4486mm
Width 1839mm
Height 1672mm
Wheel base 2677mm
Boot volume 615 - 1655 litres
Ground clearance 149mm

Chassis & Body

Weight 1720kg
Tyres 235/55 R18
Spare Space saver

Suspension

Front McPherson strut with lower transverse link
Rear Multi Link

Steering

Type of power assist Electric

Brakes

Front Discs
Rear Discs

Economy

Tank size 71 litres

About the author...

Gavin D'Souza

Gavin D'Souza is the Assistant Editor of the Autocar India magazine.

Recent articles by Gavin:
See more about:  volkswagen tiguan review
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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 215 | Autocar India: July 2017

We’ve exclusively driven the third-gen Maruti Swift, compared the Dzire with all its compact sedan rivals, and tested the all-new Volvo XC60. That and lots more in the July 2017 issue!
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